As part of a commitment to increase the number of Aboriginal faculty members in the public post-secondary education sector, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) will offer a master of education program jointly with the University of British Columbia.
The master-level program supports the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan goal of ensuring that Aboriginal people are more broadly represented in faculty and administration.
Government is providing $350,000 in one-time funding to support the program, which will be delivered at the Merritt campus for staff at NVIT, as well as other Aboriginal post-secondary institutes. Courses will be taught by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal faculty members of the department of educational studies and the office of Indigenous education in the UBC faculty of education. Course content will be adapted from existing material and will address leadership in Aboriginal education. Some new courses will also be offered from an Aboriginal perspective.
Support for the program includes the Nlaka’pamux Nation and the office of Indigenous education in the faculty of education as partners in this endeavour. The partners aim to identify Aboriginal cultural knowledge holders and educational leaders to provide mentorship and guidance.
The Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Framework and Action Plan was launched in 2012. It contains actions to improve post-secondary opportunities and outcomes for Aboriginal learners. The plan was developed in collaboration with Aboriginal post-secondary partners.
Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson –
“Our government is working to ensure Aboriginal students are equipped to succeed. One of the ways we can work toward achieving that goal is by having a greater number of Aboriginal faculty who can both serve as role models and help with creating the systemic change needed in our post-secondary system.”
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad –
"We are working with our training and education partners to ensure Aboriginal people in B.C. have access to education and training. Supporting Aboriginal learners will help them succeed in their chosen professions, and build strong and prosperous communities that support their families and B.C.’s economy."
Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart –
“The new master of education degree is just one example of our government’s actions to improve opportunities and outcomes for Aboriginal students in collaboration with Aboriginal partners. The degree will support the provincial mandate of NVIT to meet the educational needs of Aboriginal students and communities.”
Ken Tourand, president, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology –
“NVIT is extremely excited to be working in partnership with UBC and the Ministry of Advanced Education to offer a master of education in indigenous leadership at NVIT’s Merritt campus. As B.C.’s Aboriginal public post-secondary, NVIT is committed to meeting the needs of Aboriginal students and communities across British Columbia. For individuals who share this commitment, we invite you to join us on our campus in the beautiful Nicola Valley to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity.”
Dr. Verna Billy Minnabarriet, vice-president academic and strategic partnerships, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology –
“We have a unique opportunity with the UBC partnership created by the launch of the master of education cohort, as it will provide a chance for individuals to take a graduate program close to home. Faculty members will have a commitment to Indigenous education and will provide learning through an Indigenous perspective. This will also provide a wonderful benefit of access to other member of Indigenous Adult Higher Learning Association (IAHLA) to participate. The graduate program is two years, part time, and will be held in Merritt with the program commencing in September 2016. We see this as an opportunity in building local expertise both within NVIT and in the broader community of Merritt and Central Interior.”
Angela Redish, interim provost and vice-president academic, University of British Columbia –
“It’s important students see themselves reflected back in the people who teach and lead them. This partnership between UBC and NVIT will draw on the university’s strong Indigenous leadership and programming to help transform and diversify post-secondary education.”
UBC MEd in Educational Administration & Leadership (NVIT): pdce.educ.ubc.ca/med-in-educational-administration-leadership-nvit/
Ministry of Advanced Education: www.aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal/policy-framework.htm