The Native Education College (NEC) was established in 1967 and founded by Ray Collins who worked at the Departments of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. The College, then called the Native Education Centre, began as a project to meet the educational needs of Indigenous people who relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia from their rural First Nation community. The overall objective was to provide Indigenous adult learners with the academic and life skills to secure employment and improve their quality of life. By 1979, NEC became a private College, operated and controlled by BC First Nations.
Today the College provides a supportive learning environment, including cultural activities, which creates a connection to the Indigenous community of Metro Vancouver.
At Native Education College, we offer various programs in academic upgrading, business, health sciences, social sciences & humanities, or fine arts. Most of our certificate and diploma programs are transferrable to other post-secondary schools in British Columbia.
Every year, the College delivers project specific programming. In 2017, we added The Essential: Skills, Culture, Knowledge, a funded program designed for individuals facing barriers, who are planning to enter into the workforce for the first time, return after an absence, or those changing careers. In 2018, we added Justice and Public Safety Career Preparatory Certificate which will prepare Indigenous learners for options working in paramedicine, firefighting, corrections, policing and law enforcement.