The Northern Adult Basic Education Project

The Northern Adult Basic Education Program: The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) is investing over $7 million over seven years to enhance adult basic education programming in the Yukon. The program will be delivered by Yukon College. Yukon College works in partnership with relevant stakeholders in the Yukon including First Nation governments, rural community campuses, the local French association, literacy service providers, and employers to introduce programming and build capacity that will significantly improve the literacy and employability skills of Yukoners. With a strong emphasis on rural programming, each of the projects is designed to uniquely respond to the social and economic realities of the region in which it takes place.

Development: Each of the Yukon’s fourteen First Nations’ education directors or employment training officers reviewed the scope of the project and identified priorities based on immediate and emerging social and economic needs of their governments. They identified the overall goal and measure of success at the end of the eight-year project: to see a decrease in the number of citizens, particularly young men, applying for or relying on Social Assistance. The First Nations identified the following initiatives to be incorporated in the project:

• Inclusion of Life Skills in ABE programming
• Creation of a student success course that deals with individual learning barriers
• Additional skills for employment that reflect the local labor market and interests of the community; workplace readiness
• Review and revise some college preparation programming to enhance community access and First Nations, Inuit and Métis Essential Skills Applications Inventory 5 Essential Skill Program or Initiative Elements Description student retention
• Culturally relevant assessments

A framework for the project based on priorities identified by Yukon’s First Nations was created outlining 5 key areas of project concentration
• Assessment and PLAR
• Life Skills
• Case Management
• Skills for Employment
• Create and deliver a Yukon First Nations Cultural Art Certificate program at Yukon College

College Preparation highlighting these key areas but also increasing the flexible delivery options to students through online asynchronous and synchronous streams
• Development of On the Land Programming increasing learners’ connection to cultural traditions and successfully delivery science credits at an ABE level
• Elder guidance and support at community campuses to enhance quality of programming and ensure learners have support from within communities
• Distance learning/online support in the form of eLearning mentors assigned to online coursework
• Online delivery and development on Adult Basic Education courses

The NABE project began working with communities in developing course ideas. Course delivery began in the Fall 2012 and will continue until Spring 2020.

Community Needs Assessment: Following the pilot stage of delivery additional community needs assessments asking basic questions on community needs, economic needs and general course/educational interests was done in each First Nations community. The findings helped to develop an accurate 5-year plan for ABE initiatives needed for particular communities.

Delivery: Training is community-based and provided on-site in the community. If training facilities are not available, the college provides mobile training units. In the case of computer training the College provides a mobile computer lab with 20 laptops.

Sustainability: NABE has created sustainable approaches to the project by the following:

• Ensuring investment on behalf of potential employers and First Nations prior to course (pilot)delivery
• Involving key skilled people within the community either in instructing the program or aiding in program development or delivery: (i.e. work in partnership with the instructor of the program as mentor/mentee.) After course completion, this local community member could then lead a future course.
• After the initial pilot course, communities invest financially for the delivery in the program. NABE only provides materials and curricula
• Communities pay tuition and possible training allowances to their attending community members as well as support attendance
In years 3-8 of this project, communities will take over the role of initiating life skills, qualitative assessment of participants, and goal setting with participants, helping to create pathways for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Essential Skills

Topics covered Training programs (courses)developed under Northern Adult Basic Education Program funding include:
• Trades Exploration (Carpentry, Electrical, Plumbing, Oil Burner),
• Outdoor Power Equipment Technician,
• Cultural Arts,
• Mining,
• Interpretive Tourism,
• Culinary Skills
• Camp Cook
• Early Learning Childcare
• Event Planning
• Food Security
• Highways and Public Works
• Esthetics
• Native Cultural Arts
• Writing Skills for Publication
• Climate Change and Traditional Knowledge
• Site Services for Mines
• Community Greenhouse Project
• Hospitality and Tourism
• Computer Basics and Word Processing
• Ecotourism and Geo Tourism
• Radio Broadcasting
• Career and Personal Development
• Kitchen Helper
• Building Service Worker/Housing Maintainer
• Bilingual Service Worker (front line)
• Exploring Role of Millwright
• Remote Worker Safety Skills
• Office Clerical Skills

Program content for the Northern Adult Basic Education programming always includes the following components:
• Community Needs Assessment
• Student Needs Assessment
• Academic Upgrading as needed
• Essential Skills: All nine ES being utilized: Reading, Document Use and Numeracy aligned with Occupational ES requirements are emphasized
• Life Skills and Personal Wellness
• Cultural Component
• Introduction to the Occupation
• Occupational – Trade specific skills training
• Driver Training
• Computer Literacy Training
• Safety Ticket Training
• Office Clerical Skills

Location Yukon
Download project details

Shelagh Rowles, Director, Community, Innovation and Development, Yukon College
500 College Drive, Whitehorse YT Y1A 5K4

Project Details
Community Rural, Remote, Other
Scope of Project Provincial / Territorial, Regional, Local
Target Audience First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Youth (15-30 yrs), Adults (31-49 yrs), Older workers (50+ yrs), Other