Having access to post-secondary education in your own hometown is important.

The idea of bringing back in-person post-secondary education in Strathmore was discussed at the town council table last night.

Council directed town administration to obtain information on how smaller municipalities in Alberta encourage post-secondary institutions to invest in and maintain satellite campuses, or offices in their local jurisdiction.

Council will also direct the administration to prepare recommendations based on the research in other communities as well as identify elements in the ‘Alberta 2030 initiative’ that addresses Strathmore's post-secondary needs and report back to Council with this information within 30 days.

Councillor Brett Wiley originally brought forward the notice of motion on the issue. At the meeting, he said, “Everybody would like to see some kind of a post-secondary in Strathmore. Whether it's some type of a satellite campus, offices, or storefront.”

Councillor Denise Peterson added, “I so do support this motion and I'm very, very excited about the potential. I know that our communications and economic development have been already working on this, and this gives some very definitive parameters and direction.”

“One of the things that I'd like to see when this comes back is that we actively incorporate our rural reimagined context of post-secondary and what that could look like in terms of our new visioning and also utilize our new and evolving partnerships with Siksika,” she said. “I think it would really lend itself to what Councillor Wiley has brought forward in this.”

Wiley added, “I think there's so much potential for partnerships, especially in the last two years. As we've all discovered the potential of online learning and Zoom lessons. I think a lot of these campuses are looking for ways to have storefronts and administration. I think if we hit this ahead of other municipalities, we might be able to get it.” He explained that having a post-secondary institution downtown could also benefit the town in terms of downtown revitalization.