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University of Alberta degrees becoming available at Grande Prairie Regional College

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October 12, 2005

Source: University of Alberta:

University of Alberta degrees becoming available at Grande Prairie Regional College

October 12, 2005 - In an effort to create enhanced programming for their students, the University of Alberta and Grande Prairie Regional College today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore degree completion opportunities in the areas of arts, education and commerce.

The new programs, which would include courses and programs in arts and fine arts, will enhance Grande Prairie Regional College's existing degree completion programs in nursing and elementary education.

The agreement will allow the two post-secondary institutions to join forces in helping students stay closer to home while finishing their degrees in Grande Prairie. It provides Grande Prairie Regional College increased opportunity to expand its programming, while the University of Alberta improves access to its degree programs for students in northwestern Alberta. Third-year classes could potentially begin in the fall of 2006, with fourth year beginning in 2007.

"A post-secondary education is one of the best investments anyone can make in Alberta, whether it's learning a trade or studying at a college or university," said Advanced Education Minister Dave Hancock. "This new arrangement is a great example of the Post-secondary Learning Act working to make new ways for Albertans to access degree-granting programs. Alberta Advanced Education commends Grande Prairie Regional College and the University of Alberta for working with the department to introduce a new and innovative approach to post-secondary studies."

"Today's announcement demonstrates the University of Alberta's commitment to working with the province's northern communities," said Dr. Indira Samarasekera, President of the University of Alberta. "Through this agreement with Grande Prairie Regional College we are strengthening a valuable conduit for education, and bringing more University of Alberta programs to post-secondary students who live outside Edmonton."

"Grande Prairie College has had a vibrant transfer program with the University of Alberta for almost 40 years. This brings the relationship to a new level by allowing for degree completion in many programs right here in Grande Prairie, and we are applying for funding to start this in 2006, said Mr. Fletcher Bootle, Chair of GPRC Board of Governors. "This is indeed, an important day in the history of our college."

The MOU was signed at Grande Prairie Regional College today.

Grande Prairie Regional College was established in 1966 to meet the post-secondary education needs of the region. Today more than 2,500 students attend GPRC each year to study with 140 faculty in pursuit of degrees, university studies, diplomas and certificates.

The University of Alberta is one of Canada's premier teaching and research universities, annually serving more than 35,000 students and with 8,000 faculty and staff in 15 faculties in Edmonton, as well as serving 1,050 students with 55 faculty and 115 staff at Augustana Faculty in Camrose.


For more information please contact:

Bev Betkowski, Public Affairs, University of Alberta, (780) 492-3808; or Mr. Jim Henderson, President, Grande Prairie Regional College, (780) 539-2024.

File No: 31



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