Northwestern Polytechnic and the Western Cree Tribal Council have partnered with plans to deliver more micro-credential programs for Indigenous students, after adding an Early Learning and Child Care micro-credential last fall.
The program was initially developed after the school was approached by Horse Lake First Nation regarding delivering training and education programs that would support the Clear Hills Youth Treatment Centre initiative. Once the impact of this program was realized, a new partnership was formed, allowing Indigenous students in Horse Lake First Nation, Duncan’s First Nation, and Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation to take part.
The Early Learning and Child Care micro-credential was delivered by continuing education to 20 Indigenous students across the Western Cree Tribal Council. NWP alumna, Principal of Horse Lake First Nation, and Director of Awasis Day Care Laura Tangen taught the course.
“Building a wonderfully sculpted micro-credential has broken down many of the barriers to achieving post-secondary education goals,” says Tangen. “This course is successful because it removes traditional walls of education and offers a unique experience that can be applied directly into programs.”
The institution offered the course in person over three weekends in January and February. The in-class aspect was combined with online readings and engaging activities.
“This initiative was so successful because it allowed students to complete an entire course with minimal interruption to their daily routines and home life. I know that many of the students are employed full time throughout the week, have young children at home, and/or have to travel a fair distance from their home communities to participate,” added Tangen.
Once completed, the program allows students to receive a Level 1 Early Childhood Education certificate and a Northwestern Polytechnic Continuing Education Certificate of Completion.
No more details have been provided as of yet in regards to what type of micro-credential programs will be offered going forward.