Portage College

Portage College | Lac La Biche, Alta. | Founded 1968

Portage College students wading in water

Students of Portage College working in the field. (Portage College)

Portage College operates the Museum of Aboriginal Peoples’ Art and Artifacts, which is home to nearly 2,000 traditional and contemporary works. The museum complements coursework in the native arts and culture program, one of more than 40 diploma and certificate programs offered by the college. Other areas of study include business, environmental studies, food sciences and practical nursing.

Portage has seven campuses across northeast Alberta. On-campus accommodation is available at the Lac La Biche, St. Paul and Boyle campuses.

Applied research conducted at Portage focuses on environmental, scientific and engineering studies. In 2018, Portage opened the new Environmental Studies building. The energy-efficient building, which houses the college’s natural resources technology program, is equipped with a greenhouse, a water simulation lab and classrooms. Other applied learning facilities at the college include the Food Sciences Centre in St. Paul and the Pipeline Training Centre in Boyle, which features a closed loop pipeline that simulates oil spills.

Portage is currently expanding its list of courses by building partnerships with other institutions; the college wants to ensure that bachelor degrees are attainable in the region. For instance, Portage offers a fine arts certificate program with the option to pursue a bachelor of fine arts at other post-secondary institutions.


Size of school Tuition (diploma) Tuition (certificate) Residence offerings
Small (fewer than 2,000 full-time students) $3,796-$5,090 $2,030-$10,083 Yes

Cool Options

  • Aboriginal Art: This program teaches students to work in traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art forms such as beading, carving, hide tanning and sewing.
  • Heavy Equipment Operator: This course provides students with the opportunity to do simulation training along with hands-on experience using excavators, dozers and graders.
  • Natural Resources Technology: In this program, students spend a lot of time in the boreal forest, making it perfect for those who love the outdoors and have an interest in environmental sustainability.

Popular Programs

  • College Preparation
  • Early Learning and Child Care
  • University Transfer
  • Open Studies
  • Licensed Practical Nurse

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