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Recommitment to Community-based Learning

Posted on Nov 27, 2023

Werklund School of Education and Northern Lakes College Renew BEd Transfer Agreement

Calgary, AB – A successful initiative that allows students from Northern Lakes College (NLC) to transfer courses towards a Bachelor of Education degree through the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary has been renewed for an additional five-year term. First signed in 2019, the affiliation agreement between Werklund and NLC provides an opportunity for NLC students to complete most of their program requirements through online courses with NLC, excepting a two-week residency at the University of Calgary for each year of their program. School officials at both institutions say that the program is an effective tool in combatting the ongoing teacher shortage affecting rural and northern Alberta. 

“The partnership between the Werklund School of Education and Northern Lakes College is a powerful example of the real impact a collaboration can have. Together we are providing students with the accessibility and opportunity to become a part of the educational landscape for the communities to which they are committed. It is a partnership built on the common goal of ensuring excellent teachers for rural and remote communities.

Dr. Amy Burns, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs, Werklund School of Education

Dr. Michelle Mitchell, Dean, Northern Lakes College, says the program has made a considerable difference in the ongoing teacher shortage, with students being recruited for teaching positions upon graduation, if not beforehand, as many are landing educational assistant jobs through their practicum placements. 

“When I talk to principals, I hear wonderful things about our graduates. They're telling me that the community-based graduates are coming with the skills that they want them to have. Schools in the area are still struggling – some started this year without enough teachers. And it seems the further north you go, the harder it is to recruit, so having a pool of teachers that are local is a game changer. 

Dr. Michelle Mitchell, Dean, Health, Human Services & University Studies

Addressing issues of access and equity and finding viable solutions to the teacher shortage crisis in rural and remote communities underpins the respective commitments of the Werklund School of Education and Northern Lakes College to community-based learning. The five-year renewal period becomes effective in July 2024 upon conclusion of the initial terms of the transfer agreement.


Media inquiries

Clayton MacGillivray
Content and Media Specialist, Werklund School of Education

Rachel Ouellette
Director, External Relations, Marketing & Communication, Northern Lakes College

About the University of Calgary
UCalgary is Canada’s entrepreneurial university, located in Canada’s most enterprising city. It is a top-five research university and one of the highest-ranked universities of its age. Founded in 1966, its 35,000 students experience an innovative learning environment, made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. It is Canada’s leader in the creation of start-upsStart something today at the University of Calgary.

About Northern Lakes College
Northern Lakes College (NLC) provides flexible educational opportunities through innovative delivery. With accessibility as a cornerstone value, we provide quality educational programs and services. NLC’s innovative Supported Distance Learning (SDL) and Supported Distance Teaching (SDT) models include unique online delivery options such as NLC LIVE Online™ and NLC Anytime, Anywhere. SDL provides learners with the flexibility to balance work, home, and education, so that they can 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