New Faculty of Arts and Sciences redefining educational experiences

December 14, 2022

New Faculty of Arts and Sciences redefining educational experiences

Second year student Carmen Nachtigall is enthusiastic about her experience in NorQuest College’s Indigenous Studies diploma program—one of many exciting educational opportunities under the recently established Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

“For me, it’s been life changing. Absolutely,” explained Nachtigall. “I came from a disconnect from my culture. This was the bridge to make those connections.”

The faculty is composed of three key divisions: Arts and Sciences, Community Studies, and the Indigenous House of Learning all framed within the broader college-wide strategies NorQuest 2030: We are who we include and Reimagine Higher Education.

“We have an opportunity to decolonize through the Indigenous Studies program and do some really important work socially through the faculty,” says NorQuest College President and CEO Carolyn Campbell.

That work has already begun, and the impacts are being felt across the college, from students like Nachtigall, to the instructors delivering the courses. Program Chair of Indigenous Studies, Jeanien Bell, attributes these connections to the groundbreaking ways the program centers Indigenous knowledges.

“By centering the traditional and contemporary knowledges of elders, knowledge keepers, and cultural advisors to highlight their contributions, we are building bridges between traditional and contemporary Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing alongside Western scholarship and academia,” Bell says. “We’re finding ways to bring the best of both worlds together as we move forward, and as we push those boundaries and our understandings of educational experiences.”

Additionally, the new faculty is home to the Indigenous House of Learning, a concept that came from Indigenous leaders during the development of the college’s strategic plan.

For Nachtigall, learning about her culture was the main reason she started her program. “Now, I am really enthralled. I want to go on further.”