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NLC Experiences Growing University Studies Enrolment Through UCalgary Partnership

Posted on Apr 13, 2021

Slave Lake, Alberta (April 13, 2021): An incredibly successful partnership between the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education and Northern Lakes College has resulted in enrolment growth for the College’s University Studies program. Committed to increasing post-secondary engagement in the province, NLC strives to increase accessibility to programming through Supported Distance Learning (SDL) and partnerships.

The partnership with UCalgary allows NLC University Studies students to transfer courses towards the completion of UCalgary’s Community-Based Bachelor of Education degree. This provides students living in the College’s northern, rural, and remote communities with an opportunity to complete the majority of their program requirements without leaving home. Specializations in the program include English, Social Studies, Revitalization of Indigenous Languages, Early Childhood Education, and, as of September 2021, Math and Science.

Michelle Mitchell, Dean, Academic Development & Quality and Interim Dean, Health at Northern Lakes College comments, “The ease of this partnership, between an urban, research-based institution and a rural community college, is truly a reciprocal one. The reciprocity of this agreement meets the needs of students and both institutions.”

When the collaboration was announced in the fall of 2019, NLC had 120 seats in its University Studies program. With demand continually increasing, the College has now exceeded 200 seats, with the majority of students intending to continue into the Community-Based Bachelor of Education degree.

“The Community-Based B.Ed. pathway offers an excellent opportunity for students to participate in a high-quality education with instructional and experiential learning equal to any on-campus program, while allowing students to stay in their home community where they can continue to have an impact,” says Dr. Amy Burns, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs at the Werklund School of Education. 

Courses are completed online, enabling students to take courses at home or at any NLC campus, and placements are completed in or near students’ local communities. The course of studies prepares students to teach at the elementary and secondary levels. For more information, visit or click here.

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About Northern Lakes College

A distance learning college, Northern Lakes College provides the most accessible and flexible educational opportunities through innovative delivery. Utilizing its unique Supported Distance Learning (SDL) model, NLC assists 5,000 students annually to continue their education, improve their employment opportunities, and enhance their quality of life. Committed to its communities in northern Alberta and to its students, wherever they may be, NLC collaborates with business, industry, and other post-secondary institutions to benefit students and communities. Explore at

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a global intellectual hub located in Canada’s most enterprising city. In our spirited, high-quality learning environment, students thrive in programs made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. Our strategy drives us to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, engaging the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.' For more information, visit

For additional information contact:

Rachel Ouellette
Director, External Relations, Marketing & Communication
Office of the President
Northern Lakes College

Mary Kate MacIsaac
Senior Manager, Strategic Communications
Werklund School of Education,
University of Calgary