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.
- 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.
- SIB Applications take 10-12 weeks for approval through Alberta Works and students cannot start the course until the funding is received by Vista Virtual School (i.e., the Session Start Date). Students may not pay for a course upfront and seek reimbursement after applying for the SIB.
- VVS students funded through Alberta Works (SIB) are required to complete courses within 24 weeks and must submit work according to a set timeline.
Step 1: Learn about the Skills Investment Bursary (SIB):
- Visit the Alberta Works website for the SIB eligibility criteria for part-time learners.
Step 2: Register online with Vista Virtual School (VVS):
- Answer Yes to Are you applying for financial assistance through the Skills Investment Bursary with Alberta Works?
- Once your registration is confirmed, VVS will email you the information you require to complete your SIB Application Form (i.e, your Session Dates).
- Note: You can be enrolled in up to two SIB-funded course at a time.
Step 3: Complete your Skills Investment Bursary (SIB) Application Form:
- Apply Online: Create a My Alberta Digital ID (MADI) at account.alberta.ca. Once your MADI account is verified, go to myalbertasupports.alberta.ca and click Apply Online.
- Apply in Writing: Go to the Alberta Works website. At the bottom of the page, download the Skills Investment Bursary Application for Part-Time Study (EMP5571) form, save the PDF to your computer, and fill it out.
- Students must submit their completed SIB Application form to VVS before they send it to the Learner Income Support Office (LISO).
Step 4: Receive your Training Provider Information Form
- Once we have received your SIB Application, VVS will email you a Training Provider Information (TPI) form.
- You will be required to print the TPI form to add to your SIB Application.
Step 5: Submit your SIB Application to LISO. This can be done by either:
- If you applied online, you may submit your SIB application and supporting documents through your MADI account.
- If you applied in writing, mail the SIB Application and supporting documents to:
- Learner Income Support Office
Box 17000, Station Main
Edmonton, AB T5J 4R4; or
- Learner Income Support Office
- Note: You need to submit your completed SIB Application to LISO as soon as possible, to ensure funding is received in time for your Session Start Date.
Step 6: Await a decision. Alberta Works will review your Application and notify you of its decision—this review takes a minimum of 10 weeks.
- Once you have been approved for funding, you will be mailed a Funding Decision letter from Alberta Works. Email a copy of this letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- After you are approved for funding, VVS will enroll you in your course on your approved Session Start Date, and ship your required course materials.
- Note: VVS is unable to enrol you in your course until we have received written confirmation that your funding has been approved (i.e., your Funding Decision Letter, or Alberta Works Notice of Payment).
To inquire about the status of your SIB Application, please contact the Learner Income Support Office (LISO).
Students funded through the Part-Time Skills Investment Bursary (SIB) through Alberta Works must meet Alberta Human Services’ minimum policy requirements for 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 weekly. 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:
- No assignments submitted within the first week – 1st warning;
- Student is 10% behind expected course completion in the first four weeks – 2nd warning; and
- Student falls 20% behind in the first four weeks – Expulsion from the course and SIB program.
Or, at any point in the course after the first four weeks:
- 20% behind expected course completion – 1st warning;
- 30% behind expected course completion – 2nd warning; or
- 40% behind expected course completion – Expulsion from the course and SIB program.
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.
Note: VVS does not accept new SIB applications from previous SIB students who did not complete their funded course. Other schools and colleges may be able to accept SIB students who did not finish previous SIB funded courses.