GPRC, Athabasca University partner to increase access to online learning
Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) has signed a new partnership agreement with Athabasca University (AU) to improve access to education opportunities for northern Alberta students. GPRC will join AU’s online learning platform, moving current courses online and developing new online courses over the next few months.
The agreement will see GPRC students benefit from AU’s world-leading expertise in online education and its cloud-hosted learning management system to access online courses and class content.
“It is innovative partnerships such as this new agreement between GPRC and Athabasca University that will allow GPRC to achieve its goal of being more inclusive, modern, and accessible for students across northern Alberta and beyond,” said Dr. Robert Murray, President and CEO of GPRC.
“AU is pleased to be able to offer its expertise to help GPRC increase access to learning opportunities for students in northern Alberta with a model that can be scaled up in the future,” said Dr. Neil Fassina, President of Athabasca University. “As Canada’s online university, we are proud to partner with other post-secondary institutions in providing teaching, technology, and training supports.”
GPRC currently has 700 online courses that will be migrated to the new online platform over the summer. Plans are also underway to launch an additional 26 courses online by September 2020 with the support of PowerED™, AU’s entrepreneurial unit specializing in the development of media-rich and engaging digital courses. Working together, the team will continue to expand GPRC’s online offerings for students.
AU will help GPRC develop its digital learning strategy, design and develop online courses, and train and support instructors and administrators for online instruction. The partnership will provide GPRC learners with a modern, intuitive, and interactive online learning platform, including 24/7 access to technical support. It will also reduce manual processes, freeing instructors to spend more time focusing on student learning and support.
“To achieve excellence in post-secondary education in northern Alberta, we need to be able to create new and enriched learning experiences for GPRC students. This partnership will allow us to accomplish that and ensure all communities have access to the programming needed to support the economic growth of the province,” said Dr. Murray.
GPRC is a comprehensive community institution, publicly supported to provide opportunities in post-secondary education in northwestern Alberta. Established in 1966 in Grande Prairie, GPRC now includes campuses in Fairview and Grande Prairie, and learning centres in Edson, Grande Cache, Hinton, and Jasper. GPRC offers a wide variety of career certificates and diplomas, pre-employment and apprenticeship trades, university transfer studies, and several opportunities for on-campus degree completion at baccalaureate and master levels through collaborations with four-year universities. For more information, visit gprc.ab.ca.
About Athabasca University
Athabasca University (AU) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year a long history of being a leader and innovator in distributed learning. Today, AU is one of the world’s fastest-growing digital education institutions, serving more than 43,000 students worldwide. AU offers more than 950 courses at the undergraduate, graduate, diploma, and certificate program levels in addition to online professional development. Disciplines include arts, business, health, education, and science. Committed to advancing research, AU is home to Canada’s only UNESCO Chair in Open Education, four Canada Research Chairs, and two Campus Alberta Innovates Program Chairs. As Canada’s Online University and one of the world’s first online universities, AU’s flexibility and accessibility give learners control over their educational journeys and remove barriers that restrict access to and success in university-level study no matter where they may be located. Visit AthabascaU.ca.
Original press release on this partnership can be found here.