For Students

By , May 2, 2009

Click the image to watch the Trade Rocks Video

Interview with Jacob Andrews, a dual credit student attending both Northern Lights College and North Peace Secondary.

Why should I apply? What is in it for me?

You will graduate from high school on-schedule with your friends, and already have certification that accelerates you into your career. You graduate with two certificates: a regular Dogwood diploma and a transcript from a post-secondary school. You will complete some of your high school courses in an adult-oriented setting.

Is there money available to cover costs?

If you are currently a high school student, there may be money available to help cover the costs of tuition fees. Each of the three school boards has its own policies. The cost of consumable supplies, clothing and textbooks are generally the responsibility of students.

How is this program different from ‘regular’ high school?

You will be completing your courses in an adult-oriented learning environment. During the time you are attending the post-secondary institution your daily schedule will be that of the institution, not your high school. You must achieve at least 70% to also receive the post-secondary certification, in some programs.

How does a dual-credit program work?

You will:

  • attend one to two semesters at a post secondary institution
  • graduate with your class
  • get hands on learning and ‘real world’ experience in an adult-oriented environment
  • benefit from direct, relevant work experience
  • obtain skills employers are looking for and ensure you are job ready
  • ladder directly into further post-secondary programs

What will my schedule look like?

Can I still go to university if I take a dual credit program?

Yes, with appropriate planning. It depends on the program path you choose and the particular prerequisites demanded by the university/college of your choice. It can be researched ahead of time so all bases are covered.

What are the benefits of taking a university Arts & Science course while I am in high school?

  • helps with transition from high school to post-secondary
  • lightens the course load in your first year of college or university

Can I change programs?

If funding has been committed by your school for a program, that funding will not be paid again for a second program. You can make adjustments, however, in the first two weeks to withdraw from a program you don’t like and than re-register at a later date for a different program.Your course selection will be limited by available space in classes at that time. You may or may not have a good timetable if you re-enter your high school after dropping a program.

After high school, what are the next steps?

If you plan to work in a trade, you must find an employer who is willing to hire you and eventually sign you on as an apprentice. You will move on to the next level of training once the required hours of work have been completed. This will repeat itself until all requirements for the Certificate of Apprenticeship have been met. The final examination can then be written to obtain the BC Certificate of Qualification.

How do I get an employer to sponsor me as an apprentice?

  • Take a trades training program, make a good impression during your work experience.
  • May be you have a friend or a family member willing to hire you as an apprentice.
  • May be you already have a part time job for which you can get credit.
  • If not, get a job, satisfy your employer, and ask for an apprenticeship.

I’m not in school. Can I still enroll?

Yes. This is how you can get back on track. Make an appointment with a college or high school counselor to explore your options. If you need to upgrade your academic skills, visit Northern Lights College online.

I am an adult with on the job training. Can I get certification?

Contact the T.R.A.D.E.S. office for information on challenging trade exams and qualifications. Check here for Northern Lights College Apprenticeship Training Schedule Levels

Where will I go for training?

  • High school students, earn your high school diploma while receiving post-secondary training and credits. Get ahead of the pack!
  • Explore your options and access a wide variety of programs throughout the region.
  • Check with your high school counselor to find out about accommodation options in other communities. College residences are available in Dawson Creek and in Fort St. John.
  • Take your education into your own hands in an adult-oriented environment focused on career training. Learn in a real life work environment and well equipped specialized shops.
  • While in the program, you will be registered both with your high school and the college. This means that support will be available to you from both institutions to ensure your success.

What is the difference between a trade and a technology program/certification?

80% of the training for a trade is done on the job. Upon completion of the training, which can take from two to five years depending on the trade, you obtain the BC Certificate of Apprenticeship, the BC Certificate of Qualification and, for some trades, the Interprovincial Standard Endorsement, also known as Red Seal. A technology program is mostly theory, up to two years of duration, and will give you a diploma or certificate of completion of studies for that program.

What will employers want from me?

Generally, an employer will:

  • Verify that you have the right credentials and tickets for the job
  • Determine whether you have the potential to become a successful worker/trades person and will be a good fit within the company’s culture. Some of the factors that will be considered include:
    • the right attitude and the right work ethic
    • the right aptitude (identify all activities, hobbies and experiences that illustrate appropriate skills for the job i.e. troubleshooting and ability to work independently and in a team environment)
    • the desire to learn and grow

This means:

  • Be prepared (research company and position you are applying for)
  • Look the part that you are applying for (dress, body language)
  • Show self-confidence without appearing arrogant
  • Demonstrate strong work ethic: willingness to give above and beyond the call of duty, honesty, dedication, reliability and commitment
  • Remember that drugs and alcohol have no place in the workforce
  • Be passionate and enthusiastic about your chosen vocation


I’ve never considered a skilled career. I don’t fit the image of your typical trades worker. Why will this work for me?

Trades and technology professionals are highly skilled, hardworking and intelligent. They operate equipment worth millions of dollars, perform highly technical tasks and solve complex problems. As trades careers boom with opportunity for talented and skilled individuals, so too have they begun to open up to a new breed of workers – people who may not have traditionally ventured into the trades. And today, they represent both young and old, men and women, and workers of various backgrounds and ethnicities.

What will I be earning in a dual credit program?

You will earn high school credit, college credit, work experience and employability skills. Where applicable you’ll also earn hours towards your first-year apprenticeship and wages – all while still in high school!

How will my participation in a dual credit program be recognized?

Students participating in a dual credit program will have their courses and grades recorded in the College student record system and at their high school. Students who continue with their College program after graduation will have courses credited towards their chosen program of study as appropriate.

How will I be treated on the College campus?

The rights, responsibilities and expectations of any College student will apply to you.

If I participate in an apprenticeship will I be guaranteed a job with the employer following high school graduation?

The employer is under no obligation to provide employment following the completion of your dual credit program work experience but may choose to keep the student on as a regular apprentice.

What does having your “ticket” do for your career?

Being a certified tradesperson identifies you as a highly skilled worker, someone in demand by employers and someone who is paid an excellent wage. Certificate of Apprenticeship, Certificate of Qualification, and Interprovincial Standard Endorsement – also known as Red Seal – are commonly referred to in the trades as your “ticket”. Certification is a lot more than just a piece of paper. Certification increases earning potential and employment options, and, in the case of Red Seal trades, makes it possible to work in any province or territory across Canada.

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