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Research Article

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Indigenous Institutes and Seamless Transfer: Integrating Access and Admissions as Part of Student Mobility

February 2021

Authors: Joyce Helmer, Adam Hopkins & Sarah Mignault (First Nations Technical Institute); Beverley Carter-Roy & Mark Gibeault (Kenjgewin Teg); Angela Mainville, & Brendan Smyth (Seven Generations Education Institute)

Project photo

Executive Summary

First Nations Technical Institute, Kenjgewin Teg Education Institute, and Seven Generations Education Institute agree that the prospective learner engagement and advocacy known as “Admissions” must be responsive, flexible, and dependable. There is general agreement that the Admissions teams contribute to engaging in outreach to communities and potential learners. There is a willingness to work towards a process that demonstrates “no locked doors”; and one that provides consistency across the sector and among the Indigenous Institutes across the Province.

As new accredited members in the postsecondary sector we are embarking on a path towards acknowledging history, determining where we are currently and forging completely new ways of responding to Indigenous learners in our own settings and as transfer learners.

The goal of this project was to examine the Admissions processes in three of the Province’s Indigenous Institutes to strengthen access and transfer to postsecondary education for Indigenous learners. To achieve this goal, policy and procedural changes are required. It is well known that systems change is essential to removing barriers and a conceptual shift needs to occur that is responsive and safe with policies, strategies and frameworks that are relevant, contextual, strengthens identity and ownership and promotes lifelong learning.

To that end, the First Nations Technical Institute, Kenjgewin Teg Education Institute, and Seven Generations Education Institute have worked to develop a learner-centered prospective learner engagement “Admissions” process and program that will address and remove some of the application and admission barriers that are currently encountered, provide opportunities for upgrading, upskilling, continuous professional development, and dual credit options.

The processes and program development concepts discussed in this project afforded consideration of respective community, geographical, and First Nation diversity. Attention to this detail allowed for the creation of an admissions' process that is innovative, fully transferable and adaptable for individual community and Institutions’ uniqueness.

The initial project activities required a comprehensive review of each Institute’s Admissions processes, policies and procedures. Once this baseline was established, we were able to identify challenges, gaps, and barriers that were common across the sector and create an innovative framework for a full entry year program offering.


  • Student decisions, experiences, and outcomes
  • Program pathways, course transfer, and prior learning
  • Equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility
  • Indigenous
  • Public policy