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Compassionate Colleges and Universities

SelfDesign Learning Community (Nelson, BC, Canada)

The SelfDesign Learning Community is among the largest distance/distributed learning schools and personalized learning programs in British Columbia, Canada. Funded by the BC Ministry of Education, SelfDesign enables learners to complete K-12 by exploring their passions and taking the lead in their own learning and life. With personalized guidance from BC-certified educators, learning unfolds at home and within local and online communities.


A Certified Educational Alternative

Our K-12 program is a secular “distributed learning” school certified and funded by the BC Ministry of Education. For SelfDesign, this means that instead of having a single bricks-and-mortar facility we use online communications and local programs to support learners and their families throughout British Columbia.


Tuition-Free Innovative Education

Our K-12 program is open to everyone and includes access to a range of learning resources and services. We believe that leading educational practices should be equally available to all.


Personalized for Each Learner

With SelfDesign, all learners join in designing their own learning plans, customizing how and what they will learn based on their own interests, curiosities, and needs. As a result of this approach, our learners are known for their confidence, creativity, resourcefulness, and passion for life—all ingredients for happiness and success.


Support from a Certified Educator

All learners and their families are matched with a BC-certified educator who provides a range of support while validating learning for academic credit. In K-9, these educators are called learning consultants, and in 10-12 they are called guiding. As reflected in these names, the educator’s role evolves as the learner grows older, from consulting and supporting parents to being an ally and guide for learners.

In 10-12, learners also have access to course mentors to provide subject expertise, as well as ESL trained mentors that provide timely and effective guidance to learners whose first language is not English.



With SelfDesign, learners decide the pace of their own learning—accelerating or slowing down in particular areas as desired, often experiencing the equivalent of multiple grade levels at once. In this way, they gain more from each moment of learning by always working from a foundation of readiness and self-worth.


Flexible Learning Schedule

With SelfDesign, learning happens anytime—accommodating active families, traveling families, and learners with time-intensive commitments.


A Connection to Community

SelfDesign believes in creating opportunities to learn in community. If a family chooses, they can connect with other SelfDesign families online and in-person. Also, many learners connect to community through learning cohorts, volunteering, service learning, cross-enrolment, and more.

Location: Nelson, British Columbia, Canada



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