Important notice: We are currently updating program information for the 2021-22 academic year. The fees displayed on this page are for the 2020-2021 academic year, to see fees for the 2021-2022 academic year click here. This notice will be removed when updates are complete.

Your future is waiting and the Academic Upgrading program will get you there with courses that are accepted in lieu of high school courses at Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.

See the Courses tab below for details on program delivery.


Request information  Apply now



At Lethbridge College, we understand that a career path doesn’t always progress in a straight line. So we’ve created a variety of different pathways to help you achieve your life and career goals in a way that works for you.

Our upgrading courses can help you change directions or choose a new path to professional success. Whether you need to complete high school equivalency courses or upgrade your marks, Academic Upgrading will prepare you for where you want to go.

Get started towards your future today.

Guide on becoming an
upgrading student

Your future

The career of your dreams is waiting. Many courses are accepted in lieu of high school courses for admission at Alberta’s universities, colleges and technical institutes, as well as most colleges and universities in the United States. Or you can stay close to home and take one of our programs, such as:

  • Bachelor of Nursing
  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice – Policing
  • Educational Assistant
  • Exercise Science
  • General Studies
  • Multimedia Production
  • Natural Resource Compliance
  • Unit Clerk Training
Starts In: September and January
Application Deadlines:

For current application status, terms being processed and application deadlines visit the Program Application Status page.

Credential: Credential of Achievement

Courses numbered at any of the 0010, 0020, or 0030 levels in this program are accepted in lieu of high school courses for admission at Alberta’s universities, colleges, and technical institutes, as well as at most colleges and universities in the United States. However, students do not receive high school credits towards a diploma from Alberta Education. Lethbridge College issues its own grades and its own credential.

Delivery Format

Online courses are instructor led. Communications, teaching and assessment components are delivered solely online, and do not have any on-campus elements. They are taught through a learning management system and may be either synchronous (in real-time on a set schedule) or asynchronous (learning that does not occur at the same time or same place). Students complete all their work online and are not required to come to campus.


Learning does not occur at the same time or same place. Instructor provides materials including online readings, recorded lectures or presentations, posted lecture notes, video content, assignments and exams for online completion. Students access the course materials within a flexible timeframe prescribed by the instructor.


Learning happens in real time. Student and instructors interact and engage with each other in a specific virtual space, through a specific online medium, at a specific time. This can include video conferencing, live chatting, and live-streaming lectures.

Your learning experience will be online, both synchronously (at a specific time with other students and the instructor) and asynchronously (you can access materials within a flexible timeframe prescribed by your instructor). Our faculty and instructors will provide you with quality learning experiences that will help build relationships, develop a sense of community wherever you are located, and give you the academic foundations you need for your life ahead. You will also connect with our committed staff, who will support you through academic advice, health and wellbeing, volunteer opportunities, career information, learning assistance, financial aid, and so many other ways. We remain connected and accessible in this new learning environment.


Learning Environment

Students register in courses that fit their career goals on the recommendation of the Lethbridge College advising team. Transcripts and entry testing decide course level placement. All upgrading students are eligible to take COL and CPU courses at any time.

Our courses are offered in a variety of formats. The format in which a course is offered may change at short notice, depending on enrolments and student needs.

The current delivery formats are:

Online • You will complete the entire course using the online environment.

Course Code Title Credits


New students are accepted into the Academic Upgrading program for courses beginning in the Fall (September) and Winter (January) terms.

General admission requirements

All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs as indicated in the Admissions section of this calendar.

Academic requirements

The Academic Upgrading program is open to any person who has the desire and the academic skills to be successful at a selected course level. Admission is based on academic background, skills assessment and advisement.

High school equivalencies

Academic Upgrading courses satisfy post-secondary program entrance requirements as substitutes for Grade 12 level courses. No provincial departmental exams are required. The course numbering designates grade levels:

  • Courses numbered 0010-0019 parallel Grade 10 level courses.
  • Courses numbered 0020-0029 parallel Grade 11 level courses.
  • Courses numbered 0030-0039 parallel Grade 12 level courses.

For further details, consult the Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer (ACAT) guide or talk to an advisor.

Registration changes

Course registrations or “add/drops” must be carried out in consultation with an academic advisor and sponsorship supervisor, if applicable. It is the student’s responsibility to register for and maintain credit minimums as required for sponsorship and to ensure his/her registration is sufficient to meet the sponsoring agencies’ requirements.


Students in the Academic Upgrading program who accumulate at least 18 credits in academic courses are eligible to receive a credential of achievement. To qualify, students must take three courses numbered 0030 through 0039, including at least one English course, and achieve a minimum grade point average of 1.50.


Academic Year Tuition Fees Books & Supplies
Year 1 $1,500.00 $953.00 $1,156.00

Our Budget Wizard is a free self-service tool that can help you make sense of your finances and the cost of your education. Give it a try!

Budget Wizard

  • Costs for supplies may vary considerably depending on what students already have or where they purchased their supplies; cost provided is on the moderately high end.
  • Students will be charged a medical/dental benefit fee unless they opt out by demonstrating alternative coverage prior to the end of the first week of class.
  • Tuition for international students is $10,500. The cost of additional fees, books and supplies is the same for all students.

Accessible, affordable, attainable

Our Academic Upgrading program is one of the most accessible upgrading programs in Alberta based on price and course availability.

At Lethbridge College, we know that it’s never too late to change directions and switch career paths. That’s why we’re proud to offer an upgrading pathway to help you reach your academic and career goals. Our Academic Upgrading program is one of the most accessible upgrading programs in Alberta based on price and course availability. And our courses have been approved by the Provincial Academic Upgrading Council, meaning you can complete high school course pre-requisites for entry into post-secondary programs at Lethbridge College and other colleges and universities across Alberta and Canada.

Your academic, professional and personal goals are attainable. Let us help you go where you want.

From here to there: alumni updates

Lethbridge College isn’t just a place to go to school – we’re a community that is here to support you from your initial interest in our program through to the moment you cross the stage at Convocation and beyond. Just take a look at where an LC education has taken some of our grads.

Aja Mason

“Way back in 2000, I was 17 and I’d just hitchhiked from Whitehorse, Yukon, to find myself working in a cat litter factory in Lethbridge of all places! After a couple of years of drudgery and hard labour, the need to go back to school was all too apparent. I’d only finished grade eight back in the Yukon and had myself convinced that I’d not much in the way of academic potential. I applied for some basic upgrading courses and found myself deeply drawn to biology and science. In particular, one bio instructor, Kelly Oikawa, encouraged me to ‘speak to my strengths.’ After two years of upgrading, I soon found myself enrolled in a B.Sc. in Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge. I ended up working in a lab studying cognition throughout my entire undergrad. I later went on to study philosophy at the University of Victoria. Now, I have a pretty amazing career researching the immunological and neurochemical dynamics of malaria here at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. I attribute much of my success to the support and dedication of the upgrading team, the learning centre and the phenomenal teachers at Lethbridge College.”

– From Spring 2015 Wider Horizons

Success stories from Wider Horizons