Sub Menu

Northwestern Polytechnic

Northwestern Polytechnic (NWP), formerly known as Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC), is a comprehensive community institution, publicly supported to provide opportunities in post-secondary education in northwestern Alberta. The institution operates under the Post-Secondary Learning Act and the Ministry of Enterprise and Advanced Education, Province of Alberta.

Northwestern Polytechnic was established in 1966 in Grande Prairie with campuses in Fairview and Grande Prairie. NWP offers a wide variety of career certificates and diplomas, pre-employment and apprenticeship trades, university transfer studies, and several opportunities for on-campus degree completion at baccalaureate and master levels through collaborations with four-year universities.

The highly qualified faculty, affordable tuition, small classes, personal contact and extensive scholarship and awards program offered by NWP attract students from a wide area. Classroom-based instruction in Grande Prairie and Fairview is extended to several other communities in our region and beyond through various distance delivery methods. The institution is an eCampusAlberta partner facilitating increased access to online learning opportunities for students.

As a comprehensive community institution, Northwestern Polytechnic is committed to expanding access to post-secondary education in its stewardship region by responding to needs expressed by the communities it serves. NWP has developed a portal access delivery model that encourages other post-secondary institutions to deliver programming on site, establishing collaborative partnerships that rapidly and effectively meet the varied needs of learners.

Northwestern Polytechnic offers university transfer, diploma, and certificate programs; apprenticeship and pre-employment trades training; and adult high school equivalency completion. Credit programs are offered in the areas of Liberal Arts, Science, Education, Physical Education, Nursing, Human Services, Fine Arts, Business, Technology, Academic Upgrading, Trades and Technical training, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. NWP also offers baccalaureate degrees and master’s degrees in collaboration with universities.

In response to regional, community and industry demand, Northwestern Polytechnic provides a range of customized non-credit pre-employment programming, skills development, safety training and community interest courses. NWP responds to community and industry demand for specific training through the provision of customized programming.

As an educational facility in northwestern Alberta, NWP helps meet the cultural, recreational, athletic, and conferencing needs of the region in partnership with community and regional stakeholders. In Grande Prairie, the institution offers athletic, music, art, and science summer camps; and the D. J. Cardinal Performing Arts Centre is frequently the site of concerts, community music festivals, dance recitals, speakers’ series and industrial seminars. Northwestern Polytechnic encourages and supports applied research and scholarly activities, and innovation activities that complement and enhance teaching and learning in program areas and in industry sectors where its academic expertise enables such a contribution. NWP is dedicated to providing learners with access to high quality and diverse lifelong learning opportunities, and to the responsible educational, fiscal and environmental stewardship of resources.

Fast Facts

NWP graduates in 2014

  • 90% said they would recommend to someone that they should attend NWP
  • 92% said they were satisfied with the quality of teaching in their program
  • 92% said they were satisfied with their program
  • 93% said they were satisfied with the quality of their educational experience
  • 98% said they achieved the primary goals at NWP

Our research specialization:

  • Pollutants to Products – Renewable energy for carbon neutral
  • Pollutants to Products  – Microalgae
  • Nursing – Practice Methods
  • National Bee Diagnostic Centre – Bee Diagnostics and Pathogen Research
  • Community Enhancement Research – Social Innovation




  • 1370

  • 1125

  • 55

  • 1472

  • 444


This is how we...

Contribute to our Community

NWP plays a key role in helping students increase their employability and achieve their individual potential. The contribution of NWP consists of more than just influencing the lives of students. The institution serves a range of industries in its region and supplies local businesses with skilled workers. NWP faculty and staff place an integral role in the community such as serving on community, provincial and national boards and committees, coaching and supporting community-based athletic programs and supporting the growth and development of arts and cultural opportunities in the community. Society as a whole in Alberta benefits from an expanded economy and improved quality of life. Learn more.

Foster Student Success

Sabrina McCormack

When she transferred from GPRC to the U of A, Sabrina McCormack says she fully intended on returning to her roots and establishing a career in the Peace Country. Her U of A internship program helped make that possible; two of McCormack’s field placements were in the former Peace Country Health Region – now Alberta Health Services (AHS) – with one of those leading to a permanent role. Since then, her career with the health region has progressed rapidly. Learn more.

Dr. Jeremy Begalke

Dr. Jeremy Begalke began an enriching journey at Grande Prairie Regional College in 1994, where he completed his first two years of post-secondary studies in the University Transfer Program. In his second year, he was honoured as the recipient of the 1996 Valedictorian Award. He then spent a year at an Edmonton Bible college before heading east to Ontario, obtaining his Doctor of Optometry degree in 2001. Learn more.

Dr. Marie Moreau

Following grade 12 at St. Thomas More Catholic School in Fairview, where she was class valedictorian, Dr. Marie Moreau completed two years of pre-medicine at GPRC. In her second year, she served as treasurer of the Students’ Association and was honoured as recipient of the GPRC Valedictorian Award. She spent the next four years in Edmonton and received her medical degree from the University of Alberta (U of A). Learn more.

Partner with Business and Community


The ThinkBIG (Heavy Equipment) Service Technician program is the result of a unique partnership between NWP, Caterpillar Inc., world leader in the manufacture of heavy equipment, and Finning, Caterpillar’s largest dealership worldwide. NWP is one of two post-secondary institutions in Canada to offer this globally recognized training, which is custom-formulated to meet Alberta Apprenticeship examination requirements. The ThinkBIG program is a two year diploma program (80 weeks in length) located at the NWP Campus in Fairview, Alberta. Students gain advanced technical knowledge and hands-on skills directly related to Caterpillar equipment and upon graduation are ready to work anywhere Finning has opportunities – more than 40 locations across Alberta, B.C., NWT and the Yukon. Graduates are in exceptionally high demand. Learn more.


The first and only of its kind in Canada, the On-Campus Friendship Centre is a partnership between NWP and the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre. It was created to support a smooth transition for students entering our community to become students of the institution. The On-Campus Friendship Centre is open to all students, and provides a warm, welcoming environment for students to connect with each other, meet faculty and staff or seek out existing NWP and community support to help adjust to post-secondary life and life in a new city. With regularly planned activities, there’s always something going on! Learn more.

Support Indigenous Students

On-campus Friendship Centre

The first and only of its kind in Canada, the On-Campus Friendship Centre is a partnership between NWP and the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre. It was created to support a smooth transition for students entering our community to become students of the institution.

Circle of Aboriginal Students

The Circle of Aboriginal Students is the aboriginal student group that provides support to Aboriginal students on campus through cultural and social activities.

Aboriginal Liaison Coordinator

The Aboriginal Liaison Coordinator offers students support on their journey of furthering their education, recognizing, and promoting the need to weave together the world of an Aboriginal person with the life of an NWP student. Students can expect that the Coordinator will champion Aboriginal Culture and ensure that it is celebrated and honoured within NWP.

Programs & Services of Interest

Date modified: 2022-06-10