Yukon College has officially launched its second-ever degree program, bringing the school another step closer to its transition into a university.
The Yukon government announced that it had approved the college’s bachelor of business administration degree, on the recommendation of the Campus Alberta Quality Council (CAQC), at a press conference April 1.
“This degree will offer Yukoners a new opportunity to pursue the knowledge and skills to be successful entrepreneurs and build local businesses, without leaving the Territory (sic),” Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee said in a college press release.
“We are excited and proud to support Yukon College as it transitions to a university to meet the diverse needs of Yukoners.”
The college is now accepting applications for the four-year-long program, which builds on the college’s existing business administration certificate and diploma programs and is scheduled to start in September.
Students who have completed the business administration diploma within the last eight years will be allowed to jump directly into the third year of the program, the chair of Yukon College’s school of business and leadership, Rodney Hulstein, said in an April 2 interview. That means that the college will be launching both first-year and third-year classes in the fall 2019 semester.
As well, the program has also been designed with two “exit points” in place — if students begin the program but, for whatever reason, need to leave school, they will receive a certificate if they’ve successfully completed one year and a diploma if they’ve completed two.
Overall, the program is “very experiential,” Hulstein said, with a focus on “local knowledge” including about Yukon First Nations, governments, private businesses and not-for-profits.
“This (program) is fully developed by Yukon College, so it is set in our context — it is rooted in this place that we call home,” he said.
“… We can work with all of our Yukon organizations, so it’s a huge benefit for students, they can now, through our program, develop connections with all of these potential employers for them and to allow them to essentially hit the ground running when they graduate.”
The college’s business and administration program has historically always been popular, Hulstein added, and the school anticipates having a total program size of 120 to 130 students for the fall 2019 semester.
At least one diploma student, Justice Billy, a Champagne and Aishihik First Nations citizen, is planning on continuing on to complete the full degree, according to the college’s press release.
“I have enjoyed the diploma program and learning about marketing, accounting, economics and organizational behaviour,” the press release quotes Billy as saying. “…I am excited for this new program, for the opportunity to continue my education here in Whitehorse while maintaining my job and staying close to my family and friends. Everything I will learn offers the opportunity to create a small business of my own one day.”
The college launched its first degree program — a bachelor of arts in Indigenous governance — in 2018. That program was also completely created in the Yukon, and 18 students are currently enrolled in it.
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