North Island College Winter 2024

Meeting Time: T, Th: 10:00 - 11:20 am

Meeting PlaceTyee 203

Instructor: Dan Hinman-Smith

Office: Trades Building 112

Office Hours:  T-Th: 2:30 - 4:00 pm (or by appointment)

Office Phone:  334-5000, Extension 4024

Web- Site for Course:


North Island College is honoured to acknowledge the traditional territories of the combined 35 First Nations of the Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwaka'wakw and Coast Salish traditions, on whose traditional and unceded territories the college's campuses are situated.  The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's final report calls for 94 actions toward restoring a balanced relationship between indigenous peoples and settler communities in this country.

Course Description

This course combines an introduction to the religions of Asia with comparative analysis of some key organizing themes for the study of all world religions. It examines and origins and historical development, the sacred texts, the central tenets, the institutions and rituals of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto.  It also explores selected core concepts such as sacred space, sacred time, sacred rituals and sacred symbols in a comparative context that uses not only these seven eastern religions but also the Abrahamic tradition and other world religions as reference points.  Instruction will combine intensive reading, seminar discussion and lecture presentations.


**It is important that you acquire these books. The Bhagavad-Gita and the Dhammapada are available for purchase at the NIC Bookstore.  You will need to order a paper or e-text edition of Nine Lives on your own.  A few copies of Nine Lives are available on Reserve from the Comox Valley Campus branch of the North Island College Library.  I have also provided links to e-text editions below.  I expect you to get our specific editions of the Bhagavad-Gita and the Dhammapada so that we are reading from a common text.

Gavin Flood and Charles Martin, trans., Bhagavad-Gita: A New Translation  (New York: W.W. Norton, 2012).

Glenn Wallis, trans., Dhammapada: Verses On The Way (New York: Modern Library, 2007).

William Dalrymple, Nine Lives: In Search Of The Sacred In Modern India (London: Bloomsbury, 2009).  The e-text edition of Nine Lives is available for $13, while new paperback copies and used hardback copies of Nine Lives are available at the link to the left and HERE.

Optional Textbook:  I have decided not to have a required textbook in LIB 131.  We will be using basic introductory materials from the Learn Religions web-site as one substitute.  Those who would like a basic textbook introduction to Eastern Religions as an extra reference may find the following volume helpful, though there is no expectation that you acquire this book:

Willard Oxtoby, ed., World Religions: Eastern Traditions (New York: Oxford).

The Teaching Company has a 30-hour Great Courses lecture series, "The Great World Religions," that is available from the North Island College library.  It features superb six-hour introductions to five major faiths, including Hinduism and Buddhism.  These Audio DVDs can be borrowed from or listened to in the library.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students should:

1)  have a basic understanding of the central beliefs, traditions and rituals of Hinduism, Buddhism and the other major eastern religions;

2)  be able to trace the history of the major eastern religions from their origins to the present day;

3)  be able to identify, discuss, analyze and compare sacred texts and key individuals from the various eastern religions;

4)  appreciate the complex interrelationships between the different eastern religions;

5)  be able to highlight contemporary challenges and controversies that face each of the major eastern religions and to frame these issues in a broad context not limited to the present moment;

6)  recognize the concepts and issues basic to the comparative study of religions, including theories as to origins, sacred time and space, myth, scripture, doctrine, law, symbols, and ethics;

7)  be better situated for the lifelong comparative study of the history, philosophy and theology of the world's religion.

My Assumptions About This Course

That you are interested in world religion and eager to learn as much about it as possible in this course.

That it will be impossible to learn all that you would like to learn given the massive amount of relevant material and the time constraints involved.

That my job as instructor is to strike an appropriate balance between providing a common core curriculum and setting up structures that also allow you to study materials of personal interest.

That this course should help to set you up for future formal or informal study of world religion rather than being a survey that teaches you "all that you need to know."

That the success of this course will depend not just upon my efforts but upon your willingness to participate in the creation of a dynamic learning community through your own study and willingness to engage with your classmates.

Tentative Class Schedule

Week 1

Tuesday, January 9

a)  Course Introduction

Thursday, January 11

Class Cancelled: Instructor Illness

Week 2

Tuesday, January 16

a)  Discussion: Varanasi

b)  Lecture: Sacred Varanasi

Class Preparation For January 16

1)  Complete your Reflections Upon Entering The Course and either submit through Brightspace or bring a copy with you to class on Tuesday, January 16

2)  Complete the Reading and Listening Assignments listed below.  There is no certainly no expectation that you access all the Varanasi resources, but spend at least an hour exploring the sites I have provided and then complementing that with your own research.  Be alert for things that are particularly interesting or surprising.

3)  Complete two file cards to hand in at the beginning of class on January 16.  Make sure that your name is on each file card and that each is labeled with a #2 in the top right corner.

a)  One card should offer a brief summary and response to the "Varanasi: A Living History" audio documentary

b)  One card should include a short description of your other Varanasi research.  What resources did you look at and how much time did this involve?  What did you learn and what was most interesting?  Concluding thoughts or comments?

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in Sacred Varanasi  Discussion Topic.

Listening Assignment:

  Listen to "Varanasi: A Living History," Encounter, ABC, November 2, 2013.  Give the program a couple of minutes to download.  The Varanasi documentary is also available on Soundcloud here.

Letter Of Introduction

Reflections Upon Entering The Course: Write a short letter of introduction to me at the beginning of the semester.  This should be at least 100 words in length and is designed to give me a beginning idea of who you are and how I might be serve you as a teacher, and to provide me with an opening snapshot of the class as a whole.  It is also meant to encourage you to think about your own relationship with the study of religion.  You need not use the following questions as cue, but they may be helpful.  Who are you? Where are you from? How might you begin to describe your community and what life is like there if you've come to NIC from far away?  What do you miss and what do you think would most surprise me if I were to visit your hometown?  What are your interests? Why are you taking this course? How would you begin to make sense of your own thoughts about religion and religious studies? Do you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions as we start the course? Although this is not a graded assignment, I would appreciate it if you took several minutes writing a thoughtful introduction.  If you are enrolled in more than one class with me this semester, a single letter of introduction will suffice, but do include some thoughts about religion and religious studies.  If you have already taken a class with me, please update what you sent me before and send me a new letter of introduction.

Thursday, January 18

a)  Discussion:  Swastika As Sacred Symbol

b)  Video:  "Faith Connections" (2013) [117 mins.]

Class Preparation For January 22

1)  Complete one file card to hand in at the beginning of the class on January 18 that briefly summarizes and comments upon the reading and research you did in connection with the Swastika as a Sacred Symbol.  What is most interesting to you about meaning/s, the history, the cross-religious connections, and cross-cultural differences of the Swastika?

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in  Swastika As Sacred Symbol  Discussion Topic.

Optional Extra:

"Reclaiming The Swastika," Documentary Archive, BBC World Service, October 24, 2014.  [28 mins]

Week 3

Tuesday, January 23

a)  Discussion: Kumbh Mela

b)  Lecture:  Essence Of Hinduism: "Truth Is One; Sages Call It By Different Names" (I)

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in  Kumbh Mela  Discussion Topic.

Viewing Assignment:

"Hinduism Through Its Scriptures," Harvard X, April 19, 2017.  [5 mins]

On-Line Text:

Use the Hinduism On-Line Text to complete the Hinduism Study Guide:

I have collected some resources from the Learn Religions web-site as a partial substitute for a course text.  There are also some corresponding worksheets for Buddhism and Sikhism.  The relevant web resources and the worksheets can be accessed from the On-Line Text section of the web-site.  You will have a couple of weeks on your own time to complete each worksheet.  Please don't just initially Google the answers  -- you will not learn as much from that as from a very careful browsing of the Learn Religions web-site.  Note that the Study Guides include number references to the appropriate Learn Religions page for each of the questions.  We'll use the Study Guide as the basis for a small ungraded in-class quiz.

Optional Extras:

"Holy Hobos: The Everyday Life Of India's Sadhus," Heart And Soul, BBC World Service, June 17, 2018.  (27 mins)

Kim Knott, Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction.  New York: Oxford, 2016.  This slender book offers a comprehensive introduction to Hinduism.  The link to the left opens up the NIC Library's e-text edition.  The librarian recommends using the PDF link at the permalink rather than downloading the digital file.  There is no expectation that you access this volume but I encourage you to do so if you have extra time.

Thursday, January 25

a)  Discussion:  Hinduism In The News

b)  Discussion:  Of Elephant Gods, Monkey Kings And Sacred Cows

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in Hinduism In The News.

Browse extensively in  Of Elephant Gods, Monkey Kings And Sacred Cows  Discussion Topic.

Listening Assignment:

Listen to at least one audio file and/or view at least one video file at Hinduism: Audio Links and Hinduism: Video Links

Optional Extras:

"Sita, Draupadi And Kali: Women In Hinduism," Heart And Soul, BBC World Service, February 1, 2013.  (27 mins)

"World Religions: Hinduism," Faith Reason, January 16, 2011 [14 mins]:  A thoughtful audio overview of Hinduism from Boston University professor Stephen Prothero.

Week 4

Tuesday, January 30

a)  Discussion: Bhagavad-Gita

b)  Video: "The Bhagavad Gita," Invitation To World Literature (30 mins.)

Reading Assignment:

Gavin Flood and Charles Martin, eds. and trans., Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation.  New York: W. W. Norton, 2012.

Optional Extras:

  "The Bhagavad Gita," Heart And Soul, BBC World Service, July 18, 2011.

Thursday, February 1

a)  Lecture: The Essence Of Hinduism  -- "Truth Is One; Sages Call It By Different Names" (II)

b)  Possible Mini-Lecture:  The Bhagavad-Gita -- A Biography

Optional Extras:

"Hinduism: My Life, My Religion," BBC Learning Zone, September 16, 2015.  [29 mins]

  "The Upanishads," In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, November 8, 2012.

Browse extensively in Sacred Festivals In The News -- Hinduism.

Week 5

Tuesday, February 6

a)  Ungraded Hinduism Mini-Quiz (All the questions will be taken from the Hinduism Study Guide)

b)  Video:  "The Buddha -- The Story Of Siddhartha"  (2010) [120 minutes]

***Bhagavad Gita Seminar Note Due (10% of course grade)

***Hinduism Study Guide Due  (This will not be graded but I will review it and add it to your Homework Portfolio)

Thursday, February 8

a)  Finish Video:  "The Buddha -- The Story Of Siddhartha"

Week 6

Tuesday, February 13

a)  Lecture:  The Essence Of Buddhism -- The Nature Of Suffering Must Be Understood (I)

b)  Video:  "Buddhism In Brief," Harvard X, April 19, 2017.  [6 mins]

On-Line Text

Use the Buddhism On-Line Text to complete the Buddhism Study Guide.

Optional Extras

"World Religions: Buddhism," Faith Reason, January 16, 2011 [13 mins]:  A thoughtful audio introduction to Buddhism from Boston University professor Stephen Prothero.

Thursday, February 15

a)  Discussion:  Dhammapada -- Verses On The Way

b)  Discussion:  The Buddha In The News

Reading Assignment:

Glenn Wallis, trans., Dhammapada -- Verses On The Way

Browse extensiviely in  Buddha In The News

***Family Day And Reading Break, February 19-23

Week 7

Tuesday, February 27

a)  Video:  "Seven Wonders Of The Buddhist World" (2012)  [74 minutes]

***Dhammapada Seminar Note Due (10% of course grade)

Thursday, February 29

a)  Discussion: Buddhism In The News

b)  Lecture:  The Essence Of Buddhism -- The Nature Of Suffering Must Be Understood (II)

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in  Buddhism In The News

Optional Extras

"Theravada And Mahayana Buddhism," World History, Khan Academy, March 16, 2017.  [8 mins]

Browse in  Buddhism Audio Links; Buddhism Video Links

Week 8

Tuesday, March 5

a)  Ungraded Buddhism Mini-Quiz (All the questions will be taken from the Buddhism Study Guide)

b)  Lecture: The Varieties Of Buddhism

***Buddhism Study Guide Due  (This will not be graded but I will review it and add it to your Homework Portfolio)

Thursday, March 7

a)  Discussion:  Tibetan Buddhism In The News

b)  Lecture: The Diamond Vehicle -- Tibetan Buddhism

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in  Tibetan Buddhism In The News and Dalai Lama In The News.

Optional Extras:

Browse in Tibetan Buddhism Video Links and Tibetan Buddhism Audio Links.

Week 9

Tuesday, March 12

a)  Course Check-In

b)  Discussion:  Nine Lives

Reading Assignment:

William Dalrymple, Nine Lives: In Search Of The Sacred In Modern India

Thursday, March 14

a)  Video: "Confucius," Episode 3, Genius Of The Ancient World, BBC (2015) [59 mins] or "Asian Temples: Humans, Nature And Gods," Sacred Spaces (2017) [52 mins]

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in Confucianism In The News

Week 10

Tuesday, March 19

a)  Discussion: Jainism And The Parsis

b)  Possible Mini-Lecture:  Zoroastrianism and/or Jainism

Viewing Assignment

"India's Jains," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, August 30, 2013.  [8 mins]

"What Is Jainism?," Cogito, August 31, 2019.  [19 mins]

Reading Assignment

Browse extensively in  Parsis In The News

Browse in  Jainism In The News

Thursday, March 21

a)  Introduce Comparative Religions Grid

b)  Discussion: The Essence Of Sikhism

c)  Lecture:  Essence Of Sikhism -- The Way Of The Disciples (I)

On-Line Text

Use the Sikhism On-Line Text to complete the Sikhism Study Guide.

***Nine Lives Seminar Note Due (10% of course grade)

Week 11

Tuesday, March 26

a)  Discussion:  Sikhism A Very Short Introduction

b)  Lecture:  Essence Of Sikhism -- The Way Of The Disciples (II)

Reading Assignment:

Eleanor Nesbitt, Sikhism: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford, 2016.  This small volume offers a comprehensive introduction to Sikhism.  The link to the left opens up the NIC Library's e-text edition.  The librarian recommends using the PDF link at the permalink rather than downloading the digital file.

Thursday, March 28

a)  Discussion: Sikhism In The News

b)  Discussion: Sikhism And Canada

c)  Discussion: The Symbols Of Sikhism

Reading Assignments:

Browse extensively in Sikhism In The News.

Browse in Sikhism Audio Links, Sikhism Video Links, and Sacred Festivals In The News -- Sikhism.

Browse extensively in Sikhism And Canada

Browse extensively in Symbols Of Sikhism

Optional Extras

"What Is Sikhism?," Cogito, January 11, 2020.  [20 mins]

"Birth Of The Khalsa: The Vaisakhi Story," Sikh Stories, Sikhnet, May 30 2019.  [20 mins]

"The Sikhs: Between India And Pakistan," DW Documentary, January 21, 2020.  [27 mins]

"My Turban And Me," BBC, July 13, 2018.  [32 mins]

"Walking The Kartarpur Corridor For Guru Nanak," Heart And Soul, BBC World Service, December 6, 2019.  [27 min]

Week 12: 

Tuesday, April 2

a)  Comparative Grid Workshop

b)  Possible Mini-Lecture: Taoism -- The Way And Its Power

Listening Assignment:

"World Religions: Taoism (Daoism)," Faith Reason, January 16, 2011 [14 mins]:  A thoughtful audio overview of Taoism from Boston University professor Stephen Prothero.

Reading Assignment:

Browse extensively in  Taoism In The News

***Sikhism Study Guide Due  (This will not be graded but I will review it and add it to your Homework Portfolio)

Thursday, April 4

a)  Lecture:  Shinto -- The Way Of The Kami

Reading Assignments:

Browse extensively in  Shinto In The News

Optional Extras

"Shinto," In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, September 22, 2011.  [45 min]

Week 13: 

Tuesday, April 9

a)  Comparative Grid Discussion

b)  Course Wrap-up and Evaluation

***Comparative Religion Grid Due (20% of course grade)


Reflections On Entering The Course


Seminar Notes

30% (3 x 10%)

Comparative Religions Grid


Homework Portfolio 30%

Class Contributions And Participation


a)  Reflections On Entering The Course

Who are you? Where are you from? What are your interests? Why are you taking this course? How would you begin to make sense of your own thoughts about religion and religious studies? Do you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions as we start the course? Write two or three informal paragraphs for the second class of the semester to introduce yourself to me.

b)  Seminar Notes (10% x 3 = 30%)

Seminar notes are commentaries of approximately two double-spaced pages apiece (500+ words) upon each of the required three course texts.  The purpose of these reflective reading responses is to provide you with the opportunity to organize your thoughts after each of the common major readings and is also designed to facilitate thoughtful group discussion.  The notes should be analytical in nature and should highlight key themes from the reading.  Your own interpretations must be at the centre of each seminar note.  I want to see you engaging directly with the text rather than paraphrasing someone else's descriptions or review.  Although you should write concisely, it is fine if one or more of your seminar notes are considerably longer than the recommended length.  Seminar Notes can be typed or hand-written, though for either format you should take some notes and carefully organize your thoughts before attempting to write your paper.  I encourage you to hand in these rough notes with your completed Seminar Note if you indeed have these.  I will then both look at them when I evaluate your Seminar Note and add them to your Homework Portfolio.

An unsatisfactory seminar note is one in which you either seem to rely entirely upon secondary sources and thus do not engage with the text, or in which you do not demonstrate any understanding of the text.

The satisfactory seminar note will offer evidence that you have engaged directly with the text and drawn something of larger meaning from it.  Your ideas may not be fully developed or as clearly stated as might be the case, but you do demonstrate that you have taken something away from your encounter with the book.

A good seminar note will show evidence of attentive reading and of engagement with the text.  You will organize your thoughts coherently and demonstrate the ability to explain and to explore key themes that you highlight from the text.

The excellent seminar note will probe chosen themes in an original, organized, and analytical manner.  The commentary will effectively connect together your larger ideas with the particularities of the reading, using examples and specific text to accentuate your writing.

Rather than being graded on a letter scale, the seminar notes will be evaluated on a check, check-plus, check-plus+, and check-minus basis:

Check:  A fully satisfactory seminar note (7.3/10, B)

Check-Plus:  A strong note that offers thoughtful analysis and/or a well-developed commentary upon the text (8.6/10, A)

Check-Plus+:  An outstanding seminar note that pushes far beyond the basis expectations for this assignment (9.5, A+)

Check-Minus:  A weak seminar note that includes some material of relevance but does not successfully engage directly with the reading (6.1, C)

There typically will not be the opportunity to revise Seminar Notes and submit them a second time.

c)  Comparative Religions Grid (20%)

This exercise will ask you to engage in an in-depth comparative analysis of a select few world religions.

d)  Homework Portfolio (30%)

You will be asked to engage in various reading, viewing, and listening activities in preparation for our weekly sessions.  There will be regular small writing responsibilities associated with this pre-class study that you will be handing in on a weekly basis at the beginning of the class.  I will collect these materials in individual student files and evaluate these based upon the promptness and consistency of the submissions, and upon the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of the work itself.  I will also ask you to provide self-evaluation in regards to your efforts here.  One major purpose of this ongoing assignment is to help prepare you for our class sessions so that you can be as engaged with your classmates as possible.

Your pre-class study responsibilities will be listed in the syllabus.  The core curriculum consists of those resources listed under the Reading Assignments and the Viewing and Listening  Assignments for each week.  Those students who demonstrate that they are doing their best to complete these responsibilities on a weekly basis should do well in this portion of the class.

I also have listed a number of Optional Extra resources for our weekly sessions.  Although there is no requirement that you access these, students will be encouraged to dive into these when they have the time to do so.  I will always be happy to accept additional Notes that go beyond what has been specifically requested and then add those to your Homework Portfolio.

e)  Seminar Contributions  (19%)

The seminar experience is a fundamental component of Liberal Studies.  Seminars are designed to provide you with the opportunity to develop, deepen and consider alternatives to your own interpretation of the texts.  The seminar is a study group where all of us meet to discuss a work that we have read thoughtfully before we arrive or a topic that has been explored.

Some important aspects of seminar participation are the quality and quantity of your contributions to discussion; your helpfulness to others in maintaining a successful conversation within the seminar; and your ability to listen as well as to talk.

Good participation is not a matter of how much you say but of the value of what you say as a  contribution to shared understanding.  Dominating the discussion will not allow others to examine your ideas.  Never having much to say will deprive the seminar of your valuable ideas and critical abilities.  Straying too quickly off topic and speaking without listening can derail what might otherwise be a profitable discussion.  Good seminar participation involves not only having an idea to share but also gently encouraging quiet colleagues to speak; politely but firmly requesting dominating members to let others respond; pointing out when the focus has switched too abruptly or is missing; and asking for clarification when you can't remember or figure out what's being talked about.

The most important components in the assessment of your performance in the seminar discussions are the following: attendance, preparation for the seminar (thoughtful completion of the required reading or study topic before the class session), and the quality and quantity of your participation in the seminar discussions.

Here is a rough scale for evaluating individual seminar sessions:

A range:  Is clearly well-prepared and makes a major contribution to the seminar discussion.

B range:  Is prepared and makes a meaningful contribution to the discussion.

C range:  Is present but does not offer evidence of successful engagement with the text or study topic.

D:  Is physically present but seems otherwise absent.

F:  Is physically absent without a valid reason.

Time Commitment

Although the time it takes individual students to complete course responsibilities varies individually, I have set up the course with the expectation that you will probably need to devote at least three hours a week to this course outside of class time on a regular basis right from the start of the semester to gain full value from it.  It is important that you not fall behind on your assignments and that you demonstrate that you are coming to class having completed your pre-class study responsibilities.  Please stay in close communication with me and let me know if you are experiencing challenges in keeping up with the curriculum.


This course is not for you if other obligations prevent you from attending the entire class session on a very regular basis.  This seminar-based course is organized around collaborative discussion.  If you are not present in class and well-prepared in regards to your pre-class responsibilities, you will not be able to succeed academically nor to contribute to the creation of a meaningful learning community.

Academic Integrity

I want to help you to get as much out of this course as possible and hope also that you will be able to make meaningful contributions to your classmates' learning.  For this to happen, you need to put forth strong and honest effort.  In recent semesters, overstretched students have resorted to various illegitimate means in an effort to ensure academic credit and/or to avoid the need to follow through on all their own course responsibilities.  This has included, but not been limited to, such strategies as plagiarism; disguised cutting-and-pasting; the use of artificial intelligence to complete assignments; a reliance upon friends and relatives that pushes well beyond the bounds of what is represented by constructive collaboration; a reliance upon boilerplate assignment templates; and the contracting out of assignments and other course responsibilities to local or on-line agents.  What may seem like a dishonest but private choice is actually one with profound ripple effects that not only disheartens your instructor, but which also very negatively impacts upon the education of your classmates.  It robs your fellow students of your authentic voice in the course; it creates distrust between the teacher and other students; and it is ultimately deeply corrosive to the learning community.  I can be with you or against you and I certainly did not enter teaching to be against you.  However, you should appreciate that the success of this course will be dependent not only upon my efforts and knowledge, but upon the approach you bring to your studies and upon the decisions you make each day.  There can and should be discussions about what is appropriate and inappropriate in regards to different aids when learning.  Not everything in regards to Academic Integrity is a self-evident truth.  That said, I think that most students are fully aware when they cross over the line and engage in illegitimate practices.  I challenge you to make a fully positive contribution to this course and encourage you to talk to me whenever you need extra assistance or time, or if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Late Policy

The curriculum for this course is organized on a week-by-week basis, with regular seminars being dependent upon full pre-class student preparation for their success.  Late assignments are also often an extra burden from an instructor standpoint.  Due dates should be noted and met.

However, I appreciate that there may be occasions where a very few extra days to polish an assignment in the midst of competing deadlines can be helpful, and thus I deliberately assume a good-faith effort on the part of students to meet the due dates and provide a small cushion of flexibility without any academic penalty.   That does not mean the due dates are unimportant or that extensions are automatically granted.  You should discuss possible extensions with me directly and I reserve the right to refuse to accept any late assignment if you do not check in with me first.  As a general rule, no assignment will be accepted more than two weeks late.

Homework Assignments should be submitted at the beginning of the class session for which they are due.  The entire logic of the Homework Assignments is that they are designed to help you to be ready to contribute to individual Seminar Discussions.

Writing Support And Peer Tutoring

Writing Support is available to all students at no additional cost.  Go to Writing Support for any or all of your assignments.  Every visit is a step toward becoming a better writer.  Use Writing Support as many times as you like, and at any point in your writing process.  The writing support faculty can help you understand the assignment, develop your ideas, outlines, thesis, and revision -- and anything else in-between.  Book your appointment through the library website, or visit the library desk to inquire about drop-ins.  There's also WriteAway, an online tutoring platform that allows you to upload your papers and assignments for detailed written feedback.  Both services may be found at .

Peer Tutoring is available at no additional cost for a wide range of courses offered at NIC.  Students are hired and trained to tutor in a wide variety of content areas, in addition to supporting other students with basic study skills.  These students have been successful in the courses they have taken and can help support other students become successful in their own courses.  To see the list of tutors currently available, request a tutor in a course, or apply to become a tutor, please visit the library website: .

Student Technical Services

Our Student Technical Service team is available to help you with any technical issues that you may be experiencing as a student.  Please go to for more information.

Learn Anywhere

NIC's Learn Anywhere website is geared to provide a collection of information that will help you be successful learning digitally by covering area such as: What is digital learning? How to be a digital learner while using NIC-supported technologies during your studies? A list of key skills and knowledge all students should have for successful learning in today's world, knowing your rights and responsibilities and Technology Readiness Checklists. More details at:

Community Supports (24/7)

There are several supports available to help any student in distress. If you are in distress, please reach out for support.

Vancouver Island Crisis Line:  24/7 1-888-494-3888 (Available to students located on Vancouver Island only)

Crisis Suicide helpline:  24/7 1-800-784-2433 (Available to students located in Canada only)

BC 211:  Full list of community services available across BC.  Dial 2-1-1 on BC cellphone (Available to students located in BC only).

Here2Talk24/7 counselling support for post-secondary students: 1-877-857-3397 (Available to students located in Canada and offshore).

Related Policy

Community Code of Academic, Personal and Professional Conduct (3-06)

Instructional Accommodation and Access Services for Students with Disabilities (3-17)

Student Appeals Policy (3-30)

Student Complaint Resolution Policy (3-31)

Evaluation of Student Performance Policy (3-33)

Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy (3-34)

Course Outline Policy (3-35)

Academic Standing and Progression (3-37)

Grading System (4-14)




web stats