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Nunavut Invites Memorial's expertise

Memorial's Faculty of Education developed a distance education program for Nunavut that was first delivered in the fall of 2002 to 50 students.

The five-course program borrows from existing offerings in the Faculty of Education which have, in many instances, been adapted for the northern context. The program is delivered through the School of Continuing Education across the three separate time zones in the Nunavut territory.

The courses, selected by Nunavut teachers, include Education 3220 (Introduction to Exceptional Learners), Education 3255 (Child Abuse and the School Aged Child), Education 3630 (Nature and Characteristics of Learning Disabilities) and Education 3640 (Contemporary Issues in Special Education).

The program for Nunavut was developed by faculty members Drs. David Philpott, Wayne Nesbit and Alice Collins in cooperation with the Nunavut Department of Education.

In the spring of 2002 Nunavut's Department of Education approached Memorial's Faculty of Education to develop and deliver a professional development certificate program for their teachers. Following a needs assessment and extensive discussions, a memorandum of understanding was signed and the program developed.

“Memorial's bachelor of special education degree is held in high esteem nationally and it was certainly validating to be approached to develop this program,” said Dr. Philpott. “A strong partnership involving Dr. Nesbit, Dr. Collins and myself made it possible for the first group of students to register this fall. Dr. Nesbit and I are excited about the countless research opportunities that this affords.”

Dr. Philpott traveled to Nunavut to meet with teachers and representatives of the Nunavut Department of Education to begin development of the program's fifth course that specifically addresses facets of assessment in a northern context.

Dr. Collins, interim dean of education, said the faculty is pleased about this latest expansion beyond Newfoundland and Labrador.

“There is much to offer each other in this innovative partnership with the Nunavut Department of Education and we look forward to expanding our presence in northern, remote and rural Canadian settings.”