Education Programs

Adult Basic Education Program

The Adult Basic Education Programming (ABE) covers grades 1 to 12. When successfully completed, it results in a high school diploma (or its equivalent). Education falls under provincial jurisdiction. Because of this, the program is regulated at the provincial level by each province’s Ministry of Education Footnote *.

There are four levels within the adult basic education programming. Each level corresponds to an offender’s functioning grade level. While there are some provincial differences, levels are generally grouped as follows:

  • ABE Level I covers grades 1 to 5
  • ABE Level II covers grades 6 to 8
  • ABE Level III covers grades 9 and 10
  • ABE Level IV covers grades 11 and 12

Equivalencies in the Quebec Region are:

  • ABE Level I covers grades 1 to 6
  • ABE Level II covers secondaire I, II
  • ABE Level III covers secondaire III, IV
  • ABE Level IV Program covers secondaire V

General Educational Development Program

The General Educational Development Program lets offenders gain equivalency skills for a basic secondary education.

To get a general educational development high school equivalency certificate, they have to successfully complete tests in five areas:

  1. Writing
  2. Reading
  3. Mathematics
  4. Social studies
  5. Science

English (or French) as a Second Language Program

The English (or French) as a Second Language Program is for offenders who cannot read, write or speak in either official language (English or French).

Keys to Family Literacy Program

The Keys to Family Literacy Program is offered at women’s institutions. It aims to link literacy with parenting skills and keep women offenders in school. It also strives to encourage positive attitudes and behaviours.

The program is delivered in 3 phases. It takes 5 to 7 weeks to complete. The first phase teaches women to read to their children. The books they use are chosen because their themes can be used to direct discussions about important family concepts. In the second phase, the women tell stories suitable for sharing with their children. In the third phase, the women learn to write stories.

Post-Secondary Prerequisite Program

The Post-Secondary Prerequisite Program is for offenders who already have a high school certificate or diploma. They take high school courses that they need to participate in post-secondary studies, vocational programs or to get a job.

Post-Secondary Education Program

The Post-Secondary Education Program lets offenders increase learning, learn a trade or profession, or update trade qualifications.

Courses are usually taken through correspondence with community colleges or universities. Offenders may only participate if they meet the academic requirements. They must pay for the cost of courses. In some cases, CSC may approve an exception to this. The criteria are outlined in Commissioner’s Directive 720 Education Programs and Services for Offenders.


Footnote *

Exceptions may be made for a single Ministry of Education to regulate education programs across multiple provinces when a region is comprised of more than one province.

Return to footnote * referrer