Native Education College

Native Education College | Vancouver | Founded 1979

Native Education College students on campus

Native Education College. (Jason Brawn)

Native Education College (NEC) is the largest private Indigenous college in British Columbia. It honours the cultural perspectives of its students. Its unique campus in Vancouver is modelled in form and function on a traditional cedar longhouse and features a totem pole created by well-known carver Norman Tait.

NEC offers career-track programming as well as a pathway to bachelor’s degrees at seven post-secondary institutions in the province. Diplomas and certificates are offered in subjects that include community counselling, business and health care. The Aboriginal adult basic education program prepares students for post-secondary education. It incorporates an Indigenous perspective through its focus on cultural studies, self-government and First Nations studies.

Some courses, including essential skills for Indigenous business, office administration, Aboriginal tourism operations and Northwest Coast jewellery arts, are free to Indigenous students.

NEC’s program in Northwest Coast jewellery arts teaches formline drawing, silver carving and other metalwork techniques. Students learn studio management while producing earrings, bracelets and pendants. A unique program in Aboriginal tourism operations teaches practical skills in ecotourism, heritage interpretation and cross-cultural tourism. After classroom work, students complete a placement with a tourism company.


Size of school Tuition (diploma) Tuition (certificate) Residence offerings
Small (fewer than 2,000 full-time students) $4,000-$9,000 $2,300-$8,500 No

Cool Options

  • Northwest Coast Jewellery Arts: Graduates can continue on to the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, mentor with master artists or become entrepreneurs.
  • Essential Skills for Indigenous Business: Students complete training that prepares them for work in customer service industries such as tourism and finance.
  • Aboriginal Justice Studies: In this 11-month certificate program, students increase their knowledge of the Canadian justice system and examine the issues that affect Indigenous people.

Popular Programs

  • Aboriginal Adult Basic Education
  • Family and Community Counselling
  • Health Care Assistant
  • Office Administration Assistant
  • Aboriginal Justice Studies

More Schools: Vancouver Community CollegeNicola Valley Institute of TechnologyLangara CollegeNorthwest Community CollegeSault College of Applied Arts and Technology