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Home About Us Development of Community Colleges

About Us

Home About Us Development of Community Colleges

About Us


Development of Community Colleges

On July 1, 1972, the Department of Continuing Education was established as a need was seen to bring about a rational and coherent system of post-school learning in Saskatchewan. In August of the same year, an Advisory Committee submitted a report on Community Colleges (The Faris Report). Acting on recommendations of that Report, Gordon MacMurchy, Minister of Education, announced on September 22, 1972, that the first community college pilot projects would go into operation that fall.



The philosophy of community colleges was centered on the word "community". The focus was to serve not just individuals, but communities as a whole. MacMurchy in a press release addressed three main concepts. Community Colleges would:


Existing Facilities

use existing facilities such as schools, community halls, church basements, and store fronts to utilize a surplus of space in the communities


Non-permanent Staff

avoid hiring permanent staff as much as possible. Community Colleges would hire local people who have appropriate knowledge and skills


Non-permanent Courses

steer away from permanent courses and programs and stress the community college’s ability to respond to needs and to be flexible

In December, 1972, four community college developers were appointed to assist in the establishment of four project college development areas: Swift Current region, Humboldt region, Melville-Yorkton region and La Ronge region. The developer’s role was to analyze the district, assist communities to determine their adult educational needs, recommend citizens for community college boards, and assist the board in launching the community college.

The developers used seven principles taken from the Faris Report to guide their work:

A community college’s major responsibility is to promote formal and informal adult learning in its regional community.

Programs are to be developed in response to the expressed concerns of a community which has identified and assessed its needs.

A community college shall provide individual and group counselling in the establishment and achievement of educational goals.

A community college shall assist in community development by offering programs of community education and service. In rural areas it will serve as a mechanism for the maintenance and development of a viable way of life.

A community college shall not duplicate existing educational facilities or services for adults; rather, it shall co-ordinate the delivery of all adult educational services to the community.

A community college shall be governed by a council representative of the region.

The operation of community colleges shall be under the purview of the Minister of Continuing Education.

In May, 1973, the provincial cabinet appointed community college boards in each of the above regions

Following their incorporation, their immediate responsibilities were to hire a principal for the college and whatever administrative and clerical staff considered necessary. Community Colleges, Saskatchewan style, were born.