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Yukon College and Nunavut Arctic College recognised for best practices in Adult Basic Education

Yukon College

Yukon College

Yukon College and Nunavut Arctic College have been recognised for Northern Adult Basic Education (NABE) programs offered by each institution in 2013.

After reviewing over 100 programs across Canada, the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Essential Skills Inventory Project (FIMESIP) has selected the Heavy Equipment Operator Essential Skills program offered in Pelly Crossing, Yukon, and the NABE Enhancement initiative offered in 18 communities in Nunavut as two of 10 case studies that best embody 12 Markers of Promising Practice.

The 12 Markers include Indigenous control and ownership of the programming, partnerships, a learner-centered approach, employer involvement, and direct workplace experience.

Through identifying the 12 Markers, sharing case studies, and creating effective evaluation tools relating to Essential Skills (ES) programming across Canada, FIMESIP hopes to improve the overall quality of programs tailored to Aboriginal youth and adults living in diverse communities throughout Canada.

In studying Yukon College’s Heavy Equipment Operator program FIMESIP highlighted several positive markers: A collaborative rather than top-down approach toward the community in the development of the course, the holistic approach the program offered with respect to students, and delivery of the program in Pelly Crossing rather than in Whitehorse.

“Yukon College believes in the partnership model of the NABE program. Our role is not to decide or make assumptions on what the community needs but to assist the community in meeting the training needs of their citizens. In Pelly Crossing, making the training available close to home was key to the success of this project,” said Tosh Southwick, Director, School of Academic & Skill Development, Yukon College.

Nunavut Arctic College’s NABE Enhancement initiative was designed to improve the provision of adult basic education in Nunavut. Topics covered by the program include document use, reading, writing and numeracy as well as Inuktitut literacy and transitioning from a traditional harvesting economy to a wage-based economy. Positive markers emphasized in the case study include a supported group learning process, student-directed learning, and a focus on the Inuit way of learning through observation.

“Many of the students who attend our ABE programs are seeking local employment with a plan to further their education at a later time,” said Dan Page, Manager, ABE, Nunavut Arctic College.

“Our College decided to invest in addressing the career goals of these adult learners. The ABE Essential Skills program increases an individual’s workplace essential skills by utilizing the kinds of tasks they would encounter in many of the workplaces in Nunavut communities.  At the same time, we ensure they have the option to progress along the ABE continuum towards further education,” added Page.

These two programs will be featured at the NABE Symposium, taking place April 28-May 1 at Yukon College in Whitehorse. Adult educators from the three territories will gather to share and explore successes, challenges, and best practices.

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