Accredited Indigenous Post-Secondary Institutions in Alberta

An Indigenous post-secondary institution program is characterized by teachings and research that are grounded in Indigenous world views. To be designated for student loans and grants, the program must be offered by an Indigenous post-secondary institution located in Alberta that is accredited through the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC).

Indigenous post-secondary institutions:

  • are mandated, owned and governed by their member Nations,
  • are accountable to their students, Nations and communities,
  • are characterized by teachings and research that are grounded in Indigenous world views, and
  • deliver a comprehensive suite of programs at multiple levels of study that have received accreditation by an Indigenous accreditation body.

Designation Process

Designation of a new Indigenous post-secondary institution program at an existing or new institution is initiated by Alberta Student Aid when a request for designation has been submitted by the student via the Designation Inquiry e-mail, by Alberta Student Aid’s loan service provider on behalf of the student, or submitted by the institution.

After a request for designation is received, Alberta Student Aid will contact the educational institution for information to conduct a review of the institution and/or its program for designation status. A new program and/or specialization will be assigned designation status provided the educational institution and the program and/or specialization meets the Indigenous post-secondary institution and Program Designation Requirements.

Program Designation Requirements

To be designated for full-time Alberta and Canada student loans and grants, a program offered by an Alberta Indigenous post-secondary institution must meet the General Program Designation Requirements as well as the following requirements:

  1. be offered by an Indigenous post-secondary institution which has signed and adheres to the Alberta Institution Designation Agreement – First Nations College which will require the educational institution to comply with legislation, permit audits, and other requirements as needed,
  2. be offered by a fully accredited educational institution, or at least 60% of the program is accepted for credit by a fully accredited educational institution,

    In Alberta, the accrediting body is the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC).
  3. be post-secondary in nature and result in a certificate, diploma or degree credential,
  4. be a program of 12 weeks or more in length, and
  5. if the Minister considers the employment of graduates to be relevant, the potential for employment for graduates of the program is acceptable to the Minister.