Coast Mountain College

Coast Mountain College | Terrace, B.C. | Founded 1975

Marine Ecology Field Day in Prince Rupert (Courtesy of Coast Mountain College)

Tucked away in the coastal mountains of British Columbia near the Great Bear Rainforest, Coast Mountain College provides its communities with innovative programs and experiential, place-based education. Formerly known as Northwest Community College, the school has campuses in Hazelton, Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Smithers and Terrace. The school offers a range of certificates, diplomas, associate degrees, trades, apprenticeships and upgrading programs. With strong ties to the local First Nations, Coast Mountain emphasizes Indigenous programming; the college’s student body is made up of 47 per cent self-identified Indigenous students. The First Nations fine arts program at Coast Mountain is the only one of its kind in Canada. Artists focus on the northern style of West Coast First Nations art.

Intensive summer field schools condense a full semester into a few weeks. One field school session explores criminal justice: students work alongside members of the RCMP as they investigate a crime using forensic studies and participate in a court-based mock trial. Another, Icefields to Oceans, sees students examine the geography of northern B.C. and Alaska, in part through a 12- to 14-day field trip to mines and glaciers. 

In 2019, the school announced a $19-million project to build two new 54-bed student housing complexes at the school’s Terrace campus. They are expected to open in the fall. A $4-million renovation of the school’s library began in 2020. The new space will include learning areas, workshop spaces and a reading area designated for student parents to care for their children.

Size of school Tuition (degree) Tuition (diploma) Tuition (certificate) Tuition (post-graduate) Residence Offerings
Small (fewer than 2,000 full-time students) $3,327 $2,964 $2,026 $2,668 Yes

Cool options

  • Criminology: Students explore the criminal justice system through forensic studies and mock trials.
  • First Nations Fine Art: The Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art offers programs that focus on the traditional art of the First Nations of the Pacific’s northwestern coast.
  • Field Schools: These programs combine a full semester’s worth of learning into a few weeks. Past options have included studies of icefields and watershed ecosystems.

Popular Programs

  • Business 
  • University Transfer and Field Schools 
  • Foundational Learning
  • Dual Credit Trades Training 
  • Health-Care Assistant

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