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Universities highlight credit programs for Aboriginal students

AUCC offers searchable database as one-stop shop for information.

BY ROSANNA TAMBURRI | JAN 18 2013

A new online resource for Aboriginal students, featuring a database of for-credit programs and support services offered by 77 member institutions, was launched Jan. 17 by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. The centralized database is meant to be a one-stop shop for Aboriginal students seeking information on postsecondary degree options.

The site, accessed through at AUCC’s main website, includes a directory of undergraduate, graduate and professional degree and diploma programs specifically meant for Aboriginal students. These include:

  • transition programs;
  • degrees, diplomas and certificates with an Aboriginal specialization; and
  • degree and diploma programs offered in a First Nation language.

The directory provides information on scholarships, bursaries and other forms of financial assistance available to Aboriginal students as well as a list of support services at each institution, including Aboriginal student centres, employment counseling, cultural events and elder-in-residence programs.

“Aboriginal education is a priority for AUCC,” said Aïsha Dioury, AUCC government relations officer who worked on the site.

Each of the 77 universities in the directory has its own page with a list of programs and services it provides as well as statistical information, such as the number of Aboriginal students and Aboriginal faculty members at the institution.

The Aboriginal programs and services directory replaces a PDF document that AUCC used to publish. The new resource is easier to use, is searchable and will be updated regularly. The site features photographs as well as testimonials from Aboriginal students and graduates.

“We really want to show how the different programs and all the efforts that are made by the institutions to create culturally sensitive programs are making a difference and are helping students achieve and succeed in their postsecondary studies,” Ms. Dioury said.

A link to a new Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool created by the federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development is provided on the site. The electronic tool has a searchable list of more than 680 bursaries, scholarships and other incentives offered by Canadian universities and colleges.

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