The following is an overview of British Columbia's High School Graduation Program.
To earn a Dogwood Diploma, students must complete a minimum of 80 credits as follows:
- 52 required course credits
- 28 elective course credits
- 16 credits must be from Grade 12 courses
Required Course Credits
- Language Arts 10 course (4 credits)
- Language Arts 11 course (4 credits)
- Language Arts 12 course (4 credits)
- Social Studies 10 (4 credits)
- Social Studies 11 or 12 (4 credits)
- Science 10 (4 credits)
- Science 11 or 12 (4 credits)
- Mathematics 10 (4 credits)
- Mathematics 11 or 12 (4 credits)
- Physical Education 10 (4 credits)
- An Arts Education 10, 11, or 12 and/or an Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies 10, 11, or 12 (4 credits)
- Career-Life Education (4 credits)
- Career-Life Connections (4 credits)
Consistent with the principle of giving students choices in their studies, elective courses provide students with the opportunity to tailor their learning to their interests as they work toward their diploma. They may earn elective credits by completing ministry authorized courses, BAA courses, and external courses such as post-secondary institutions.
Students may also earn elective credits by completing Required Courses over and above those needed for graduation. For example, a student could meet the science requirement for graduation by completing Science 10 and earning 4 credits in Biology 11. The student could then go on to earn 4 elective credits by completing Biology 12.
Elective Courses include (but not limited to):
- Physics 11 and 12
- Chemistry 11 and 12
- Life Sciences 11
- Anatomy and Physiology 12
- Information Technology 11 and 12
- Geology 12
- Art 11 and 12
- Economics 12
- Photography 10
- The new Grade 10 Graduation Numeracy Assessment introduced in 2018
- The new Grade 10 Graduation Literacy Assessment will be introduced in 2019/20
- The New Grade 12 Graduation Literacy Assessment will be introduced in 2020/21
Benefits of GCA
1. Save Time and Money
Students can experience studying abroad while living close to home. Normally, a student pays about 200,000 RMB/year in North America for his/her tuition and overseas room and board, which means a sum of 600,000 RMB for 3 years of study abroad and possibly an extra year for English proficiency improvement would bring the total to 800,000 RMB. By contrast, a student at GCA will pay only 230,000 RMB for all three years of study in China.
2.. Adapt to a North American Environment
Students at GCA more easily acclimatize to the North American environment after studying at GCA. Experienced, Certified Canadian Teachers deliver the curriculum in a Canadian environment. Courses are taught exclusively in English according to the BC Ministry of Education standards. GCA is inspected every year to ensure program and teaching quality. Standards are identical to those in schools in Canada.
3. Best English Curriculum in the World
According to the latest PISA results, Canadian curriculum is the best English curriculum in the world. PISA confirms that Canada is number one in Math, Reading and Science. The newly redesigned BC curriculum emphasizes student-centered classrooms and inquiry-based learning. Rather than simply rote memorization, students are expected to develop core and subject-based competencies.
4. Small Class Sizes
Unlike the massive classes that are standard in China, GCA class sizes are guaranteed to be 28 students or less, allowing teachers to give more personalized attention and instruction to their students.
5. Earn a Dogwood Diploma
Recognized and respected by post-secondary institutions around the world, students at GCA have the opportunity to earn the prestigious Dogwood Diploma. GCA students are registered with the BC Ministry of Education and monitored as they complete the requirements for graduation.
6. Apply to Universities Worldwide
Students graduating from GCA have enrolled in colleges and universities all over the world. Generally, graduates can apply directly for study at universities in Canada, U.S.A., and other English-speaking countries without the need for foundational studies or admissions tests. The school invites Canadian and other English university representatives to visit the school and give students relevant information about their institutions. The BC Ministry also participates in helping students acquire study permits so that study VISAs are more assured.
7. Earn Scholarships
Students with extremely good academic performance may qualify for university scholarships. There are even new scholarships specifically for Offshore students.
8. Immigration and Work Opportunities
Students may, after graduating from universities abroad, have opportunities to work overseas and immigrate to Canada.
Contrast between High Schools in China and Canada
High Schools in China
High Schools in Canada
- Emphasis on high-stakes tests
- Emphasis on rote knowledge
- Regurgitation of knowledge
- Textbook: classical
- Classroom: Listen and take notes
- Emphasis on Comprehension and Competency
- Emphasis on critical thinking
- Analytical/Deductive Reasoning
- Textbook: reference
- Classroom: discussion
GCA prepares students for universities around the world
Graduates from GCA are well prepared to apply to post-secondary institutions in Canada, the USA and other English-Speaking countries. A number of our graduates also receive scholarships. We provide our students with advisors and counselling to assist with their university applications. The BC Ministry of Education facilitates our students’ study permit application process.
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