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Cumberland College

Since 1975, Cumberland College has been providing high quality training and education programs for adults in northeastern Saskatchewan. Cumberland College is one of seven regional colleges within the Saskatchewan college system. The College operates from three campuses located in Melfort, Nipawin, and Tisdale. Full-time and part-time programming is offered in the areas of college certificates and diplomas, university courses and degree programs, as well as adult basic education (ABE). Additionally learning is available in the areas of literacy, safety, and continuing education. The College’s mission is to provide excellent lifelong learning opportunities today, preparing individuals and communities for tomorrow and, as such, is committed to increasing education, training and labour force development in the region.

Fast Facts

  • ABE credit programs have an 80.5% Aboriginal participation enrollment rate.
  • 92% of students rated their satisfaction with the quality of instruction in their courses and programs as either very satisfied or satisfied.
  • Within 60 days of completing their studies, 86.4% of the Institute Credit graduates were employed.
  • Over $100 000 is awarded in scholarships annually to students enrolled in university, technical and ABE programs.
  • With a provincial operating grant of $4.9 million, Cumberland College contributed $16.2 million to the region in terms of Gross Domestic Product in 2012-13.




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This is how we...

Foster Student Success

Alison Elsner

Alison Elsner is a first generation high school graduate and university degree holder. Along with her siblings, she was raised by her non-aboriginal grandparents. Alison’s high school years were spent drinking and neglecting her studies. Devastated when the First Nations University of Canada (FNUC) rejected her application, she vowed to change. She enrolled at Cumberland College as a grade 12 student, and credits the supportive atmosphere for making a huge difference. She graduated with the Student Achievement Award, along with an acceptance to the Bachelor of Indian Social Work program at FNUC. At FNUC, she was introduced to her culture as a Plains Cree. In 2013, Alison’s grandparents proudly looked on as both she and her twin sister received social work degrees. Alison is currently a Social Worker with a health region. As a true life-long learner, she explores Master programs and continues to grow within her Cree culture.

Joseph Neapetung

Joseph Neapetung is a Cumberland College student from Yellow Quill First Nation. He first developed his passion for helping others after a volunteer trip to an orphanage in Mexico at 18 years of age. After becoming a father, he decided it was time to complete his education and so began his journey with Cumberland College. In 2015, he graduated from the College’s Grade 12 program and was awarded a couple of scholarships for academic achievement and commitment to learning. Joseph is currently completing his first year with the University of Saskatchewan through Cumberland College. His plan is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Physiology and Pharmacology before continuing with the ultimate goal of entering the College of Medicine to become a physician. His career goal is to work with disenfranchised Aboriginal communities or environments where the presence of a doctor from a familiar culture is rarely seen and most required.

Partner with Business and Community


Cumberland College and the Kelsey Trail Health Region (KTHR) have established an extensive partnership. For over 20 years, KTHR has welcomed students from the Continuing Care Assistant, Practical Nursing, Primary Care Paramedic and Institutional Cooking programs to complete clinical experiences in their facilities. KTHR also provides all necessary consumable items for the college’s health related programs. For a number of years, Cumberland College has provided training specific to meeting the employment needs of the health region. KTHR employees have participated in programs designed for new and existing employees, such as bridging from Continuing Care Assistant to Practical Nurse, Administration of Medications, Cook Upgrader, as well as, full certificate programs. The KTHR recognizes the importance of local educational opportunities by providing two scholarships annually to Cumberland College students, and supporting and recognizing preceptorship in the region.


Cumberland College has a history of developing strong relationships with First Nations and Métis communities. In September 2014, the College formalized these partnership arrangements by holding its inaugural meeting of the First Nations and Métis Advisory Council (FNMAC). The purpose of this Council is four-fold: 1. to provide guidance and direction on important college initiatives such as Indigenizing the College and Elders-in-Residence; 2. to provide feedback to Cumberland College as to how the College is perceived to be serving the communities it serves and how it may better serve these communities; encourage dialogue between First Nations and Métis communities about what is happening within their communities and how Cumberland College can support these initiatives; and allow Cumberland College information about programs, services, news, etc to be distributed through Advisory Council members to the community.

Support Indigenous Students

In 2014-15, Cumberland College provided a number of programs in partnership with First Nations communities. These programs include Adult Basic Education at Little Red First Nation, Muskoday First Nation, James Smith Cree Nation, Red Earth Cree Nation and Shoal Lake Cree Nation. Post-secondary programming included an Institutional Cooking program in Prince Albert with Little Red First Nation and Montreal Lake First Nation, and a Youth Care Worker program held in Nipawin (in partnership with Red Earth, Shoal Lake, and Cumberland House Cree Nations). Learner Services partnered with the Marguerite Riel Center to offer a Transitions to Employment Program. Tutors and advisors were available at all locations to provide academic and personal support for students. In September 2014, Cumberland College held its inaugural meeting of its newly formed First Nations and Métis Advisory Council (FNMAC), composed of representatives from each of the First Nations and Métis communities within the College region.

Date modified: 2016-10-26