Post-secondary education plays a critical role in Alberta’s economy by providing students with skills needed to begin rewarding careers in high-demand fields. Redesignation as a polytechnic institution will provide more hands-on, industry responsive higher education for the Lethbridge region.

As a polytechnic institution, Lethbridge College will provide career-focused post-secondary education, meeting the needs of students at every stage of life. In Alberta, polytechnic status gives institutions more opportunities to create a wide spectrum of programming to meet local needs – including degree, diploma, certificate, and apprenticeship education.

“Having provided degree programs since 2015, this redesignation further recognizes the vital contributions Lethbridge College makes to our province. This is an institution that has unlocked opportunities for students to pursue education close to home while developing skills needed to succeed in the economy of tomorrow.”

Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education

Since 1957, Lethbridge College has been providing quality education to southern Albertans. ‘Lethbridge Polytechnic’ will continue to proudly offer degrees, diplomas, apprenticeship education, certificates and an environment for applied research, aligning with high demand industries within our province.

With a goal of meeting the needs of the community, this transition will enable Lethbridge College to focus on ‘hands-on’ technical learning approaches, providing students with valuable skills that can be used throughout their career.

“Being a polytechnic acknowledges the work we’ve done to provide a range of career-ready apprenticeships, certificates, diplomas, and degrees and to grow our applied research. The designation signifies a deepening of our mission to deliver practical, hands-on learning experiences and opens the door to creating even more pathways for students at every step of their educational and career journeys.”

Michael Marcotte, board chair, Lethbridge College

“While our official designation is changing from a college to a polytechnic, our commitment to the community remains the same – to provide programming that meets the needs of students and industry, and to engage in research that supports economic development.”

Brad Donaldson, president and CEO, Lethbridge College

Lethbridge College and its students, faculty, and staff play a key role in the economic, social, and cultural life of Lethbridge and surrounding areas. With the establishment of a polytechnic institution, southern Alberta will soon have a university, a college, a First Nation college, and a polytechnic institution, each offering distinct programming to meet the diverse needs of the communities in the region. This will enable students to choose from various forms of post-secondary education, eliminating the need to travel long distances for post-secondary education.

Providing post-secondary education close to home is key to supporting the economic growth in communities of all sizes and every region of the province. No matter the form of education, any personal investment an Albertan takes sets them up for economic success and career satisfaction, while contributing to overall economic growth.

“On behalf of Lethbridge City Council, I want to congratulate Lethbridge Polytechnic on its new designation. This move is far more than a name change. It truly signifies the continual adaptation, growth and grand vision for one of our city’s beloved post-secondary institutions. At the City of Lethbridge, we are proud to employ many Lethbridge College alumni. We are also appreciative of our ongoing relationship and commitment to work-integrated learning projects in development with Lethbridge College.”

Blaine Hyggen, mayor, City of Lethbridge

These changes align with the goals of the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy.

The official new name for the institution will be ‘Lethbridge Polytechnic’, taking effect on September 3, 2024. Alberta’s government will continue to work with Lethbridge College to ensure a successful path to polytechnic status.

Quick facts

  • Polytechnic institutions in Alberta must offer apprenticeship education, and diploma and certificate programs. They are also able to offer degree programs.
  • Polytechnic status in Alberta supports the advancement of applied research and industry-driven results.
  • The Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy is a transformational vision and direction for Alberta’s higher education system, which will develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, strengthen innovation and commercialization of research and forge stronger relationships between employers and post-secondary institutions.

Related information

Related news