Higher education in Yukon

Higher education in Yukon

Higher education in Yukon is shaped by the territory's small population (30,375 people as of May 2006) [ [http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/data/cen06/profiles/detail_b/60000000.pdf BC Stats. (2007). "2006 Census Profile:Yukon Territory" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ] in a relatively large geographic area. The history of higher education went hand in hand with the establishment of a representative territorial government in 1979. [Senkpiel, Aron. (1997). Postsecondary Education in Yukon. In "Higher Education in Canada" (pp. 285 - 300). Ed. Jones, G.A., New York, N.Y.: Garland Publishing] The only post-secondary institute in Yukon, Yukon College, issues certificate, diploma, and partial and some full degree programs to all high school leavers and older adults. The college is a community college and as a result it provides Adult Basic Education/literacy programs, too. [ [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/programs/index_by_area.php Yukon College. (n.d.). "Our Programs" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ]


Although the Yukon College wasn't formally established until 1988 by the College Act, 1988 [ [http://www.gov.yk.ca/legislation/regs/oic1988_166.pdf "COLLEGE ACT", O.I.C. 1988/166 Retrieved on July 17, 2008] ] , its predecessor, the Whitehorse Vocational Training Centre, opened in 1963 with a focus on teaching skills that enabled adults to gain employment. [Harvnb|Dennison|1995|p= 90] In 1977 there were arrangements with the University of British Columbia to offer university-level programs and courses; however, public demand for more local post-secondary services increased. [ [http://www1.yukoncollege.yk.ca/about/history/index.php Yukon College. (n.d.). "History of Yukon College" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ] The birth of Yukon College at the beginning of the 1980s was due to the territorial government’s dissatisfaction with the inadequate programming offered by the only training institute of the region, and the dissatisfaction of its electorate with the occasional extension courses offered through other universities. [ [http://www1.yukoncollege.yk.ca/about/history/index.php Yukon College. (n.d.). "History of Yukon College" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ] The research policies and initiatives of the college have also established a foundation of academic training. [Harvnb|Dennison|1995|p= 91]

tructure and governance

Higher education and the labour market

The Advanced Education Branch of Yukon Department of Education provides services to Yukon residents through two divisions: Labour Market Programs and Services, and Trades Certification and Training Programs. [ [http://www.education.gov.yk.ca/advanceded/ Government of Yukon. (n.d.). "Advanced Education" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ] Amongst the many objectives of these programs, some clearly delineate the relationship between the province's labour market needs and its higher education. For example, one objective is that these programs promote partnerships with business, labour organisations, Yukon College, First Nations, equity groups, federal government and other jurisdictions in the development and implementation of programs. [ [http://www.education.gov.yk.ca/pdf/2006-2007_yukon_education_annual_report.pdf Yukon Ministry of Education. (n.d.). "2006-2007 Yukon Department of Education Annual Report". (pp.61-69) Retrieved May 15, 2008] ] The programs also develop and deliver labour force initiatives through Community Training Funds [ [http://www.education.gov.yk.ca/advanceded/ctf/index.html Government of Yukon. (n.d.) "Community Training Funds" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ] and Yukon (Immigrant) Nominee Program. [ [http://www.immigration.gov.yk.ca/ynp_overview.html Government of Yukon. (n.d.). "Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ] Yukon also has some private trade schools that are regulated by Yukon Government. [ [http://www.cicdi.ca/en/post-sec.aspx?sortcode= Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials. (n.d.) "Directory of Universities, Colleges and Schools in the Provinces and Territories of Canada" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ] [ [http://www.education.gov.yk.ca/advanceded/labour/yukon_trade_schools.html Government of Yukon. (n.d.). "Registered Trade Schools in Yukon" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ]

Yukon College governance

"The board of governors of Yukon College is responsible for the government, conduct, and management of the operations of the institution including educational policies and activities that relate to quality assurance, particularly establishing programs of study and student admission standards. The act also establishes campus advisory committees to advise the board of governors on the programs and activities of the community campus, with particular reference to the needs of the community. The board of governors is accountable to the minister of education. The minister tables the board's report with the Legislature." [ [http://www.cicdi.ca/en/page.aspx?sortcode= Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials. (n.d.) "Quality Assurance Practices for Postsecondary Institutions in the Yukon" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ]

Funding and financial assistance

The Advanced Education branch of Yukon Department of Education supports adult training, education and labour force development through Community Training Funds ($1.45 million for the fiscal year 2006-07), and Student Financial Assistance options such as Yukon Grant ($3.3 million for the fiscal year 2006-07), and Student Training Allowance ($0.5 million for the fiscal year 2006-07). [ [http://www.education.gov.yk.ca/advanceded/index.html Government of Yukon. (n.d.). "Advanced Education" Retrieved July 25, 2008] ]

Over 50 organisations, individual and professional groups have established scholarships to complement the Financial Assistance programs offered by the territorial government. [ [http://www.education.gov.yk.ca/advanceded/sfa/scholarships.html Government of Yukon. (n.d.). "Scholarships and Other Options" Retrieved July 25, 2008] ]

Yukon College obtains its base operational and capital funding from Yukon Government. Yukon College also draws funding from two other sources. First, the Northern Research Endowment Fund was established in 1989 by the Government of Yukon to support "scholarly research in the humanities, social, pure, and applied sciences that is directly relevant to Yukon." [ [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/nri/index.php Yukon College. (n.d.). " Northern Research Institute" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ] Yukon Government also provides Community Training Funds. For example for the fiscal year 2006-07, $321,383 was allocated to Yukon College training courses. [ [http://www.education.gov.yk.ca/pdf/2006-2007_yukon_education_annual_report.pdf Yukon Ministry of Education. (n.d.). "2006-2007 Yukon Department of Education Annual Report". (pp.66) Retrieved May 15, 2008] ]

The territorial government has acts, policies, and regulations concerning Student Financial Assistance for Yukon citizens pursuing their post-secondary studies in or outside of Yukon. [ [http://www.education.gov.yk.ca/advanceded/pdf/policy_yukon_grant_2a.pdf Government of Yukon. (n.d.). "Yukon Grant Policy 2a: Section 6(a) of the Students Financial Assistance Act" Retrieved July 25, 2008] ] For example, during the 2005-2006 academic year, one of the grants, the Yukon Grant assisted 1,118 post-secondary students in their post-secondary studies. [Harvnb|Macdonald|2007|p= 23] Interestingly, of those receiving the Yukon Grant only three out of ten were studying at Yukon College; 44% of the recipients were studying at universities; 4% at university colleges outside of Yukon; and 22% studied outside the province in programs that may be similar to local alternatives. That is, the educational needs of 68% of the Yukon Grant recipients were served outside of the province, but financially assisted by the province. [Harvnb|Macdonald|2007|p= 23] Loan programs include Canada Student Loans, funded by the federal government and administered by the province. Students may also be eligible for the Canada Millennium Scholarships up to 2010. [ [http://www.millenniumscholarships.ca/en/index.asp Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. (n.d.). "Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation." Retrieved May 16, 2008] ]


In the 2007-08 academic year, full-time tuition fees for Yukon College students in university-level credit programs were $150 per three-credit course, or about $1,500 per year. Students in trades/vocational courses paid $750 per year, and those in developmental studies programs paid $350 per term. Tuition fees for international students, other than residents of Alaska, were $250 per credit, or about $7,500 per year. [ [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/admissions/fee_schedule/index.php Yukon College. (n.d.). "Fee Schedule" Retrieved July 25, 2008] ] There is no tuition for apprentice training. Financial assistance is normally available for apprentices to offset loss of income while attending in-school training, travel and book costs, and living-away-from-home costs where applicable through Employment Insurance funds.

Equity, mobility, and access

First Nations

In the 1970s, Native groups such as the Yukon Native Brotherhood and the Yukon Association of Non-Status Indians worked on conceiving a northern institution as a response to a lack of government initiatives, and approached the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC), called the First Nations University since 2003, to deliver programs in Yukon. In 1976, SIFC entered into a federation agreement with the University of Regina that provided for an independently administered university-college, the mission of which was to serve the academic, cultural and spiritual needs of First Nations’ students. [ [http://www.firstnationsuniversity.ca/default.aspx First Nations University of Canada. (n.d.). "Home Page" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ]

From the 1980s, however, Yukon College began to offer courses based on the demands and needs of the first nations communities (e.g., literacy programs, adult high-school programs, vocational training, and Native language instructor training [ [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/programs/index_by_area.php Yukon College. (n.d.). "Our Programs" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ] With the advent of the new millennium, the college had set up a department for First Nations initiatives and a First Nations teacher education program. [ [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/first_nation_initiatives/index.php Yukon College. (n.d.). "First Nations Initiatives" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ] The latter, is offered in partnership with the University of Regina. [ [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/programs/yntep/index.php Yukon College. (n.d.). "Yukon Native Teacher Education Program" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ] The college also outlines in its research policies that its research activities must support the social and economic priorities of First Nations and the Territorial Government, support First Nations and private sector research through partnerships and collaborative agreements with First Nations groups and local private sector research. [ [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/policies/documents/CR-01CollegeRoleinResearch.pdf Yukon College. (n.d.). "College Role in Research College Relationships" Retrieved July 15, 2008] ]

Statistical data prepared by the Institutional Research and Planning Office at Yukon College reveals that Yukon has the highest proportion of adults with non-university post secondary education in the country, at 36%, of which 34% are of aboriginal background. [ [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/programs/wett/index.php Yukon College. (n.d.) "Institutional Research". Retrieved July 15, 2008] ] More than one out of three Aboriginal Yukoners aged 25 and up had not completed high school or its equivalaency in 2001, as compared with one out of five in the general Yukon adult population. There was also a large gap in university attainment rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations. Overall, 16% of adult Yukoners held a university degree in 2001, but this only applied to 4% of Aboriginal adults. [Harvnb|Macdonald|2007|pp= 3-5] Financial constraints, family responsibilities, and the legacy of residential schooling affecting 87% of all aboriginal families are amongst the major reasons why Aboriginal Yukoners aged 25 to 64 may not complete their education. In the year 2005-2006, 46% of adult Yukon students identified themselves as First Nations people. [Harvnb|Macdonald|2007|pp= 19-20]

People with disabilities

Students with disabilities are also served by Yukon College. [ [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/learning_assistance/index.php Yukon College. (n.d.) "Learning Assistance Centre - Home". Retrieved July 25, 2008] ] In the 2005-06 academic year, 13% of Yukon College students reported a disability, be it physical, learning, or mental/emotional. [Harvnb|Macdonald|2007|p= 36]

Immigrants and international students

Like all Canadian provinces, Yukon also encourages immigration. The Yukon Nominee Program was developed to allow the Government of Yukon to nominate potential immigrants based on industrial and economic priorities and labour market conditions and who, based on Yukon’s assessment, have a strong likelihood of successfully establishing themselves in Yukon society. [Harvnb|Macdonald|2007|p= 36] The Program offers two programs to potential immigrants to Yukon; the Skilled Worker/Critical Impact Worker Program and the Business Program. [ [http://www.immigration.gov.yk.ca/ynp_overview.html Government of Yukon. (n.d.). "Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)" Retrieved July 25, 2008] ] Immigrants can also receive free language classes. [ [http://www.immigration.gov.yk.ca/learning_english.html Government of Yukon. (n.d.). "Learning English" Retrieved July 25, 2008] ] At Yukon College besides language courses, certificate, diploma, and university transfer programs are also provided to international students for a lower fee than in most Canadian colleges. [ [http://ycweb.yukoncollege.yk.ca/international/future-students/why-choose.php Yukon College. (n.d.). "Yukon College International" Retrieved July 25, 2008] ]

Transferability of program credits

Although the Yukon Grant as part of the provincial Student Financial Assistance program assists post-secondary college and university studies anywhere in the country, the top ten institutions outside Yukon for students receiving the grant were mostly in the neighboring provinces of BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Yukon students attending these out of province institutions have to observe the credit transfer and articulation agreements within and among the institutes of these provinces. [ [http://www.cicdi.ca/en/page.aspx?sortcode=2.16.18 Canadian Information Centre for International Creditentials. (n.d.). "General information about credit transfers" Retrieved July 25, 2008] ]

In a number of articulations with universities in British Columbia, the first two years of university programs can be taken at Yukon College and credited by the BC universities. [ [http://www.aucc.ca/qa/_pdf/reg_prov_overview_e.pdf Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada. (n.d.). "Overview of Provincial and Regional Quality Assurance Mechanisms in Canadian Higher Education." Retrieved July 25, 2008] ] An exception to this agreement is the new visual art, design, and media art program offered by Yukon College in collaboration with the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Alberta College of Art and Design at the KIAC School of Visual Arts in Dawson City. "Students who complete the foundation year at the new School of Visual Arts in Dawson City qualify for second year at the southern institutions." [ [http://www.canadian-universities.net/News/Press-Releases/October_24_2006_Yukon_Students_Can_Transfer_to_Southern_Art_Instit.html canadian-universities.net (n.d.). "Yukon Students Can Transfer to Southern Art Institutions." Retrieved June 2, 2008] ]

In addition, in recent times, the college has partnered up with the University of Regina (in the province of Saskatchewan) to offer two four-year bachelor’s programs and with the University of Alaska Southwest, USA, to offer one master’s program in public education in addition to the college’s certificate, diploma and university transfer programs. That is, to date (2008) the college has no degree granting authority. [ [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/programs/index_by_area.php Yukon College. (n.d.). "Our Programs". Retrieved May 15, 2008] ] As of January 2008, there are 48 trades/occupations in which apprenticeship and certification are available in Yukon. [ [http://www.education.gov.yk.ca/policy/legislation.html Government of Yukon. (n.d.). "Education Related Legislation". Retrieved July 25, 2008] ] Apprentices obtain a Certificate of Qualification issued by the Department of Education upon completion of all requirements of their apprentice program. Recognition of their completion credentials extends outside Yukon through the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program if a Red Seal examination is available in their trade. [ [http://www.red-seal.ca/ Human Resources and Social Development Canada. (n.d.). "Red Seal Program". Retrieved July 25, 2008] ]

Future directions and challenges

Yukon College is a founding member of the University of the Arctic, run by circumpolar nations; however, to date there is no provincial university in Yukon. [ [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/uarctic Yukon College. (n.d.). "University of the Arctic @ Yukon College" Retrieved July 25, 2008] ] [ [http://www.uarctic.org/completeArticles.aspx?m=6 University of the Arctic. (n.d.). "About us" Retrieved July 25, 2008] ] This is despite the fact that the Science Council of Canada had already urged its establishment as early as the mid 1970s, and local college board members have been envisioning it, or its university-college status since 2004. [ [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/documents/public/univ_of_yukon/04_02_09_CBC_1_Norm_Easton.html Yukon College. (n.d.). "Norm Easton – Views on a Yukon University" Retrieved July 25, 2008] ]



*citation|last= Dennison |first= John |year= 1995 |title= Challenge and Opportunity: Canada's Community Colleges at the Crossroads |place= Vancouver |publisher= UBC Press |isbn= 978-0774805162 .
*citation|last=Macdonald |first= Dawn |date= August 10, 2007 |year= 2007 |url=http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/strategic_planning/documents/EnviroScan.pdf |publisher= Yukon College |title= Yukon College: Environmental Scan 2007 |accessdate= 2008-09-27 .

ee also

*Higher education in Canada
*Higher education in British Columbia

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