Policies & Procedures

Last updated: 1 September 2021

Admissions/Registration Policies & Procedures

Admissions/Registration Policies & Procedures

Students who wish to apply to Westcoast Adventure College Ltd (WAC) should:

 

  1. Review the Admission Policies and Procedures;
  2. Submit an Application;
  3. Review the Registration Policies and Procedures.

Admission Process

Upon receipt of an application, the Admissions/Registration office will (within six weeks) acknowledge receipt of the application and advise the applicant of any outstanding admission requirements and the deadline for submission of these requirements.

Applications are processed in order of receipt and are reviewed:

  • to ensure application forms have been completed correctly;
  • to determine if applicants satisfy the College’s admission policy;
  • to determine if admission requirements are attached;

Admissions/Registration will notify applicants in writing of receipt of their application (within six weeks of receiving the application). This written notification will include any further steps the applicant must complete and the deadline(s)* for completing those steps. *it is the student’s responsibility to ensure those deadlines are met.

 

Notes:

  1. Students must use their legal name on all application forms.
  2. British Columbia Secondary School students must provide their Personal Education Number (PEN) on their application form. This will facilitate the transfer of their grade 11 and 12 grades to the College. Note that the PEN number will be used to measure student participation in postsecondary education and for program research and evaluation but any personal information disclosed for these purposes will be in non-identifiable form.
  3. The College does not accept responsibility for the cancellation or discontinuation of any program, course or class of instruction that may be necessary as a result of an act of God, fire, labour problems, lack of funds, or other similar causes.

 

Admission Requirements

Students must have completed Canadian Grade 12 or equivalent, or must be older than 21 years of age. In addition, students will be required to submit a work reference and a personal reference during the application process. Students whose first language is not English are required to undergo a Language Proficiency Assessment prior to enrollment in order to ensure they have the language abilities necessary to successfully complete the program of their choice.

 

Language Proficiency Assessment

Instruction at Westcoast Adventure College is conducted in English. Language proficiency requirements are admission requirements and may not be waived by either the institution or the student. The following are accepted:

 

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 80/120,

 

Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) with a minimum score of 625,

 

Canadian Academic English Language Assessment Test (CAEL) with a minimum score of 70, or

 

International English Language Testing (IELTS) with a minimum score of 5.

 

In addition, all students must complete an interview, either in person, via telephone or other means, with a staff member prior to attending the course. Acceptance to the course is conditional on the staff member deeming their language skills sufficient to not affect the learning of the other students.

 

Areas of Employment

Westcoast Adventure College sets students up for jobs in Adventure Tourism. Most of our grads start their exciting new career in one of the following areas:

  • Kayak guide
  • Whale watching / wildlife interpreter
  • Hiking guide
  • Fishing guide
  • Sailing / Powerboat crew
  • Marina dockhand / manager
  • Park Rangers
  • Caving guides
  • Zipline guides

That being said we have had graduates guiding Polar Bear Tours in the arctic, running their own

kayaking companies or working as Naturalists on private yachts!

 

  1. Application

 

Application Deadlines

Applicants are accepted year-round from qualified applicants. Acceptance of an application does not guarantee enrolment, as registration is dependent upon seat availability.

Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis and registration dates are assigned based on date of receipt of application.

Note: Applications may be suspended prior to application deadlines if the maximum number of applications received has been reached.

 

Application Submission

All prospective students must:

  1. a) complete an application form;
  2. b) provide official transcripts of previous education or proof of age if 4 years out of high school and;
  3. d) meet the College admission policy and specific admission requirements (prerequisites)

 

Application Procedure

Applicants should first read, and clearly understand, the academic and nonacademic requirements for the program. Questions regarding the program or courses should be directed to the Academic Director.

Applicants must complete an application for admission and:

  • attach official copies of all secondary and/or post-secondary transcripts* or other documentary evidence showing completion of the admission requirements.

*All transcripts submitted become the property of  WAC and will not be returned to students.

 

Application Categories

Qualified applicants are those who have completed all admission requirements and are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Generally, the earlier the application is submitted, the greater the opportunity to be offered a seat in the next intake and the better chance the student has of success in their studies.

Transfer Credit Assessments

Students who have completed post secondary studies or professional certification at another institution and wish to apply for transfer credit should do so at the time of application to WAC. The transcripts must be submitted with a non-refundable evaluation fee of $50.00 (per request) for transcripts from BC post-secondary institutions and professional certifying organizations, and/or $50.00 (per request) for transcripts from post-secondary institutions outside of BC. A full evaluation of those records in relation to the student’s educational goal will be undertaken by the Academic Director for courses in which students received a “P” (50%) grade or higher, transfer credit may be awarded.

To apply for transfer credit, students must:

  • complete an application for transfer credit form;
  • attach official documents and the transfer credit evaluation fee;
  • submit the request to the Academic Director
  • await receipt of a written evaluation (generally mailed within six weeks to eight weeks).

Transfer credit is defined as credit for a WAC course formally granted for equivalent course work completed at another institution. The credit granted is

recorded on the WAC transcript, but the grade is not calculated into the Grade Point Average (GPA).

Make-up courses for program completion may be necessary if core courses have not been completed.

Please note that the awarding of such credit may reduce the number of courses required in each semester of a program to a level that may affect eligibility for

financial assistance or for scholarships or bursaries.

Note: Applicants with more than one request are recommended to collect all documents and submit them together. Requests made at a later date will be subject to another evaluation fee.

 

Prior Learning Assessment

Westcoast Adventure College recognizes that adult learners have acquired many skills from their life and work experiences, which may be equivalent to college level learning. The College program works on an Integrated Learning model where coursework within subject areas are synchronized across multiple subjects. Due to the interconnectedness of the classes, the College is unable to offer advanced standing or exemption from any courses.

 

Registration

Registration Deposit

Students are required to pay a $250.00 registration deposit at least three business days prior to their registration date. This registration deposit will be applied to the total fees for the program

Note: Admission to WAC is dependent upon academic and other prerequisites and upon the availability of seats.

Registration to the programs is completed by the payment of all fees (may be paid by cash, cheque, Interac or money order, by published deadlines.

While WAC will make every attempt to provide realistic deadlines, the College cannot accept any responsibility for delays resulting from Canada Post.

Applicants who are unable to accept their seat may defer their seat one time.

 

Registration Priority

Seats will only be offered to students once they provide proof of satisfying admission requirements (provided seats are still available). Further information will be provided at the time of application.

 

Audit Registration

Students auditing courses must meet the following requirements:

  1. a) Must satisfy course prerequisites. Given permission of the Academic Director, however, students may audit courses without satisfying course prerequisites provided:
  • such students are not registered until after all eligible students have been given an opportunity to register;
  • such students are not assigned a grade other than audit;
  1. b) Must pay the same fees as students enrolled in courses for credit;
  2. c) Cannot use an audit grade as a prerequisite for other courses;
  3. d) Will not have an audit grade calculated in the GPA;
  4. e) Will change to audit during the first 25% of first term;
  5. f) Will be expected to attend classes regularly. No assignments are expected, no examinations are written and no grades are assigned.

Students wishing to change their enrollment in a course to audit must officially notify the Academic Director.

Enrolled students can only change to Audit during the first 25% of the first term.

 

 

  1. Attendance, Withdrawal and Dismissal

Attendance

It is each student’s responsibility to attend all classes. If a student does not attend and does not contact the instructor within two working days following the missed class with a satisfactory explanation, continuation in the course may be denied. If a student does not attend classes and does not officially withdraw (via the Academic Director) as per the Refund Policy set out by the PTIB, he or she will be required to pay all outstanding fees as per the Refund Policy set out by the PTIB, will receive no further service until the fees are paid and may receive an “F” grade.

 

Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their program at the College, and they must:

  • check the accuracy of their registration
  • ensure fees are paid by published deadlines;
  • ensure that the Academic Director has their current address and telephone numbers on file at all times;
  • ensure the Academic Director has proof of prerequisites on file for course registration;

 

It is each student’s responsibility to ensure their complete high College records (usually grades 10, 11 and 12) and any post secondary records are on file to avoid being withdrawn for lack of prerequisites.

Note that students will not receive credit and grades if they have not paid fees in full.

Those students planning to transfer from SATC to another postsecondary educational institution are advised to consult with the Academic or Field Skills Director or the institution to which they are transferring in order to confirm suitability of their courses, gather information on quotas, grade point averages, or other admission requirements.

 

Dispute Resolution

 

  1. This policy governs complaints from students respecting Westcoast Adventure College and any aspect of its operations.
  2. A student who makes or is otherwise involved in a complaint will not be subject to any form of retaliation by the institution at any time.
  3. The process by which the student complaint will be handled is as follows.

 

  • The student will put their complaint in writing to the staff member who is involved in the work or course concerned. If the staff member is one of the parties involved in the dispute the complaint should be made to the Education Director (Phil Foster – phil@westcoastadventurecollege.com) or the Business Director (Scot Taylor – scot@westcoastadventurecollege.com).
  • They will request submissions from all involved parties, including witnesses; conduct a review, and set up a meeting within 5 days. At the conclusion of this meeting a written decision will be provided to all parties within 30 days.
  • If no resolution is forthcoming and they are not already involved, the case will be escalated to the Education Director or the Business Director.
  • The written reasons will advise a student that if they are dissatisfied with the determination, and have been misled by the institution regarding any significant aspect of that program, the student may file a complaint with the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) (www.privatetraininginstitutions.gov.bc.ca).  Complaints must be filed with PTIB within one year of the date a student completes, is dismissed from, or withdraws from the program.
  • The student making the complaint may be represented by an agent or a lawyer.

Change in Registration

Students should refer to College’s refund policy in the Fees and Financial Policy section

 

Withdrawing from the Program

Withdrawing from the program can only be done after submission of a written (and signed) application for withdrawal and a meeting with the Academic Director.

The Directors will require documentation to support any request for withdrawal on medical or compassionate grounds.

 

Student Dismissal Policy

Policy:

Students are expected to meet and adhere to the Code of Conduct set out in this policy while completing a program of study at Westcoast Adventure College.  If necessary, students should request clarification from the Education Director.  “Student” means a person who is presently enrolled at Westcoast Adventure College, including students participating in work experience placements.

 

Code of Conduct

While on Westcoast Adventure College premises or in the course of activities or events hosted by Westcoast Adventure College, students:

  • must comply with all applicable Westcoast Adventure College policies, including the Attendance Policy;
  • must treat all students and staff with respect and must not engage in physically aggressive, threatening, harassing, discriminatory or otherwise offensive behaviour;
  • must not steal, misuse, destroy or deface Westcoast Adventure College property;
  • must not consume, possess or distribute alcohol or controlled or restricted substances; and
  • must not contravene any provision of the Canadian Criminal Code or any other federal, provincial, or municipal statute or regulation.

 

The above list sets out examples of prohibited conduct.  It is intended to help students understand the type of conduct that will be subject to discipline and is not exhaustive.

Students who violate the Code of Conduct will be subject to the procedures and discipline outlined below, which may include immediate dismissal from the institution.

 

Procedure:

 

1) All concerns relating to student misconduct shall be directed to the Education Director. Concerns may be brought by staff, students or the public.

 

2) The Education Director will arrange to meet with the student to discuss the concern(s) within 5 school days of receiving the complaint.  If the alleged conduct is of such a serious nature that an immediate dismissal may be warranted, the Education Director will meet with the student as soon as is reasonably possible.

 

3) Following the meeting with the student, the Education Director will conduct whatever further enquiry or investigation is necessary to determine whether the concerns are substantiated.

 

4) Any necessary inquiries or investigations shall be completed within 5 school days of the initial meeting with the student.

 

5) The Education Director will meet with the student and do one of the following:

(a) Determine that the concern(s) were unsubstantiated;

(b) Determine that the concern(s) were substantiated, in whole or in part, and either:

(i)    Give the student a warning setting out the consequences of further misconduct;

(ii)   Set a probationary period with appropriate conditions; or

(iii)  Recommend that the student be dismissed from the Westcoast Adventure College.

 

6) The Education Director will prepare a written summary of the determination.  A copy shall be given to the student, and the original will be placed in the student file.

 

7) If the student is issued a warning or placed on probation, the Education Director and the student will both sign the written warning or probationary conditions and the student will be given a copy.  The original document will be placed in the student’s file.

 

8) If the recommendation is to dismiss the student, the Business Director of the institution will review the recommendation and accept or reject it.  If the recommendation is accepted by the Business Director, the Education Director will meet with the student to dismiss him/her from study at the institution.  The Education Director of the institution will deliver to the student a letter of dismissal and a calculation of refund due or tuition owing, in accordance with PCTIA Bylaw 37.5.  If the recommendation is rejected by the Business Director, the Business Director will follow steps 5 through 7, above.

 

9) If a refund is due to the student, Westcoast Adventure College will ensure that a refund is forwarded to the student within 30 days of the dismissal.

 

10) If the student owes tuition or other fees to the institution, Westcoast Adventure College may undertake the collection of the amount owing.

 

 

Refund Policy (as set out by the PTIB) 

 

Circumstances when Refund is Payable  

Amount of Refund

Before program start date, institution receives a notice of withdrawal (applies to all students)

·  No later than seven days after student signed the enrolment contract, and

·  Before the program start date.

100% tuition and all related fees, other than application fee. Related fees include: administrative fees, application fees, assessment fees, and fees charged for textbooks or other course materials.

·  At least 30 days before the later of:

a)     The program start date in the most recent Letter of Acceptance (international students)

b)    The program start date in the enrolment contract.

Institution may retain up to 10% of tuition, to a maximum of $1,000.

Institution must refund fees paid for course materials if not provided to the student.

·  More than seven days after the student and institution signed the enrolment contract, and

·  Less than 30 days before the later of:

a)     The program start date in the most recent Letter of Acceptance (international students)

b)    The program start date in the enrolment contract.

Institution may retain up to 20% of tuition, to a maximum of $1,300.

Institution must refund fees paid for course materials if not provided to the student.

After program start date, institution provides a notice of dismissal or receives a notice of withdrawal (applies to all students, except those enrolled in a program delivered solely by distance education)

·   After the program start date, and up to and including 10% of instruction hours have been provided.

Institution may retain up to 30% of tuition.

Institution must refund fees paid for course materials if not provided to the student.

·   After the program start date, and after more than 10%, but before 30% of instruction hours, have been provided.

Institution may retain up to 50% of tuition.

Institution must refund fees paid for course materials if not provided to the student.

Student does not attend program – “no-show” (applies to all students except those enrolled in a program delivered solely by distance education):

·   Student does not attend the first 30% of the program.

Institution may retain up to 50% of the tuition.

Institution must refund fees paid for course materials if not provided to the student.

 

Institution receives a refusal of study permit (applies to international students requiring a study permit):

·       Before 30% of instruction hours would have been provided, had the student started the program on the later of the following:

a) The program start date in the most recent Letter of Acceptance

b) The program start date in the enrolment contract

·       Student has not requested additional Letter(s) of Acceptance.

100% tuition and all related fees, other than application fee.

After the program start date, student withdraws or is dismissed (applies to students enrolled in a program delivered solely by distance education):

·       Student completed up to 30% of the program.

Institution may retain up to 30% of the tuition.

Institution must refund fees paid for course materials if not provided to the student.

·       Student completed more than 30% but less than 50% of the program (based on evaluation provided to student).

Institution may retain up to 50% of the tuition.

Institution must refund fees paid for course materials if not provided to the student.

Student enrolled in a program without having met the admission requirements for the program

·       If the student did not misrepresent the student’s knowledge or skills when applying for admission and the registrar orders the institution to refund tuition and fees.

100% tuition and all related fees, including application fees

 

 

Institutions must pay the tuition or fee refund within 30 days after receiving notice of withdrawal or refusal of study permit; providing a notice of dismissal, or the date on which the first 30% of the hours of instruction are provided (no-show).

 

 

 

Student File Restrictions

If a restriction has been placed on a student file, the Academic Director will not undertake any transactions until the restriction has been removed. The College cannot be held responsible for any consequences that result from the restriction. The consequences affect the issuing of official transcripts, registration

services and processing of applications for admission, etc.

There are several reasons for placing restrictions on student files; and restrictions are initiated as a result of:

  • The submission of a dishonoured cheque or money order for payment of fees
  • The non-return of books, materials or equipment
  • The non-payment of fees

 

Compassionate Leave of Absence

If there is a death of an immediate family member and a student has to be absent from classes, students should notify the College by contacting any of the Directors

 

  1. Graduating

Notification of Grades

It is the responsibility of instructors to notify students of their grades. Generally, instructors will post grades on the noticeboard in the classroom. Grades will be posted using Student Numbers. Students will also be able to check their grades with the Instructor.  Grade verifications will not be mailed.

 

Official Transcripts

An official transcript is a complete and unabridged academic record of achievement at the Westcoast Adventure College for each student. As such, it is a private and confidential record, which can only be issued or released upon written authority of the student. Parents, relatives and friends may only request copies of official transcripts with the student’s written approval. It is therefore the student’s responsibility to ensure that the “Request for Official Transcript Form” is completed. Transcripts must be requested and paid for prior to production. The current fee for each copy of an Official Transcript is $25.00  which must be paid in advance of transcript production.

The following notes are issued for students’ general interest:

Most colleges and universities require two copies of official transcripts. One is for the Admissions Office and one is for the appropriate Faculty.

Most colleges and universities will not accept official transcripts carried by the student. To be considered official, they must be mailed directly from the College to the college or university.

Those institutions that accept official transcripts directly from students insist that the envelope carry a seal that remains unbroken.

Official transcripts will not be issued for a student whose file has been flagged.

Repeating a Course

If a course is repeated, the grade for each attempt will be recorded on the student’s Permanent Student Record (transcript).

Only the highest grade achieved, however, is included in the cumulative GPA computation on the student’s transcript. Students are cautioned that other institutions may include both grades in the GPA computation. Those students planning to transfer from WAC to another postsecondary educational institution are advised to consult with the institution to which they are transferring in order to confirm the method of GPA computation.

Confidentiality of Student Records

Westcoast Adventure College regards the information contained in a student’s permanent record as personal and private. Therefore, no transcript or other personal information about a student will be released except in the following circumstances:

  1. a) Information released to the student;
  2. b) Information released with the written authorization of the student;
  3. c) Information, pertaining to delinquent debts owed by students to the College,

released to the College’s collection agents to facilitate recovery of such debts;

  1. d) Information released in response to a court order;
  2. e) Information, pertaining to delinquent debts owed by students to the Canada

Student Loan program, released to the government’s collection agents to facilitate recovery of such debts;

  1. f) Information released to government departments for the purpose of statistical analysis and research, provided there is an assurance of confidentiality.

Please refer to the College’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy policy statement which can be found in the WAC Academic Policy and Procedures

 

College Credentials

All Westcoast Adventure college programs leading to a credential/professional certification have gone through a rigorous approval process. The College issues the following types of credentials:

Westcoast Adventure College Certificate / BC Adventure Tourism Level II Certificate: acknowledges completion of an approved program equivalent to one year of full-time study.

Professional Certificates: acknowledges completion of the syllabus as laid down by the certifying body and achieving the specified passing grade if required.

Allow up to six weeks after the end of exams for documents or certificates to be produced and mailed.

Credentials can only be issued upon written authority of the student. Parents, other relatives and friends can only request a copy of the College certificate or other professional certificates with the student’s written approval. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure completion of the “Request for Credential Form.” Original certificates and diplomas are issued free of charge, but a fee of $5.00 will be required for each duplicate credential.

Note that credentials will not be issued for a student whose file has been flagged.

 

Timelines Governing Completion of Programs

The College cannot guarantee that courses will be available for students to complete graduation requirements beyond the time limit of twice the normal length of the program. The required courses for students taking their program over an extended time would normally be those in effect at the time of original program registration. If program changes result in removal of any of these courses, the Academic Director may approve the substitution of other appropriate courses such that the student may complete the program. Students who are unable to complete their studies within a period twice the normal length of the program may be required to repeat certain courses, to complete additional courses or to follow a new or revised program of studies in order to graduate.

 

 

 

 

  1. Student Statement of Rights

 

Westcoast Adventure College is certified with the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

 

Before students enrol at a certified private training institution, they should be aware of their rights and responsibilities.

 

Students have the right to be treated fairly and respectfully by the institution.

 

They have the right to a student enrolment contract that includes the following information:

 

  • amount of tuition and any additional fee for your program
  • refund policy
  • if the program includes a work experience, the requirements to participate in the work experience and the geographic area where it will be provided
  • whether the program was approved by PTIB or does not require approval.

 

Students must make sure to read the contract before signing.  The institution must provide students with a signed copy.

 

Students have the right to access the institution’s dispute resolution process and to be protected against retaliation for making a complaint.

 

Students have the right to make a claim to PTIB for a tuition refund if:

 

  • the institution ceased to hold a certificate before the student completed an approved program
  • The student was misled about a significant aspect of an approved program.

Students must file the claim within one year of completing, being dismissed or withdrawing from their program.

 

For more information about PTIB and how to be an informed student, go to: http://www.privatetraininginstitutions.gov.bc.ca/students/be-an-informed-student.

 

  1. Sexual Misconduct Policy

Westcoast Adventure College is committed to the prevention of and appropriate response to sexual misconduct.

  1. Sexual misconduct refers to a spectrum of non-consensual sexual contact and behaviour including the following:
  • sexual assault;
  • sexual exploitation;
  • sexual harassment;
  • stalking;
  • indecent exposure;
  • voyeurism;
  • the distribution of a sexually explicit photograph or video of a person to one or more persons other than the person in the photograph or video without the consent of the person in the photograph or video and with the intent to distress the person in the photograph or video;
  • the attempt to commit an act of sexual misconduct; and
  • the threat to commit an act of sexual misconduct.
  1. A Complaint of sexual misconduct is different from a Report of sexual misconduct. A person may choose to disclose or complain of sexual misconduct without making a formal report.  A Report is a formal notification of an incident of sexual misconduct to a staff member at the institution accompanied by a request for action.

 

  1. A student making a Complaint will be provided with resolution options and, if appropriate, accommodation, and will not be required or pressured to make a Report.
  2. The process for making a Complaint about sexual misconduct involving a student is as follows:
  1. The process for responding to a Complaint of sexual misconduct involving a student is as follows:
  • The institution will acknowledge receipt of a written complaint within one week.
  • If a written complaint is received and it is deemed necessary a staff member will arrange a meeting in person to discuss the complaint.
  • For all complaints, there will be a staff meeting to discuss the complaint and a decision on the best course of action will be made.
  • The student making the complaint will be informed of the decision once it has been made and prior to any actions being taken.
  • The action described above will be taken once the student has given their consent.
  1. The process for making a Report of sexual misconduct involving a student is as follows:
  1. The process for responding to a Report of sexual misconduct involving a student is as follows:
  • The institution will acknowledge receipt of a written report within one week.
  • If a written report is received and it is deemed necessary a staff member will arrange a meeting in person to discuss the report.
  • For all reports, there will be a staff meeting to discuss the report and a decision on the best course of action will be made.
  • The student making the report will be informed of the decision once it has been made and prior to any actions being taken.
  • The action described above will be taken once the student has given the consent.
  1. It is contrary to this policy for an institution to retaliate, engage in reprisals or threaten to retaliate in relation to a Complaint or a Report.
  2. Any processes undertaken pursuant to this policy will be based on the principles of administrative fairness. All parties involved will be treated with dignity and respect.
  3. All information related to a Complaint or Report is confidential and will not be shared without the written consent of the parties, subject to the following exceptions:
  • If an individual is at imminent risk of severe or life-threatening self-harm.
  • If an individual is at imminent risk of harming another.
  • There are reasonable grounds to believe that others in the institutional community may be at significant risk of harm based on the information provided.
  • Where reporting is required by law.
  • Where it is necessary to ensure procedural fairness in an investigation or other response to a Complaint or Report.

This institution is certified by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB). Certified institutions must comply with regulatory requirements. For more information about PTIB, go to www.privatetraininginstitutions.gov.bc.ca.