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Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

From its humble beginnings, the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) has grown into a leader in education. In its first year, three instructors taught 13 students; today, over 30 years later, the accredited public post-secondary institute offers hundreds of classes and respected programs across multiple campuses. Many things have changed since NVIT was formed in 1983, but one thing has certainly stayed the same: NVIT remains committed to promoting tradition while fostering student success.

From the school’s nationally certified chemical addictions program to its social work degree, from its business courses to trades training, NVIT’s programs and classes are all accredited across Canada. Better still: the school offers one of the lowest tuition rates in the country. Though NVIT is B.C.’s Aboriginal public post-secondary institute, non-First Nations students are also welcome. Courses are delivered at the main campus in Merritt, satellite-campus in Burnaby, and throughout B.C. and Canada with programs being offered in various Aboriginal communities. These various forms of program deliveries provide learners an opportunity to complete their studies when and where it’s convenient—and beyond that, they can earn credit towards a university degree in their own community.

While many students easily ladder from NVIT into higher education, others are able to step right into industry jobs. As an advocate for Aboriginal education, including the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association and their 38 learning institutes, NVIT plays a key role in developing and delivering training opportunities for First Nation communities. In addition to providing a high level of student support, connecting students with resident elders to help address both cultural and personal issues, NVIT collaborates with industry to develop programs to assist learner transition into the workforce with the skills they need to succeed.

This summer, NVIT will launch two week-long Leadership Immersion Intensive Programs, featuring revered guest academics and practitioners discussing indigenous leadership; and in the winter, the Merritt campus’ new trades building will open. Though NVIT has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 30 years, it looks forward to the future and becoming one of the most recognized Aboriginal schools in North America.