Faculty assisting an ACP student

WEST — Workplace Essential Skills and Training Program

The WEST Program is specifically targeted to students with developmental and cognitive disabilities. It is designed to assist students' development with personal, interpersonal, and employment skills required to obtain and maintain employment. The overarching program goal is for the students to gain skills necessary to foster personal growth and independence.  Students will acquire and develop vocational, academic, work, and essential life skills. The WEST Program is offered at the Nanaimo and Cowichan campuses. See WEST program details.

"Several of our Skills for Life students have gone from our Ladysmith Secondary School to the WEST/ELST program at [VIU]. The program has proven to be excellent for these students - allowing them to experience university life, to sample a variety of work-related situations, to improve social, interpersonal, and work-related skills, and to have fun learning. The staff is very conscientious and get results!"

H. Mallet, Skills for Life Teacher at Ladysmith Secondary School

Contact Information

Curious to see what our program is like? We invite you to be a "student for the day!" Come meet WEST faculty and students currently in the program. For more information or to arrange a classroom visit, email or phone:



Financial Assistance is available

Funding for students with financial needs is available. Contact VIU's Financial Aid & Awards office for more info.

Get in touch with the VIU Financial Aid office