How It Works

With direct support from a BC-certified educator, learners and their families gain lifelong skills in how to personalize, adapt, and follow one's own learning path.

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 learning opportunities to support learners and their families throughout British Columbia.

Tuition-Free Innovative Education

Our K-12 program is open to everyone in British Columbia 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 learning goals.

Acknowledgement and Focus on Self-Awareness

One of the most important subjects of all is one's self. The art and science of introspection is an underlying theme in our programming. 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 mentors. 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 the option of working with an ESL trained mentor for learners whose first language is not English.

While working at many levels of education over the past forty years, I have noticed that the family is too often left out of the process. What inspires me most about SelfDesign is how we nurture the relationship between learner, family, and educator and the conversations that unfold between them.
Kathleen Forsythe, Former Principal of the SelfDesign Learning Community


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. We support families to connect with others online and in-person. Also, many learners connect to community through special learning opportunities & events, workshops, camps, volunteering, service learning, and more.