Original Published on Aug 11, 2022 at 10:12

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Northwestern Polytechnic (NWP) has asked County of Grande Prairie for a letter of support for its application to the Alberta Advanced Education – Campus Alberta Quality Council for a Bachelor of Elementary Education degree.

The ask was made at the regular meeting of county council on July 11.

County council decided to write a letter in support of NWP’s application.

“Northwestern Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Elementary Education degree will prepare students in the Grande Prairie region to become effective and confident teaching professionals while meeting the Teaching Quality Standard for teacher certification in Alberta,” says Leanne Beaupre, county reeve, in the letter of support.

“We believe the schools in the Grande Prairie region will benefit tremendously from the graduates of this program.”

Town & Country News has requested further information on the degree program. NWP was unable to provide any updates as of press time.

Information from the county shows the program will have an emphasis on praxis, where theories and skills will be acted upon and then reflected on.

“Strong partnerships with local and rural school divisions and community organizations engage preservice teachers in experiential learning through ongoing internships and culminating field experiences,” says county documents.

Currently, NWP has Education programs that prepare students up to their second or third year of a B.Ed. degree program, according to the NWP website.

Students who wish to complete their education degree in Grande Prairie need to enter the Teacher Education North (TEN) program, which is a collaboration with the University of Alberta and NWP.

The TEN program is designed to prepare teachers to teach elementary school students.

“Teaching in northern rural schools and working with aboriginal students are the two themes integrated throughout the program and coursework,” says the NWP website.

NWP did not answer any questions regarding whether the new Bachelor of Elementary Education they are looking to provide would replace the existing TEN program.

On March 9, NWP unveiled its new name (formerly Grande Prairie Regional College) and degree-granting ability becoming a polytechnic school.

Justin Kohlman, NWP president and CEO, said at the March 9 event that the school was planning on offering more degrees to students, with announcements to come shortly after.

NWP has since added a computing science degree to its programming on July 13.

Kohlman also noted that there were no plans to remove any of the school’s current offerings.

This item reprinted with permission from Town & Country News, Beaverlodge, Alberta