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More teachers for rural Alberta | Un plus grand nombre d’enseignants dans l’Alberta rurale

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New funding for student spaces in two post-secondary education programs will help recruit and train rural, remote and Indigenous teachers across Alberta.

Alberta communities are growing as more people choose the province as the place they want to live, work and raise a family. Alberta's government is strengthening the education system and supporting this growth by recruiting and training more teachers across the province to ensure every student has the support they need to succeed in the classroom.

A one-time investment of more than $1.7 million to community-based Bachelor of Education programs at the University of Calgary and University of Alberta will support 59 students in pursuing their teaching careers within their home rural, remote and First Nations communities. 

“Alberta is growing at record levels, and this means we need more teachers in every corner of our province. This new funding will get more teachers to our rural communities and help graduate more Indigenous teachers. I’m proud that Alberta is growing so rapidly, and our government will take real steps to get more teachers into our classrooms.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Education

By providing Indigenous students with the flexibility to pursue their studies online and within their own communities, we are ensuring they have the opportunity to pursue meaningful careers within their own community. This new funding will help more Indigenous people pursue post-secondary education and the teaching profession.”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

Rural, remote and Indigenous communities sometimes experience difficulties recruiting and retaining teachers for their classrooms. However, those who can study closer to home are more likely to remain in their home community after they finish their education. By enabling education students to complete most of their studies while living and working in rural, remote and Indigenous communities, Alberta’s government is helping address the challenges of recruitment and retention.

The University of Calgary’s Bachelor of Education Community-Based After-Degree Program within the Werklund School of Education provides opportunities for students to be a part of their rural and northern community school system for most of their degree.

“The expansion of Werklund’s community-based program is responsive to the needs in rural school districts. We know the diversity of expertise in these communities is phenomenal. This funding will provide committed individuals living in rural areas of Alberta with the access they require to become excellent teachers.”

Dr. Dianne Gereluk, dean, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary

The University of Alberta’s Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) provides opportunities for Indigenous adult learners to become certificated teachers, with a focus on Indigenous cultures and perspectives on teaching and learning. The program will allow working individuals to complete their certification online, part-time, and outside their working hours.

“ATEP has played a significant role in increasing the number of Indigenous certificated teachers in Alberta classrooms, while enabling them to maintain connections to their communities. Delivered through Indigenous worldviews and pedagogies, the program is transforming education in our province. This investment will expand and advance ATEP’s mission of improving the educational experiences of Indigenous students, families, and their communities."

Dr. Jennifer Tupper, dean, University of Alberta Faculty of Education

Student cohorts supported by this one-time funding will begin their respective programs starting September 2024 at the University of Calgary and September 2025 at the University of Alberta.

Quick facts

  • The University of Calgary’s Bachelor of Education Community-Based After-Degree Program will receive a one-time funding amount of $1,050,000 to support an additional 35 students through the program.
  • The University of Alberta’s Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) will receive a one-time funding amount of $722,400 to support an additional 24 students through the program.
  • Alberta’s government also supports teacher recruitment and retention through the Northern Student Teacher Bursary, Rural Practicum Bursary and Bridge-to-Teacher Certification Program.

Related information

Related news Supporting more students to live and work in Alberta’s north (April 24, 2024)

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