Benefits of a polytechnic university

Aurora College is changing into a new polytechnic university to better meet the needs of residents across the NWT, including in your community. There will be more ways to get certificates, diplomas and degrees and more Northern research that addresses Northern issues.

A “polytechnic” university focuses on hands-on learning and applied research – that is research that addresses real world problems. A polytechnic university engages with employers and communities to develop programs that get you ready to work.

At a polytechnic university, students learn in the classroom, by distance, on the land and on the job. Many Northerners already learn this way and we will learn from past success. In the end, we will have a polytechnic university where Northerners attend adult basic education, upgrading, certificate, diploma and degree programs without leaving the NWT, and increasingly without leaving their community.

As the institution emerges from transformation it will be stronger, more accessible and able to attract a greater number of students from within the NWT and beyond. This will provide direct economic benefits to Northern communities, particularly the three campus communities.

It will take time to develop new programs for the new school and figure out the best way for northerners to share their knowledge. Northerners will be able to study new and laddered programs within areas of teaching and research specialization such as:

  • Skilled trades and technology – keeping our roads and buildings healthy and strong by putting science and knowledge into practical use
  • Earth resources and environmental management – using, managing and protecting the land that keeps us healthy and strong
  • Northern health, education and community services – keeping our people and communities healthy and strong
  • Business and leadership – getting northerners ready to lead and helping them to succeed in building a stronger North

Right now, the people who work at Aurora College are making plans to deliver new programs in new ways. The full range of changes underway will take about 4 more years. People who are starting high school right now will be able to study at the new polytechnic university.

While we are changing, you might notice some differences at Aurora College. We will need to work together in new ways, increase the number of employees supporting students and improve our buildings. We hope you’ll follow us on this important journey and be part of the new polytechnic university.