Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in EDMONTON, Alberta, was founded in the early 1960s as part of a federal and provincial government joint initiative to create a technical infrastructure to support Canada's rapidly diversifying economy. From its inception in May 1963 until 1 April 1982, NAIT was administered by the Alberta government, at which time responsibility for administration was transferred to a 16-member Board of Governors.

NAIT offers 74 full-time, 35 apprenticeship and more than 1200 continuing education programs and courses in the wealth-generating career fields of business and computers, engineering technologies, health sciences, trades and industrial technologies. Full-time programs are 2 years long, leading to a diploma, or one year long, leading to a certificate. NAIT also offers a range of provincially funded Access programs and customized extension programs in new and emerging technologies in direct response to the training and upgrading needs of employers.

NAIT is a recognized leader in developing curricula that meet the needs of the workplace. The Competency Profile Development process to validate and update programs according to industry standards was pioneered at NAIT and is now marketed to other training institutes across Canada. Helping develop national standards for competencies of entry-level applied science and engineering technologists is another NAIT specialty. To further meet the technical needs of industry, NAIT became the first technical institute or college in Alberta to participate in the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program, designed to help small to medium-sized Canadian firms benefit from the scientific and engineering expertise available in government laboratories, specialized research centres and post-secondary institutes. NAIT provides practical assistance with prototyping, product development and testing, technical advice and information, economic studies and related services.

NAIT also provides a wide range of technical training expertise to international clients around the globe. Among the services offered are consulting on planning, implementing and operating technical education systems and schools; developing and customizing curricula to meet the needs of local industry; delivering special programs in English language skills needed by persons working in a specific business or industrial field; teaching pedagogical skills to instructors; and delivering NAIT's instructional programs to international students on campus or abroad.

NAIT has approximately 17 000 full-time and apprenticeship students, and about 42 500 continuing education registrations. NAIT administrators cite a 93% employment rate after graduation.