NIC VICE-PRESIDENT of student and education services and planning Lisa Domae; Jan Carrie

North Island College now partner with UNBC

North Island students have better access to professional science careers, thanks to a new agreement with the University of Northern B.C.

North Island students have better access to professional science careers, thanks to a new agreement between NIC and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in Prince George.

The NIC-UNBC Dual Admission Agreement gives students the ability to apply to NIC and UNBC at the same time — securing their path into five Bachelor of Science programs at UNBC.

Students take one or two years of classes at NIC before specializing in Chemistry, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Physics, or Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UNBC. The programs lead to medical, environmental engineering, natural resources, and environmental studies careers, and more.

“Now NIC’s growing number of science students can study close to home, save money, and access all the support and recreation opportunities they’re used to, knowing their transition into UNBC’s science degrees is absolutely secure,” said Christine Hodgson, NIC biology instructor and department chair.

NIC’s biology, chemistry, and math courses are increasingly popular as are NIC’s university partnership agreements in sciences, engineering, and arts. In recent years, several NIC students have moved from second-year sciences to UNBC, where they applied to UBC’s Northern Medical Program after their third year.

Camila Sanchez studied NIC sciences for two years before moving to UNBC; she is now recommending the route to her younger sibling.

“My brother is studying sciences at NIC right now and he’s considering UNBC,” she said. “I tell him that going from NIC to UNBC is a perfect transition. By the time you get to your third year, the class sizes are smaller, and you’re in a community that feels really comfortable — just like at NIC.”

The Northern Medical Program was established to improve the health of BC’s rural communities. Created with the understanding that doctors trained in rural, remote, northern, and Aboriginal communities are more likely to stay in them on graduation, the program considers students’ experience and commitment to living and working in rural communities as part of its admission process.

The pathway into UNBC’s Bachelor of Science degree is ideal for students considering medical careers.

“The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program, included in this agreement, is by leaps and bounds UNBC’s most accepted program into the Northern Medical Program,” said UNBC Registrar Troy Hanschen, who worked at NIC and is very familiar with the Comox Valley.

He knows NIC students will feel right at home at UNBC and invites students to drop in for a visit.

“Give our student advisors a call, and come up for a day, sit in on classes, and find out what it’s like to be here,” Hanschen said. “We’re ready to roll out the red carpet for NIC students.”

UNBC proudly distinguishes itself as BC’s smallest research-intensive university, providing students greater access to undergraduate research than BC universities up to 10 times its size.

The agreement is UNBC’s first dual admission agreement, created to develop new opportunities for NIC students on the island and Central Coast, where NIC and UNBC share educational jurisdiction.

For more information on the NIC-UNBC dual admission partnership, visit, arrange to talk to a student adviser at 1-800-715-0914, or e-mail

— North Island College


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