Planning for the future

Aurora College is transforming into a polytechnic university that will be launched in 2025.

In late 2020, Aurora College introduced an ambitious new strategic plan –Strengthening the Foundation and Planning for Change: Aurora College’s 3-year Strategic Plan – setting out a new vision, mission, values and strategic direction that will guide the College’s operations from 2020 to 2023 in the first phase of its transformation. The plan was developed with input from Aurora College students, employees, partners and stakeholders.

The three-year strategic plan reflects the leading role of Aurora College in implementing the overall vision presented in the GNWT’s Post-secondary Education Strategic Framework 2019-2029 – a vision that every resident of the NWT has an equitable opportunity to reach their full potential by obtaining a quality post-secondary education from institutions that are student-centred, accessible, high quality, relevant and accountable.

This plan is the first of three strategic plans that will guide the institution as it transforms from a college to a polytechnic university.  Ongoing and public engagement remains a priority for the transformation of Aurora College into a polytechnic university and will take place throughout the process.


Through the transformation of Aurora College into a polytechnic university, we will establish a university in the North and for the North that creates equitable opportunities for residents across the Northwest Territories to reach their full potential.


Demonstrate leadership in the delivery of relevant and meaningful education and research rooted in strong connections to Northern land, tradition, community and people.


We care for one another and foster relationships based on trust, respect and fairness. We respect others and the land, water, air and animals.

We foster a culture of equity and inclusion that celebrates different ways of being, knowing and doing.

We inspire and nurture innovative thinking, continuous discovery and creative expression.

We hold ourselves to high standards of ethical behaviour and take responsibility for our actions. We recognize and protect the right of the individual to search for knowledge, wherever knowledge is to be found.

Strategic Pillars

Academic and Research Excellence

We will enhance our understanding of how learning takes place inside and outside of the classroom and respond with plans to strengthen institutional supports. This will include steps to foster the expansion of research and strengthen the relationship between research and teaching.


  • Foster innovation and resourcefulness.
  • Support and nurture the interdependent relationships between teaching and learning (knowledge dissemination) and research (knowledge creation).
  • Incorporate and respect Indigenous, traditional and local knowledge into our teaching and research
  • Respond to multiple ways of being, knowing and doing in teaching and research.
  • Enhance teaching through professional development, continuous learning and self-reflection.
  • Ensure assessment and evaluation techniques allow learners to demonstrate what they know and what they have learned in a variety of ways.

Learning Centred

We are dedicated to providing learners with programs and services that are adaptive and can be tailored to help students meet their academic and personal goals.


  • Recruit, develop and retain a College team that is skilled, knowledgeable and caring.
  • Strengthen the relationships between applied learning and applied research.
  • Strengthen and expand a holistic set of student supports.
  • Maintain small classroom sizes and ensure faculty are accessible.
  • Ensure student supports are consistent across campuses and community learning centres.
  • Ensure student services and supports provide equitable and meaningful opportunities for Indigenous students.


We will focus on establishing, strengthening and supporting co-investment partnerships with the Government of the Northwest Territories, Indigenous governments, communities, industry, non-governmental organizations and other academic institutions.


  • Be open, welcoming and demonstrate respect for land, tradition, community and people.
  • Take a holistic approach to student support that acknowledges the importance of strong connections to community, culture and family.
  • Establish external connections, building partnerships that strengthen learning experiences and highlight the value of attending Aurora College.
  • Work with Indigenous governments and communities to increase student enrolment, lower attrition rates and create opportunities for applied learning in a Northern context.
  • Expand the scope of learning opportunities for NWT residents through partnerships with post-secondary education institutions.
  • Work with JK-12 education bodies to strengthen student pathways to post-secondary education.
  • Incorporate industry knowledge and experience into teaching and research program design.
  • Establish partnerships that build research capacity around Northern research priorities.

Organizational Effectiveness

We are committed to being open and accountable, and recognize the need for integrated planning, operational excellence and continuous quality improvement. We will provide stakeholders and the public with detailed and transparent results of Aurora College’s progress and performance.


  • Ensure changes under the Strategic Plan support an effective, efficient and sustainable institution.
  • Ensure Aurora College campuses and community learning centres function in a coordinated and coherent manner.
  • Ensure a student-centred approach across the institution.
  • Ensure resource needs are understood and addressed.
  • Integrate steps toward continuous quality improvement in institutional policies and processes.
  • Empower and support faculty in their teaching, applied research and service to the
  • Ensure the Aurora College Team maintain the awareness, knowledge and skills to effectively support improvements to the institution.