Nunavut Teacher Education Program grads raring to go
All 14 graduates from recent ceremony are already employed in the territory
Another group of students has graduated from the Nunavut Teacher Education Program, and unlike many of their counterparts in the south, all 14 Iqaluit graduates will be employed this fall.
Since 2007, Nunavut Arctic College has partnered with the University of Regina to offer a Bachelor of Education program with the specific goal of preparing graduates to teach in English and Inuktitut in Nunavut schools.
"One of my passions is education," said Nadia Sammurtok, who gave the valedictory address at the program's graduation on June 4, 2015.
"I struggled, as a young student, with not feeling motivated. I just didn't have the motivation to keep up with my schooling... and as I got older I realized how important education really is."
Sammurtok says she was "terrified" to go back to school, with a young child, but she kept reminding herself that the many years of hard work would prepare her for the rest of her life.
Nunavut graduates in demand
Brian Manning, the director of education programs at Nunavut Arctic College, says the Nunavut Teachers Education Program (NTEP) has a long history, beginning with a certificate program in 1974.
Over those years, Manning says the program has graduated about 500 people.
"The degree is portable. It's good anywhere in Canada," said Manning. "But the [Government of Nunavut] and certainly the regional school operations readily seek them out."
As the young population of Nunavut grows, Manning says it is becoming more important to have strong educators.
"Education sets the framework for everything. It is a strong stepping stone."
But while Manning says graduates develop skills that would easily transfer to other communities, Sammurtok can't imagine working outside of school walls.
"I'm very excited. I can't wait. I wish it was August."