Nunavut Arctic College looks to expand management program
Program would have option to continue into bachelor degrees in commerce, business administration, minister says
Nunavut Arctic College is exploring ways to expand its management diploma program to give students the option to receive a four-year bachelor of commerce or bachelor of business administration degree.
“We are very excited to explore this opportunity,” Education Minister Pamela Gross said in the legislative assembly Friday, during a review of the education department’s budget.
The goal is to have the new undergraduate options, which would be done in partnership with Memorial University in St. John’s, N.L., ready by 2024-2025, she said.
Currently, NAC offers a two-year management diploma and a one-year management certificate in Rankin Inlet. Those programs provide training in management and business administration.
A bachelor of commerce or business administration degree program would give students who have finished the diploma program advanced standing toward the undergraduate degree, NAC president Rebecca Mearns said.
The initial thought in designing this program is that a bachelor’s degree in either commerce or business administration would be a good next step for students who have taken the management diploma program, Mearns said.
But, she added, NAC and Memorial University still need to sort out details to finalize what type of program best suits Nunavummiut students in management.
Creating an undergraduate degree to go beyond a management diploma is a part of the 10-year memorandum of understanding NAC and Memorial University signed in 2019.
Through that partnership, Memorial University provides resources that help the college provide university-level degrees, including the Nunavut Teacher Education Program and bachelor of social work program.
The announcement by Gross followed a question from Iqaluit-Manirajak MLA Adam Arreak Lightstone, who asked if NAC was planning to work with Memorial University to expand the management program.
He pointed out there are a large number of positions in the Government of Nunavut that require a commerce background in fields such as finance or accounting.
“It opens up so many opportunities for people,” Mearns said of NAC expanding more of its programs toward university degrees.
The new undergraduate programs will be taught in Nunavut and instructors will be a mix of staff from NAC and Memorial University, ashe said.
Challenges included in finalizing a university degree include arranging outside funding, housing for students, and classroom space, she said.
“There’s a lot more behind the scenes that has to happen,” Mearns said.