May 24, 2022

Documents available online:

Social Work and Bachelor of Education program reviews complete

FORT SMITH, NT – Aurora College announced today that the program reviews of the College’s Social Work and Bachelor of Education programs are complete and are available to the public online.

The program reviews contained a number of recommendations, the most important of which were that Aurora College should offer Social Work and Bachelor of Education programming.

In keeping with the reviews’ recommendations, the College is investigating both a two-year diploma and a four-year bachelor’s degree program in Social Work, as well as a four-year Bachelor of Education and a two-year post-graduate Bachelor of Education. Launch of the programs is pending funding approval and external quality assurance review.

It is anticipated that as soon as Fall 2023, Aurora College will begin engaging with students who will require upgrading to enter the Social Work and Bachelor of Education programs.

Prior to implementing the programs, national environmental scans of Social Work and Bachelor of Education programs will be completed to aid in developing full program proposals and plans to ensure the new offerings meet the needs of both Northern students and the Northern labour market.

To assist with that goal, the Social Work program will have multiple entry and exit points for students at different levels to choose the path that best suits them, with the diploma and degree options. In addition, Aurora College will work closely with high schools – student career advisors, guidance counsellors, teachers and students – to ensure students know what they need to do to meet entrance requirements.

The review process tasked evaluators with looking at the College’s Social Work and Bachelor of Education curricula with regards to its relevance and currency to today’s professional practices, employment opportunities in the NWT and connections to Northern peoples and Northern context. They were also asked to review the programs against national accreditation standards, and the leveling and sequencing of courses within the programs. As recommended by the external evaluators, Aurora College will seek accreditation for the Social Work programs through the National Indigenous Accreditation Board.

Evaluators also looked at the strengths of the programs, including the community-based experiences. Experiential learning and Indigenous content will continue to be purposefully woven into both programs. Aurora College’s planned Indigenous Knowledge Holders Council will have an active role in working with the team who will design the curriculum and subsequent programs.

The documents which make up the two program reviews can be accessed on the Aurora College website:


“There is a current, critical labour market need for qualified, Northern-educated and Indigenous social workers and teachers for both entry-level and supervisory-level positions in the NWT and across the North. The re-imagining of these two program areas will ensure that graduates are better prepared to meet the needs of Northern residents and the Northern labour market.”

–              Dr Glenda Vardy Dell, President, Aurora College

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Aurora College delivers academic upgrading, trades and industrial training, certificate, diploma and degree programs to more than 3,000 full and part-time students at three campuses, 21 Community Learning Centres and other community sites in the Northwest Territories. Community-centred post-secondary programs reflect Northern culture and the needs of the Northern labour market. Aurora College’s research division, Aurora Research Institute, conducts, supports, and licenses research in the NWT. Research centres are located in Inuvik, Yellowknife and Fort Smith.

For more information, please contact:

Jayne Murray                                                                           

Manager, Communications & College Relations 

Aurora College                                                             

Phone: 867-872-7021