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 such as community counselling, business and health care. The Aboriginal adult basic education program prepares students for post-secondary education, incorporating an Indigenous perspective through its focus on cultural studies, self-government and First Nations studies.

The school’s Essentials course is free to Indigenous students. Other programs such as office administration, Aboriginal tourism operations and Northwest Coast jewellery arts are sometimes free to Indigenous students because of coverage from the Aboriginal Community Care Employment Services Society (ACCESS). In 2017, NEC opened a cultural gathering space at its main campus to give students, faculty and staff a safe place to carry out traditional ceremony and prayer.

NEC’s program in Northwest Coast jewellery arts teaches formline drawing, silver carving and other metalwork techniques. A unique program in Aboriginal tourism operations teaches skills in ecotourism, heritage interpretation and cross-cultural tourism. After classroom work, students also complete a placement with a tourism company.


Size of school Tuition (diploma) Tuition (certificate) Residence offerings
Small (fewer than 2,000 full-time students) $2,700-$8,200 $4,900-$11,300 No

Cool Options

  • Indigenous Land Stewardship: This one-year certificate teaches students about land and resource management, along with Indigenous knowledge of land, community and ecology.
  • The Essentials: Skills, Culture, Knowledge: This option offers cultural teachings, job training, group activities, computer and tech classes and other fundamentals to help students enhance their skills and confidence.
  • Aboriginal Justice Studies: In this 11-month certificate program, students increase their knowledge of the Canadian justice system and examine issues that affect Indigenous people.

Popular Programs

  • Aboriginal Adult Basic Education
  • Family & Community Counselling
  • Health Care Assistant
  • Aboriginal Early Childhood Education
  • Office Administration Certificate

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