Nunavut Arctic College launches bachelor of social work

Graduates of college’s social services worker program can now apply to new degree

Nunavut Arctic College has partnered with Memorial University to offer a social work degree program in the territory this fall. (File photo/NAC)

By Sarah Rogers

Nunavut Arctic College has partnered with Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador to offer a social work degree program in the territory this fall, the college announced Wednesday.

The college currently offers a two-year social service worker diploma program. This fall, graduates of that program can apply to be in the first cohort of the college’s bachelor of social work program, which will be offered over an additional two years in Cambridge Bay starting this year.

The program will be accredited through St. John’s-based Memorial University, which entered a 10-year agreement with NAC in 2019 to help the college expand its post-secondary programming.

“[This] is consistent with the government’s priority of providing education and training opportunities for youth and adults to make positive contributions to society and gain meaningful employment through Sivummuaqpalliajjutivut,” said Nunavut’s Education Minister David Joanasie in a Monday news release, referring to the GN’s 10-year blueprint for education.

“The inclusion of elder perspectives and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit in this two-year program set to be delivered in Cambridge Bay, also means future Inuit social workers graduates will be well prepared to incorporate Inuit societal values in their future social work practice.”

The Government of Nunavut has committed $1.8 million over a three-year period for the delivery of the program, the college said.

Vianne Timmons, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University, said the institution hopes to build on the success of its partnership with the Nunatsiavut Government to deliver an Inuit bachelor of social work program to Inuit beneficiaries in Labrador.

“We are honoured to be part of this initiative with Nunavut Arctic College,” Timmons said in the release. “There exists a possibility of offering the program in additional Nunavut communities in the future, with an overarching goal of co-developing an accredited bachelor of social work for NAC to offer independently.

The GN commissioned a feasibility study in 2016 to determine whether or not the territory had the resources and market to launch its first university, but concluded that the best approach was to partner with an existing university.

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(5) Comments:

  1. Posted by Peter Thomas on

    Well done, congrats.

  2. Posted by Inuit Nunangat University on

    This is positive, this is the kind of thing that NAC should be doing. ITK and Natan Obed should be more focused on having high calibre high school graduates and quality NAC programs, potentially with university transfer opportunity, rather than on creating an entire university in Inuit Nunangat.

  3. Posted by Baby Steps on

    Hopefully Mr. Obed/Mastercard Foundation can look at this as a case study. Lets see how many people enrol in the 4 year program and get a degree. Let’s see how many Inuit enrol for the 3rd/4th year. If it is an outstanding success, maybe talks of a “Nunavut University” should resume, but until the data is collected, maybe stop wasting ITK moneys on the pipedream of a Nunavut University.

  4. Posted by Old Timer on

    All so get fans to update their system with the high cost of housing and food up north funds is only good for the rent and few days of food.

  5. Posted by Reality Check on

    If you want graduates, make sure it is well known that they will receive indeterminant jobs with staff housing at the end of their program.
    Or do you think that after earning a degree the graduates will accept term positions while sharing a room with younger siblings in their parents’ home?

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