Students in the Portage College service region are looking forward to benefitting from the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) being offered in partnership with the University of Alberta (U of A). In fall 2022 students who have completed their 60 credits of University courses will be ready to complete their third and fourth year of studies toward their Bachelor of Education Degree (B.Ed). This partnership in the Portage College region allows students to stay in their communities with their support networks.
The ATEP curriculum has a strong focus on Aboriginal culture and perspectives to give teachers a better understanding of the unique history and backgrounds of young Aboriginal learners. ATEP is a community based program, structured so students can complete their degree while maintaining cultural connections with family and community.
The U of A programming being offered at Portage College is intended to address the need for Aboriginal teachers and teachers everywhere who have a desire to work with Aboriginal students. Students can apply for the final two years of the degree as long as they have at least 60 credits towards their Education Degree.
“The Aboriginal Teacher Education Program is excited, to once again be partnering with Portage College, to offer the Bachelor of Education Degree,” said Dr. Evelyn Steinhauer, Professor, Department of Educational Policy Studies and Director, Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) at the University of Alberta. “We look forward to providing Portage College students with the opportunity to complete their teacher education degree starting in fall 2022.”
Maggie Buffalo, a past graduate of the ATEP program said her experience was amazing and transformative, “It guided me to who I truly am as a First Nations woman. As a teacher, ATEP allowed me to be confident enough to teach and incorporate Aboriginal teachings in my daily lessons to my students.”
Maggie Buffalo and Dr. Evelyn Steinhauer
The program creates an environment of inclusion with the involvement of community Elders and the use of local resources to inspire students looking for a meaningful education near their home community.
The Fall 2022 intake will be the fourth time the program has been offered at Portage College, with the most recent graduates receiving their U of A degree in 2020.
“Our relationship with the U of A faculty is very much valued,” said Dr. Donna Feledichuk, Interim Vice President Academic. “The ability to partner with the Faculty of Education to provide a degree program in our area is a wonderful opportunity for learners in our region and we’re very appreciative of the longstanding partnership we have with the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program.”
Students looking to complete their first 60 credits of university course work required for the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program, enrolment is available for winter university courses offered at Portage College.
Portage College, Corporate Communications Manager