Frequently Asked Questions

Program

Participant

Program

Who is funding this program? Does the government or the Department of National Defense fund it?

Starting September 1, 2011 the Royal Canadian Legion BC / Yukon Command has agreed to give funds toward the program in a 4 year agreement. Aside from the Legion’s generous funding, BCIT covers the remainder of the costs. The program is not associated with any Canadian government or the Department of National Defense, although we have gotten words of encouragement and support from individuals within those organizations.

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Is the program only for the School of Business or is it a BCIT wide service?

While the program started it’s operations with the School of Business and the Business Management Post Diploma to Bachelor of Business Administration program stream is one of the most popular programs for participants, it is a BCIT wide service. Programs from the School of Computing and School of Construction and Environment have accelerated paths for qualified program participants. You can read more about them in the Path 1 section of the website.

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Who is running the program?

Officially the program has only one official position within BCIT currently held by Justine Arsenault as Program Advisor. There are a number of student contract positions, including one specifically for a military participant student, that assist with the development and operations of the program. Otherwise the program relies heavily on volunteer involvement from BCIT faculty, staff, and students. The program is very thankful for all these volunteers and many of them are mentioned in the Affiliated Programs & Special Recognition section of the web page.

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Isn’t this program similar to other universities that give course credit for military training?

Many universities are wisely providing more opportunities for Canadian Forces members. However these opportunities are limited to direct course by course transfer. While helpful it doesn’t usually add up to more than a handful of courses. Our program is unique because it looks at both individual military courses as well as deployments and on the job learning. We prefer to, whenever possible, combine all of the knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired during military experience into a “block credit” that can mean losing up to a year off of a diploma or degree program.

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Participant FAQ

What are the costs associated with the program?

The services that this program provides (one-on-one consultations, career workshops, and analysis of military experience for post secondary equivalencies) are completely free to participants. Only if the participant decides to enroll in a post secondary program or take on a micro loan to start their business, will there be a cost to the participant. We do not require our participants to do so and all participants are able to opt-out of the program at any time.

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Do I have to have been in the military for a long time in order to participate?

There is no minimum experience requirement to participate but the more experience and courses you have, the more equivalency opportunities and advanced placement opportunities there are. It also doesn’t matter if your experience is from 10+ years ago, or if you have retired, or have already started a civilian career. The only thing required from participants is a willingness to explore their options and timely and truthful communication.

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What if I do want to go to school? What will it cost me and what kind of assistance can I get?

Costs of going to post secondary differ greatly on the program selected and the method of delivery. Full time programs usually cost between $3000 - 4000 per semester including text books and supplies (with two semesters a year) and then there are the normal living expenses. Part time studies courses usually cost between $500 - 700 per course, but the costs are spread out over several years and usually add up to more than the full time programs. If there’s a specific program you’re interested in, see the BCIT Financial Aid and Awards office for a listing of current academic year tuition by program.

Most full time BCIT students are eligible for entrance scholarships and regular student bursaries that students can apply for throughout the year. There are also special graduating awards that come with cash prizes at the end of the academic year, but those are by faculty nomination. Both full time and part time students can be eligible for provincial and federal government student aid, but there are restrictions (especially for part time students) that you should read about before applying.

We are currently working on getting funding for bursaries specifically for Legion Military Skills Conversion Program participants and will update the website when they are available.

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How do you fit 4 -5 years of a full time degree into 2 years full time? Do I have to work through the summer?

4-5 years in 2 years of schooling can seem like a lot, and truthfully it is. However it is completely doable and thousands of students graduate through these programs every year. The average BCIT student takes 8 courses a semester and has a pre-set course load for the academic year totaling around 60 credits. Students don’t have the option of picking and choosing their schedule, it is given to them once they have been accepted into their program. Most diploma programs run September through May and degree programs run September through April, so unless otherwise stated students are free to use their summers to work, take extra part time studies classes or go on course.

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I can’t do full time courses. What options are there for me part time?

BCIT has a lot of part time studies options that are offered both in classroom and distance / online formats. Many of our full time programs, including the Business Management Post Diploma and the GIS Advanced Diploma, are also offered partially or completely online.

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I don’t live in the Greater Vancouver area and don’t want to move. How can I participate?

Participants that can’t relocate to take classes at BCIT are encouraged to pursue their program through the part time studies format. Many part time programs can be completed in almost the same amount of time as a full time program if the student is dedicated to taking several courses every semester through out the entire calendar year. The consultations and business development portions of the program can also be done through other means such as skype or phone, so you don’t have to be here to participate.

Also, BCIT does accept transfer credits in from other accredited post secondary institutions. If you have previous schooling from other post secondaries or you decide to take some of the part time courses at a local post secondary school, you can transfer up to 50% of your courses over to your BCIT program. However if you are planning to transfer courses over you will want to make sure that these courses are transferrable and equivalent to what you need at BCIT. Make sure you consult the Legion Military Skills Conversion Program first to avoid taking courses you can’t use.

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I want to participate, but the timing isn’t right for me. Can I come back later or will I be too late?

It’s important that you do the program when it’s right for you. There isn’t an “expiry date” on the program. If you need to exit the program or postpone your involvement, that is fine. You may be asked to re-submit any documents or re-interview if significant time has passed since you were last involved with the program, but only to see if there are more opportunities available to you.

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My military commitments may require me to leave some time during my involvement in the program for an exercise, course, or deployment. Am I going to be penalized for this?

BCIT has a Statement of Agreement for Accommodations for Reservist students and Staff members, which can be applied to Regular Force members as well. The more notice you can give the program on your pending departure the better, but BCIT understands that sometimes you just aren’t given a lot of notice. As long as notice is given before you depart, the program can be of assistance to accommodate your military commitments.

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How can I get a diploma and a degree through one program? Aren't they separate programs?

At BCIT, achieving your bachelor degree has two stages. The first stage is completing a BCIT diploma program. This is the stage where you choose your specialty or major. For example, you can choose to specialize in Human Resources and take the Human Resource Management Diploma or you can specialize in International Business and complete the International Business Management Diploma. Once you have completed your diploma, you have the choice of leaving it there or you can continue to complete the degree stage.  At the end of the Degree stage you will have two credentials; you will have a diploma and bachelor degree. You have to complete a BCIT diploma before taking the degree program (some conditions do apply).

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What's the difference between a diploma and an advanced placement diploma? Will other post secondaries still accept an advanced placement diploma if they're asking for a diploma?

Essentially a diploma and an advanced placement diploma are treated equally by post secondaries as the same credential. The term "advanced placement" usually indicates that the student has entered into that post secondary through having previous related experience (whether academic or career) that enabled them to not start from scratch. In terms of credits an advanced placement diploma has about 60.0 credits and a diploma has about 120.0 credits. BCIT diplomas are recognized by post secondaries across the country and often awarded placement into bachelor degree programs. BCIT has many formalized advanced placement agreements with post secondaries across the country. If you're interested in transferring to a specific university after a BCIT advanced placement diploma to complete your degree, please contact us and we will help you find out if the post secondary you are interested in has a formal agreement with us.

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