News Archives: New Aboriginal Administration Diploma announced
Released: Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
The new Aboriginal Administration diploma announced today at Grande Prairie Regional College has been achieved through a vision carried by many partners, and an unwavering commitment to a common goal. Many of the College and Community champions of this program were present today at the announcement, and celebrated the successful outcome of their years of work towards this diploma.
As stated in the official letter from Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education, “This program builds capacity in Aboriginal communities and provides pathways for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students wanting to undertake business education.”
This interdisciplinary diploma is designed to provide students with basic business knowledge, and the academic experience to develop essential skills for critical thinking, research, writing and planning skills. With this foundation, graduates will be prepared to pursue entry-level careers within a wide range of organizations and businesses.
“The diploma is a rare blend of business and university studies courses,” according to Kazem Mashkournia, Dean of Arts, Science and Upgrading at GPRC. “I am very pleased that we now have the approval to launch this program – we have been working toward this for a long time, and our community partners have been an important part of this eventual success.”
One staunch proponent of the program has been Elder Angie Crerar, of Alberta Métis Association Local 1990. “It has been a long journey to get to this moment today, but so worth it!” Crerar says. “I am proud and honoured to have been part of this journey. The College heard our concerns and vision then joined us in our determination to provide greater opportunities for our aboriginal community in the future.”
Many of the members of Grande Prairie Aboriginal Circle of Service (GPACOS) were present to commemorate the moment, as were numerous GPRC students.
“This program is something that is really appealing to me,” says Cherelle Badger. She is a current student in the Business Administration program at GPRC, and hopes to expand her studies with the new diploma. “It is my goal to become qualified to enter the workforce with the necessary business education to achieve my dream of opening an Aboriginal day care in Grande Prairie. This interdisciplinary diploma would be very useful to my future.”
This program blends GPRC courses/curriculum with optional coursework from the Aboriginal Finance Officers Association of Canada (AFOA). This brings both flexibility and robustness to the program. This diploma also serves as an entry to further post-secondary degree studies.
While many institutions in Alberta offer a variety of programs with an Aboriginal/First Nations focus, few combine university studies with business studies. The combination of humanities, native studies and business studies within a flexible structure and delivery are strong features of this diploma.
“We are so very proud to be the provider of this important and unique diploma program,” says Susan Bansgrove, Vice-President Academics and Research. “I know that the passion and commitment of the supporters of this initiative has been key to the approval of this new diploma. Thank you, each and every one for your patience while we have worked toward this moment. Thank you for your guidance, your letters of support, and for your belief in GPRC.”
Students may apply now for this program, which will begin in September 2014.