GOVERNANCE & LEADERSHIP

MANDATE

Grant MacEwan University is a board-governed, public post-secondary institution operating in Alberta as an Undergraduate University under the authority of the Post-Secondary Learning Act (PSLA).

Established in 1971, the institution has a rich history in its growth from a community college. The University was officially named Grant MacEwan University by an Order in Council in 2009 and was rebranded MacEwan University for communications and marketing purposes in 2013.

The Board of Governors of Grant MacEwan University (Board) operates and manages the University in accordance with its mandate by carrying out duties and responsibilities legislated by the PSLA and the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act (APAGA). The Board works with the Minister to support and to promote the adult learning system’s principles of accessibility, affordability, quality, coordination and accountability. The role of the Board and its operations are outlined in its Bylaws. The Board carries out some of its duties and responsibilities through its standing committees. The terms of reference of standing committees set out the responsibilities, membership and authority of each committee.

The General Faculties Council (GFC) is MacEwan University’s senior academic governance body. The GFC is responsible for academic integrity, policies, programs and standards, as well as for oversight of scholarship, understood to include both research and creative activity. The role of the Council and its operations are outlined in its Bylaws. The University President is chair of Council and acts as a conduit between GFC and the Board.

MacEwan University is Edmonton’s downtown University, and it serves the capital region, as well as central and northern Alberta, by collaborating with other post-secondary institutions to respond to the needs of business, industry, government and society as a whole. Over 85 percent of MacEwan graduates live and work in Alberta, contributing to the vitality and resilience of our province.

MacEwan University emphasizes a student-centered approach to delivering its academic programs and services. This approach is rooted in the interaction between academic staff and students, blended modes of course delivery, experiential learning opportunities, an emphasis on critical thinking and high-quality student support. The University’s focus on community-based learning introduces students to a range of Albertans in their cities and towns and connects our programming with the development of competencies in demand across the province.

Through the delivery of its mandate, MacEwan University seeks to:

  • Ensure student success through a focus on high-quality teaching from academic staff whose emphasis is on the student experience in the classroom and beyond it;
  • Provide an undergraduate educational experience enriched through research and creative activity that informs our faculty’s approach to pedagogy, engages students in their skill development, creates and applies knowledge and supports economic development;
  • Ensure that students develop the background to engage fully the economic and social challenges of a changing world;
  • Provide graduates the opportunity to advance their careers and further their education through flexible program delivery in a wide range of credentials.

MacEwan University focuses on four primary types of programming:

  • Baccalaureate degrees that prepare students for employment and for graduate studies;
  • Certificate, diploma, post-diploma, and post-baccalaureate credentials that prepare students for employment and for continued study in other credential areas;
  • University transfer programs that prepare students for degree completion at partner institutions;
  • Preparatory (foundational) programming that readies students for credentialed post-secondary studies.

MacEwan University offers a wide range of certificate, diploma and degree programs. The University offers programs in business, communications, community and human services, design, fine and performing arts, health, humanities, natural science, nursing, public safety and social science. Program areas that flow into degree offerings include business, community and human services, fine and performing arts, and nursing. MacEwan has programs distinctive to central and northern Alberta, including those in health, natural science and public safety.

MacEwan University offers transfer programs and actively participates in the Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfers to facilitate student mobility within the province and across Canada. Members of the University’s senior administration participate with their provincial counterparts to coordinate programming and services and enhance access for students. Partnerships outside Advanced Education include other post-secondary institutions and government departments, municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, business and industry. In the spirit of reconciliation, efforts are being made to expand partnerships with Indigenous post-secondary institutions, not-for-profit organizations and amiskwaciy Academy. Collaborations and partnerships facilitate expanded opportunities for students, faculty and staff in areas such as undergraduate degree programming access, work-integrated learning, experiential learning, student-based research and student supports and services.

In recognizing that students need choices in delivery modes to accommodate life circumstances or learning preferences, MacEwan University offers online, hybrid and face-to-face course delivery. The University’s commitment to flexible program delivery and to a range of credentials maximizes opportunities for graduates to advance their careers and further their educations. MacEwan provides unique opportunities for prospective and current students enrolled in a range of credentials to access seamlessly and to progress in baccalaureate programming, including:

  • Laddering opportunities from certificate and diploma programs to different degree options at MacEwan University, facilitating progression so students can further their education and skill development;
  • Stackable credentials that allow students to pause and exit formal education to enter the workforce, leaving a degree program after two years with a diploma or leaving a diploma after one year with a certificate. Students can return to pursue additional education when needed, through to completion of a degree.

Scholarship at MacEwan University thrives in a culture of research and creative activity that enriches undergraduate education by informing faculty members’ approach to pedagogy, engages students in their skill development, creates and applies knowledge and supports economic development. The broad campus community undertakes scholarly enquiry that benefits the city, the region, the province, the country and the world. The University aims to provide students and academic staff with the background to engage fully in the economic and social challenges of a changing world. Scholarship is guided by the oversight of a standing committee of General Faculties Council. MacEwan seeks to build upon existing strengths across all our Faculties and Schools, as well as scholarship rooted in the early work of faculty members who helped the institution emerge as a University, bolstered further by new colleagues whose appointments across campus feed a culture of teacher-scholars committed to research and creative activity inside and outside the classroom. In identifying future research directions, MacEwan University is mindful of government priorities for advances to be made in the environment, health and resource management.

MacEwan University provides a student-centered undergraduate experience focused on student success. “Students First” has been and remains a foundational pillar for the University, and MacEwan is well known for supporting the success of our students, including those students groups that are typically underrepresented in post-secondary education. MacEwan University seeks to expand students’ cultural awareness by engaging the diverse community in downtown Edmonton and supporting the individuals who come to the University from around the world. Short-term education abroad programs for students, teaching exchanges and study tours for academic and non-academic staff provide further opportunities to engage with other cultures.

MacEwan University offers a safe, inclusive and welcoming campus to a diverse group of qualified students. They are supported from recruitment and admission through graduation and employment and to their return to the University as alumni. MacEwan is committed to expanding its capacity and reputation for accessibility. Faculty members work closely with the community to open doors and to encourage the transition to post-secondary education for traditionally-underrepresented students, including first-generation students, Indigenous students, international students and students with disabilities. Efforts are ongoing to improve inclusiveness, increase affordability and remove all barriers to student success in an undergraduate learner-centered setting.

A wide array of services is provided to support student success and student wellness. Student services provide early intervention strategies and anticipate and remove barriers for students. Specialized services are offered, including services through the kihêw waciston Indigenous Centre, MacEwan University Health Centre, Access and Disability Resources, the Human Rights Office and the Office of Sexual Violence and Prevention Education and Response.

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