Taking summer courses can be a bit of a challenge for post-secondary students. After all, who wants to be sitting in a lab or lecture hall on a beautiful, sunny day. But what if classes were taking place under a towering cedar on Haida Gwaii, or at the foot of a shimmering, blue glacier near Stewart?
Northwest Community College (NWCC) is presenting its acclaimed field schools again this year, offering university credit studies taught onsite at spectacular locations around northwest British Columbia. The field schools provide learning about First Nations cultures, communities and the geographical landscape of the Northwest.
The Haida Gwaii field school is based at Mount Moresby Adventure Camp and runs from July 20 - Aug. 3, 2011. With the support of the people and communities of Haida Gwaii, students experience Haida history and culture and explore the ecology of the islands, including a trip to Gwaii Hanaas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.
Later this summer the Stewart/Telegraph Creek field school runs for three weeks, highlighting the natural and cultural wonders of B.C.'s northwest. The school includes a five-day excursion that begins at Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park, continues northward to the glaciers surrounding Stewart, B.C. and Hyder, Alaska, and on to Kinaskan Lake, Iskut, Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek to observe the Grand Canyon of the Stikine and Mt. Edziza.
Three other NWCC field schools have taken place this year: Cultural Heritage of the Skeena and Bulkley Valley, People of the Salmon, and Keil - Hartley Bay's Seaweed Camp.
A guiding principle of the field schools is the development of collaborative education with First Nations people and communities. Elders, Chiefs, Watchman and other cultural knowledge-keepers have been fundamental to guiding student learning of First Nations culture and the environment.
Why It Matters:
The field schools at NWCC are offered with the support and participation of First Nations people and communities and promote learning and understanding about the unique biological and cultural diversity of northwest British Columbia.
The field schools are taken by students working on degrees in nursing, education, arts, science and social work. The schools are ideal for careers in the natural sciences that require field studies and provide opportunities to work with First Nations communities.
- Northwest Community College has nine campuses to serve B.C.'s Northwest: Terrace (administrative centre), Hazelton, Houston, Kaay Llnagaay, Kitimat, Masset, Prince Rupert, Village of Queen Charlotte and Smithers. Through a special partnership with Wilp Wilxo'oskwhl Nisga'a (Nisga'a House of Learning), NWCC also provides opportunities for post-secondary education in the Nass Valley region.
- NWCC offers college access programs, health and human services programs, online programs, university credit programs, trades foundation and apprenticeship programs - plus the Freda Diesing school of northwest coast art, the school of exploration and mining, and the school of northwest culinary arts.
- The college's region encompasses the territories of eight different First Nations. First Nations and Métis people account for more than 46 per cent of the student body and 20 per cent of the college's workforce.
- A First Nations Council provides consultation with First Nations communities and advice in developing culturally relevant programs.
- NWCC has offered field schools since 2002, starting with the very first Kitlope field school. The Kitlope, located south of Kitimat, is one of the largest intact temperate rainforests in the world, and is the homeland of the Haisla and Henaaksiala First Nation. NWCC plans to offer the Kitlope field school again in summer of 2012.
For information on NWCC's field schools, and to view photographs visit: http://universitycredit.nwcc.bc.ca/FieldSchools/Schools.cfm
To learn more about Northwest Community College visit: http://www.nwcc.bc.ca/index.cfm
To find out about post-secondary education in British Columbia visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/aved/index.html
Northwest Community College
250 638- 5420
Ministry of Advanced Education
250 893-5650 (cell)