Adult Learning and Frequently Asked Questions

Vista Virtual School students can work at any time, and in any place. This means that you, as an adult student, will have the flexibility to get the education you deserve!

We help students of all ages achieve success in their academic careers. Registering with Vista Virtual School gives you access to a variety of courses to complete your high school diploma, improve your high school marks, learn a new skill, or fulfill post-secondary requirements.

If you have questions or difficulties filling out our registration form, please contact Vista Virtual School Support via email at vvsadults@phrd.ab.ca or by phoning 1-855-974-5333 Ext. 5317.

Ready to register? Click here!

Below are Frequently Asked Questions for adult learners. Additional common questions (and answers) are found under Student & Parent Info in our Common Questions section.

Am I Eligible to Register with Vista Virtual School?

To register with Vista Virtual School, you must be:

  • A resident of Alberta. (Though you may temporarily reside elsewhere.); and
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

You will need to provide official documentation proving your citizenship upon registration. This might include your Canadian birth certificate, passport, citizenship card, or landed immigrant card. You may also be asked to provide documentation proving your Alberta residency.

How do I Determine if I am an Adult Student?

Alberta Education defines an adult student as any student who is 20 years of age or older on September 1, of the current school year.

What can I Expect from my Instruction in a Vista Virtual School Course?

Vista Virtual School courses are accessed online, with students working through content and assignments on their own schedule—it is a very independent way of learning, with teachers available by phone or email during regular school hours to answer specific questions about the course content.

Teachers are very happy to answer your questions, and may have additional videos or other resources to help you understand the course content; however, we do not undertake individual instruction or tutorials with students.

Can I Still Register if I Did my Schooling Outside of Alberta?

Yes, you can register to upgrade with Vista Virtual School as long as you are now a resident of Alberta. In your registration application, please upload a copy of your high school transcript and/or applicable post-secondary marks for review by our Academic Counselors.

It is also helpful for you to create an Alberta Student Number (ASN) and include it in your registration. Any course you complete with Vista Virtual School will be reported on your Alberta high school transcript.

Do I Need Prerequisites?

As an adult student, you do not require prerequisite courses, but you need to demonstrate that you have the prerequisite skills. Especially if you have completed upgrading in a college program or a high school outside of Alberta. All transcripts from your academic work should be included with your registration.

You may be asked to show your prerequisite skills through a placement exercise. By placing you in the best course for your skill level as demonstrated through a placement exercise, we are better able to help you succeed in your course.

If you do not have the recommended prerequisite for a course, please contact our Academic Counselors at vvsadults@phrd.ab.ca to discuss your options and to assist you in selecting the best course for your current skill level.

Is there Financial Assistance?

Adult students upgrading by distance education may be eligible for the Alberta Works Skills Investment Bursary (SIB). The Skills Investment Bursary is administered by the Alberta Students Finance Board and Alberta Human Services. A key goal of this program is to increase opportunities for Albertans to gain the knowledge and skills needed to obtain sustainable employment, increase their incomes, and reduce the need for government support.

Note: All Vista Virtual School funding for the Skills Investment Bursary (SIB) is now allocated for the 2018-19 school year. You can apply for funding for the 2019-20 school year starting in April 2019.

  • Eligible students may receive up to $5,000 per year and, as this is a bursary not a loan—you do not pay it back.
  • Applications can take 8-12 weeks for approval through Alberta Works and students cannot start the course(s) until the funding is received by Vista Virtual School (i.e., the Session Start Date).
  • Students are allowed to apply for up to 10 course credits (two core courses) at a time; however, one course at a time is strongly recommended.
  • Students are given 20 weeks to complete the course(s) and must submit assignments according to a set timeline. Please review the Attendance Practice for Alberta Works Funded Students.

More information can be accessed on the Alberta Human Services website.

Skills Investment Bursary (SIB) Session Dates

How do I Apply for the Skills Investment Bursary (SIB)?

Note: All Vista Virtual School funding for the Skills Investment Bursary (SIB) is now allocated for the 2018-19 school year. You can apply for funding for the 2019-20 school year starting in April 2019.

Skills Investment Bursary (SIB) Application Instructions:

  1. Review SIB Application Instructions.
  2. Fill out sections 1 through 6 of the Skills Investment Bursary Form:
    • Having issues opening the form? Make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
    • Right-click the link you’d like to download.
    • Choose “Save Link As…”, save to your desktop.
    • Open the file.
  3. Register online with Vista Virtual School:
    • Answer Yes to Are you applying for financial assistance through the Skills Investment Bursary with Alberta Works?
    • Once your registration is confirmed, Vista Virtual School will complete the Training Provider Information form, and we’ll email the completed form to you. Your Session Start Date and End Date will be included on this form.
  4. Once Vista Virtual School returns the Training Provider Information form to you, submit your bursary application to the Learner Income Support Office. This can be done by either:
    • Applying online Note: If you apply online, you will be required to sign the final page of your SIB application and submit it, along with your Training Provider Information form, or
    • Mailing the application and supporting documents to:
      Learner Income Support Office
      Box 17000, Station Main
      Edmonton, AB  T5J 4R4.
  5. Await a decision. Alberta Works will review your application and notify you of its decision. This review may take up to 12 weeks. Once you have been approved for funding, you will receive a Funding Decision letter from Alberta Works; please email a copy of this letter to vvsupport@phrd.ab.ca
  6. After you have been approved for funding, Vista Virtual School will contact you, enrol you in your course(s) on your approved session start date, and ship your required course materials.
  7. You may be enrolled in your course(s) and receive a confirmation email with your Vista Virtual School login information prior to your Session Start Date. On your Session Start Date, you can log in to access your online course content and start your course(s).

Skills Investment Bursary (SIB) Session Dates

How can a Third Party Make Payment on my Behalf?

If a third party (WCB, Band, etc.) is paying for your course, please register online and answer Yes to Will a third party be paying for this registration?, Vista Virtual School will email you an authorization of payment letter for you to forward to your third party contact. Some third parties have accounts that Vista Virtual School can invoice, while others will need to send us the funding by cheque or credit card. Once the third party authorization and funding is received, we will enrol you in your course(s).

Attendance Practice for Alberta Works Funded Students

Students funded through the Part-Time Skills Investment Bursary (SIB) through Alberta Works
must meet Alberta Human Services’ minimum policy requirements for attendance. In order to
meet attendance requirements in a distance learning environment, Alberta Works funded
students are expected to complete and submit coursework on a regular basis in order to
indicate attendance.

Vista Virtual School (VVS) students funded through Alberta Works are expected to complete
courses within 20 weeks. In order to indicate attendance, work must be submitted in each
course each week. Timelines for assignment submission will be provided upon enrollment;
students are expected to adhere to their timeline. Medical documentation is required to
substantiate missed deadlines.

To keep students informed, VVS will provide a progress report to funded adult students each
week to show their work to date in a course.
If a student falls behind in expected submission of their coursework, disciplinary actions will be
taken according to the following schedule:

  • 20% behind expected course completion – 1st warning
  • 30% behind expected course completion – 2nd warning
  • 40% behind expected course completion – Expulsion from the course and SIB program.

If a student is withdrawn from a course due to lack of progress, they will be required to re-apply
to Alberta Works for re-enrollment.

To help mitigate the risk of students being withdrawn from courses, all funded adult students will be
advised of and must agree to the Attendance Policy for Funded Adult Students prior to being
accepted to a VVS course.

Reference:

Alberta Works Attendance Policy Requirements

Alberta Works Part-Time Training (Skills Investment Bursary)

Refund Policy

Refunds for Adult Students

Registration Fees
Application declined by VVSFull refund
Application cancelled at student’s request before the registration is processed and any course materials are shippedFull refund
Registration withdrawn within 45 days of enrolment date with zero to three
lessons or assignments submitted
Refund less $50 processing fee
Registration withdrawn within 45 days of enrolment date, but with more than
three lessons or assignments submitted (to a maximum of five lessons or assignments)
Refund less 50% of registration fee
Registration withdrawn after 45 days of enrolmentNo refund
Required Instructional Materials
Application declined by VVSFull refund
Application cancelled at student’s request before the registration is processed and any course materials are shippedFull refund
Textbooks and materials (unused and in resealable condition) returned after registration cancelled or withdrawn within 45 days of enrolmentRefund less 10% restocking fee
Textbooks (if registration is not withdrawn within 45 days enrolment)No refund for adult students
Help—my Question is Not Listed!

For more information, see our Policies & Procedures section or our Common Questions section; you can also contact us at vvsadults@phrd.ab.ca, or give us a call at 1-855-974-5333 Ext. 5317.