Aurora College

Aurora College | Fort Smith, N.W.T. | Founded 1968

Aurora College Maclean's Profile

Aurora College has three campuses, the largest of which is Thebacha in Fort Smith, N.W.T. Located near the Alberta border just outside Wood Buffalo National Park, Thebacha is the school’s southernmost campus.

The Aurora campus, in the town of Inuvik, is the college’s northernmost campus. The Aurora Research Institute (ARI) is in this region as well. It aims to respond to the economic and social needs of the Territories while integrating Indigenous knowledge. It focuses on applied research in agriculture, environment, health and information technology.

The Yellowknife—North Slave campus, located in the N.W.T.’s capital city, is the site of the school’s nursing program, which has graduated more than 325 registered nurses.

A majority of Aurora’s students identify as Indigenous and come from remote communities. The school offers more than 35 certificate, diploma, degree, upgrading and apprenticeship programs designed to respond to the labour needs of the region. Areas of study include office and business administration, leadership, industrial training, mining, environment and natural resources, and health and human services.

Aurora College serves the North’s residents by operating 21 community learning centres. These centres primarily focus on academic upgrading and adult basic education to prepare residents in remote communities to enter the school’s certificate, diploma and degree programs.

Size of school Tuition (degree) Tuition (diploma) Tuition (certificate) Residence offerings
Small (fewer than 2,000 full-time students)  $3,600 $3,600-$4,200 $3,600 Yes

Cool Options

  • Country Food Processing Methods: This two-week course teaches participants to process country food to commercial standards. Preserving wild meat and fish does away with the limitations of seasonal availability.
  • Remote Nursing: Consideration of culture and community are inherent throughout this program, which prepares registered nurses to function in remote areas.
  • Merging Arts and Crafts with Manufacturing and Technology: This 10-week course exposes artists to techniques and processes such as 3D printing, CNC milling and laser printing. 

Popular Programs

  • Nursing
  • University and College Access
  • Occupations and College Access
  • Business Administration
  • Trades and Industrial Training