Edmonton’s Academic Upgrading Programs: Which One Is Right For You?

by | Sep 10, 2020 | News, Uncategorized

By Chris Avery

Academic upgrading is an essential tool for students on a path toward a post-secondary education. Many prospective students may wonder what school is best for finishing their highschool classes. The good news is, many schools in Edmonton offer the chance to improve your highschool grades. NAIT, NorQuest College and Grant MacEwan all offer a variation of upgrading and higher education, each having a similar structure but slightly varying end goals.

If you are looking for prerequisite requirements for a specific program, or to finish your high school diploma or even to achieve higher marks for certain high school courses, all three institutions provide a model to aid in a student’s academic success.

Navigating each institution’s website can be challenging when trying to determine the right fit. Luckily, the Nugget did the work for you. We’ve assembled a short and simple breakdown of each school’s upgrading programs.


NAIT’s Continuing Education department offers insight to their approach for academic upgrading.

“[The] program is a bridging program designed for adults from a variety of academic backgrounds to gain prerequisite entrance requirements needed for post-secondary study,” states the programs webpage.

The great thing about upgrading at NAIT is that it prepares you for continuing your education at one of NAIT’s many programs:

“Upon successful completion of our Academic Upgrading program, you will be eligible for conditional acceptance into NAIT credit programs, pending successful completion of all other entrance requirements.”

This is excellent news for prospective students looking to upgrade their knowledge and skills and achieve their greatest potential.


Also called Academic Upgrading, NorQuest College provides a slightly different framework for future students:

“You can choose to upgrade only the courses you need for post-secondary entrance or you can earn a high school diploma or general education diploma (GED),” states NorQuest’s website. “These courses prepare you to continue your studies at NorQuest or other post-secondary institutions in Alberta and across Canada.”

A very similar system to NAIT’s, but with more generalized flexibility. This program is preferable for adult learners who may have been out of school for some time.


Much like NAIT and NorQuest College, Grant MacEwan presents a summary of their Continuing Education department and its program, with their main target being international students.

“The University Preparation program helps international students improve their high school grades to become more competitive or admissible in applying to Canadian post-secondary programs,” said the website. “Students will get a personalized assessment of their current academic standing and a customized education plan.”

With a variety of options provided, each institution demonstrates accessibility for anyone looking to achieve higher education.

Essentially, the main differences are determined by the student’s post-secondary desires; be it going back into the workforce, applying for further university studies or simply wanting to brush up on your math.

Each institution offers varying post-secondary education certificates, diplomas, apprenticeship training, and degrees. To recognize your appropriate place for upgrading, look to the school’s upper level offerings to determine the right path for you.

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