Kwantlen’s aboriginal adult basic education program

Tue, Jul 17, 2012

Kwantlen’s aboriginal adult basic education program made possible by Vancouver Foundation’s $120,000 gift

(Metro Vancouver, BC) – Kwantlen Polytechnic University is pleased to announce a $120,000 commitment from Vancouver Foundation to support an aboriginal focused adult basic education (ABE) program. The program, which will be developed and implemented through a partnership between Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Society and Kwantlen will begin intake September 2012.

The Phoenix Kwantlen Learning Centre (PKLC) is a unique adult literacy program designed to reach marginalized and multi-barrier learners. Operating for several years through an innovative partnership between Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Society and Kwantlen, PKLC is able to engage and assist learners by virtue of its location within a special integrated addiction services environment created in the Phoenix Centre in the downtown Whalley area of Surrey. According to recent statistics, Surrey has the largest aboriginal population of any other city in BC.

With funding from Vancouver Foundation, PKLC will develop an evening educational program to support the upgrading of literacy and numeracy skills through curricula based on aboriginal content, concepts, history, spirituality and Elders’ teachings. The objective of this unique program is to provide learners with an educational environment that reflects cultural diversity and provides opportunities to increase confidence, self-esteem and sense of community while responding to individual goals. The initiative is led by Dr. Christine Crowe, dean of the faculty of academic and career advancement, Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

"There is a clear need for aboriginal adult basic education programs for those who need to improve their basic academic skills in order to pursue new career and employment paths,” says Crowe. “Our community partners have been asking us to develop an evening program like this since 2006 and now with the investment from Vancouver Foundation we are finally able to do so. Vancouver Foundation has identified access to adult basic education as a priority for aboriginal learners in Surrey, and we are grateful they have supported this innovative education program.”

"Our community benefits when organizations, like Phoenix Society and Kwantlen, join forces to find new solutions for community issues through collaborative partnerships that draw on multiple areas of expertise and resources,” says Michael Wilson, executive director, Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Society. “The Phoenix Society is very excited about the expansion of the Phoenix Kwantlen Adult Learning Centre to bring an aboriginal focus to the curriculum that increases access to our growing urban aboriginal community here in Surrey.”

Kwantlen and Phoenix Society are fully committed to support aboriginal education and develop innovative education programs that fit the needs of an evolving community. The university and Phoenix Society will be investing additional funding into this project.

For more information about Vancouver Foundation please visit:

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts and science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 17,500 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.


For more information about Kwantlen, contact:
Joanne Saunders
Director, Communications and Marketing Services
Tel: 604.598.6188