The Valley of Trails is becoming well known for its educational opportunities. The public education system falls under the provincial school district 70 (Alberni). This includes six elementary schools and a new, state-of-the-art high school. It also offers two alternative programs, Vast Centre and Choices DL.
The City of Port Alberni operates the Discovery Pre-School at the Kiwanis Hilton Children’s Centre. In addition to this program, the school district operates a number of StrongStart programs, and there are numerous private pre-school centres within the city.
Port Alberni is quickly becoming well respected on Vancouver Island for its post-secondary opportunities as well. North Island College has a campus in the Alberni Valley, which offers a number of academic and credit courses, continuing education and an Elder College program. Many high school graduates are choosing to attend North Island College to take some of the university transfer credits that are also available at the college. The Justice Institute of B.C. also operates out of the North Island College campus in Port Alberni, offering their primary care paramedic program.
The Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences is a non-profit, special-purpose university located in Port Alberni. Its main goal is to help people return to work after an injury. It is a statutory degree-granting and research facility for the special purpose of creating and disseminating new knowledge, including return to work and disability management, workplace safety, health promotion, comprehensive rehabilitation and disability leadership studies.
PCU-WHS offers a bachelor of disability management and an advanced certificate in return to work. It also has a number of university studies and continuing education options. It works closely with Vancouver Island University, NIC, Cornell University in New York, Bonne Rhine Sieg University of Applied Sciences and DGUV Akademie in Germany.