Aurora College Transformation Critical Milestones Timeline Updated and Includes Degree Program Implementation Dates

News Releases

Yellowknife — February 23, 2023

In keeping with the commitment the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has made to ensure Northwest Territories (NWT) residents are kept informed during the transformation of Aurora College to a polytechnic university, NWT residents are advised that updates have been made to the critical milestone timeline for Aurora College Transformation.

One exciting addition to the critical milestone timeline is the Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Social Work and General Arts & Science Programs. Aurora College is working to have year 1 of these programs implemented by September 2024.

These renewed degree programs will allow students to stay connected with their culture and lands, as well as fill a critical gap in the labour force. Made in the North programming will empower our students to play a leading role in supporting their communities.

As we come to the end of the 19th Legislative Assembly and halfway through transformation, it makes operational sense to do an assessment of the critical milestones timeline and adjust commitments as necessary. The updated timeline identifies with different colours which critical milestones have not changed and are complete, which have been delayed slightly, and which ones have been added.

Most of the adjustments to milestone dates occurs in phase 2, which is the phase that contains the bulk of the work. Delays in milestone dates are a result of a combination of an increase in activities required to complete each milestone and capacity at Aurora College. Along with the addition of the Aurora College programs, the establishment of the Indigenous Knowledge Holders Council and implementation of the polytechnic university funding formula have also been added as new milestones. These projects have been added as critical milestones because they are critical elements in the successful transformation of Aurora College to a polytechnic university.

Though there have been adjustments to critical milestone dates, all critical milestone commitments are still on track to be fulfilled by October 2026. To keep up to date with transformation visit: Aurora College Transformation (


“At the start of transformation, the GNWT committed to supporting the re-introduction of the education and social work programs, which are important to the successful transformation of Aurora College to a polytechnic university. I am pleased that Aurora College and the Dept. of ECE have taken operational steps to update the critical milestone timeline, that includes a new milestone to reintroduce these important programs. I look forward to welcoming a new cohort of students in the fall 2024 intake.”

-R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment

“The introduction of university level general studies and the return of social work and education programs are an important step in Aurora College’s plans to increase access to post-secondary educational opportunities for NWT residents. The programs will open doors to educational and career opportunities for graduates who will, in turn, provide care, mentorship and support to generations of Northerners. Aurora College will continue to prioritize engagement with Indigenous and community governments, education partners and employers in the development of new programs.”

-Glenda Vardy Dell, President, Aurora College

Quick facts:

  • Transformation is often presented as one project, but it is in fact a collection of over 100 projects, spread over three phases.
  • The GNWT is working collaboratively with Aurora College to support the development and implementation of these renewed programs.
  • The polytechnic university is scheduled to be launched in May 2025, with the completion of all critical milestones by October 2026.

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For media requests, please contact:

Krystal Pidborochynski

Manager, Strategic Communications

Aurora College Transformation 

Government of the Northwest Territories

Ph: 867-767-9065 ext. 71078