Aurora College continues to lay out its plans for its transition to a polytechnic university, despite facing criticism.
On Tuesday, the college released its corporate plan for 2020-21, which fleshed out the strategic plan — which outlined the college’s plans for the next three years — that was released midway through October.
“At this stage of Aurora College’s transformation into a polytechnic university, the aim is to establish a performance measurement system that will strengthen the College’s foundation and set the context for key transformational changes,” said Andy Bevan, Aurora College President.
That is the second of three documents that are meant to be released to lay out the future of the college. The third, the “transformation implementation plan” is yet to be released. That will outline how the polytechnic university, which is yet to be named, will be implemented.
The polytechnic university is expected to formally launch in May 2025.
The finished strategic plan commits the college to “leadership in the delivery of relevant and meaningful education and research rooted in strong connections to northern land, tradition, community, and people.”
The four strategic pillars are academic and research excellence, a learning-centred environment, development of partnerships, and organizational effectiveness – which will see the college strive to be open and transparent about its progress according to the report. It adds that Aurora College recognizes “the need for integrated planning, operational excellence, and continuous quality improvement.”
The plan also set out several performance indicators which will track whether the college is achieving its goals. These include increasing enrolment, increasing the amount of research projects conducted and territorial impact — the number of students from the Northwest Territories, and the number who stay after they have graduated.
Implementing a polytechnic university — which combines the practical learning elements of a college with more in-depth learning like in a university — is part of the 19th Legislative Assembly’s mandate.
But as the plans have been rolled out, they have faced criticism, notably from Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty.
In two letters to education minister R.J. Simpson, Alty said the college’s proposed governance structure has problems and the program focuses were too vague to meet the needs of NT’s students and the job market.