Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut November 20, 2011 - 5:43 am

Nunavut Arctic College promotes new online courses

Courses offer introductions to northern government, the circumpolar world

SARAH ROGERS
From left, Michelle Turpin Jacquard, Matthew Ayres, Jason Brown and Fiona Buchan Corey check out the municipal government program’s new online course offered through Nunavut Arctic College. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MTO)
From left, Michelle Turpin Jacquard, Matthew Ayres, Jason Brown and Fiona Buchan Corey check out the municipal government program’s new online course offered through Nunavut Arctic College. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MTO)

Municipal training in Nunavut just got a lot easier.

That’s because Nunavut Arctic College plans to launch the first of five online courses for the Municipal Training Organization’s municipal government program later this month.

The “Introduction to Northern Government” course will be delivered online beginning Nov. 28, with more courses set to begin in 2012.

The popular course covers the structure, history and operations of territorial and municipal governments in Nunavut.

“This is a course that used to take six days to teach in a classroom,” said Fiona Buchan-Corey, director of the Kitikmeot campus of Nunavut Arctic College, in a Nov.18 press release. “The new desktop delivery model makes the program accessible virtually anywhere; and it uses new, digital approaches to learning and teaching that students are going to find very exciting.”

More than 1,000 Nunavummiut have taken the municipal government program since 2004, which includes a combination of five core courses and five speciality courses earning learners their municipal government certification.

The course fees are typically paid for by the hamlet or the territorial department where the student is employed.

Nunavut’s municipal training organization is a non-profit society that grew from a partnership between the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Community and Government Services and the Nunavut Association of Municipal Adminstrators.

The municipal training organization’s executive director Mathew Ayres says the online option will mean better course material and lower costs.

“One of our biggest challenges in Nunavut has always been time and travel,” Ayres explained. “With an online course, participants can learn more, learn at their own pace, and can study from the comfort of their own community. It’s a win-win situation for everybody.”

At the same time, Nunavut Arctic College is experimenting with another of its online courses.

In co-operation with the University of the Arctic, the college also is offering its “Introduction to the Circumpolar World” course free of charge.

The course, which introduces students to the geography and biology of the Arctic and sub-Arctic, usually costs $300 in tuition.

But the college decided to offer the course for free to allow students to try out a university-level course.

The “Introduction to the Circumpolar World” will be offered in modules that can be done at home, while students can also participate in weekly group sessions in Iqaluit.

The course runs from January to April 2012.

Visit http://www.arcticcollege.ca for more information.

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