Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) in Aboriginal Adult Education

First and foremost, this is a community-based adult education program that eliminates the need to travel long distances to go to school.

This program can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis depending on the applicant’s circumstances. The program is typically offered on alternating weekends which allows students to maintain their current employment as well as take care of family needs.

Program Highlights

The program is also designed to address the unique circumstances of the Aboriginal adult learner and includes:

  • Advanced standing for existing Native institute diplomas, university degrees and college diplomas.
  • Small class sizes that acknowledge Aboriginal learning preferences.
  • Cultural protocols are embedded in the learning experience.
  • Trained Aboriginal facilitators who will work with you and your fellow learners throughout the program.
  • Culturally specific support services to assist you over the rough spots.
  • Curriculum that balances Aboriginal ways of knowing with the mainstream way of knowing.
  • A degree that is recognized by Aboriginal communities as well as the mainstream.
  • Site facilitators that are from our communities.

Program Overview

Four of the five core courses ABED 4F84, ABED 4F85, ABED 4F86 and ABED 4F88 are offered consecutively over four semesters (fall, winter, spring, summer) with ABED 4F87 running concurrently over either the fall/winter or winter/spring depending on when the applicant begins the program. The full degree requires that students complete the five core courses along with ten additional full credits for a 15 credit undergraduate degree. Each course carries the value of one full university credit. The additional ten credits may be picked up from existing education: Transfer Students or by Permission. The tuition costs are subject to change and current costs may be found on the Brock University website.


  • A student enrolled in three or more credits over the Fall/Winter Session.
  • A student enrolled in three credits over the Spring and Summer Sessions.


  • A student enrolled in less than three credits over the Fall/Winter Session.
  • A student enrolled in less than three credits over the Spring and Summer Sessions.
  • Full-time students are expected to enroll in five credits (2.5 per term) during the Fall/Winter Session. Students normally enroll in a maximum of two credits during the Spring Session and one credit during the Summer Session. A student wishing to exceed normal course loads must obtain the permission of the Dean of their chosen major. Permission will normally be granted only if a student has completed five credits with at least second-class (70 percent) standing.

Special students, including students on a Letter of Permission and post-degree students, not proceeding towards a Brock degree, are normally restricted to part-time studies.

Admission information

Once you have made the decision to begin your degree or certificate, you will need to complete the Application for Admission.

If you have applied for the Degree Program, your file will be held in the Office of the Registrar until all official transcripts from any previous post-secondary studies are received for evaluation. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the host institution to the Office of the Registrar, Brock University.

It is your responsibility to request the transcripts from any post-secondary institutions you have attended. It can take between two and three weeks for transcripts to arrive from another institution for evaluation.

Your application form and the transcripts will arrive at Brock at different times. Be sure to indicate the name you used while attending another institution and the name you are currently using so that your transcripts can be matched to your application form. Your application is not complete until all required documentation is received. Please note, upon receipt of all required documentation, allow for a minimum of four weeks processing time. Deadlines will be strictly observed.

Allow sufficient time to submit the entire application package. Successful applicants will be mailed an Offer of Admission.

Once all official transcripts are received, your file will be assessed. Successful applicants will be sent an Offer of Admission and, if you have applied to the degree program, a Statement of Advanced Standing (if applicable). The Statement of Advanced Standing will tell you if transfer credits have been granted and how many additional credits you will be required to take to complete your degree.

Please note that you have not been admitted into the program until you have received an Offer of Admission.

The ADED Web Registration Guide is available at Links and contains information such as timetables of course offerings, instructions on how to web register and important deadlines. Select your course, the appropriate location and duration.

Follow the procedures in the Registration Guide to register in your first ABED course (ABED 4F84) using the Web Registration System. There are deadlines for each registration period. If you do not register via the Web Registration System before the published deadlines, you may be subject to a late registration fee ($50 – $100) or unable to register at all. Please see the Adult Education Guide Links for full details.

Once you have successfully registered using the web, fees will be charged to your Brock University account. Invoices will not be mailed. Fees should be checked via the student portal ( Fees may be paid using one of the three options outlined. Please note that tuition payment cannot be made by credit card. If you have any questions regarding your fees statement, please contact the Finance Department (

If you do not already hold a recognized undergraduate degree, you will be required to complete courses beyond the five ABED courses in order to complete your degree (as indicated on your Statement of Advanced Standing). You have two options. You can complete the other courses through Brock University or at another university on a Letter of Permission (LOP) from Brock.

The B.Ed. in Adult Education is the only undergraduate program in which you are permitted to take up to 10 full credits on a Letter of Permission (LOP). Taking a course on a Letter of Permission allows you to choose a university that is more convenient for you to attend, or one that offers courses by distance delivery. If you wish, you may begin taking courses on a Letter of Permission, students coming in as Mature students must complete the first two ABED courses with a 60% average in each course before they can pick up additional credits on a letter of permission. Please note: LOPs must be approved prior to registration in a course at another institution. The application fee is $35 per academic session, per host institution.

Once you have successfully registered, your facilitator will contact you via your Brock University email to invite you to your first course. Books and resource materials can be ordered through the Campus Store and will be delivered to your door.

Details regarding your class start will be sent to your Brock email account. Please be sure to activate your account by going to, then click “Quick Links” and “Web Mail.”

Course descriptions

This survey course provides a theoretical introduction to Aboriginal ways of learning and constructing knowledge and the relationships between culture/education and learning/healing.

This course introduces and engages the learner in an Aboriginal approach to creating curriculum through a community based developmental model. Additional topics covered include decolonization, the relationship between learning and healing, learning outcome development and global Indigenous trends in education.

In this course the learner is exposed to a number of issues related to Aboriginal and mainstream adult education including: learning styles, evaluation, storytelling, experiential learning and lesson planning with the view of delivering a segment of curriculum developed in the previous course.

This course develops an understanding for the relationship between the colonial experience and contemporary Aboriginal leadership as well as providing a framework for the learner to interpret contemporary policymaking processes and the wider role of the Aboriginal trainer/teacher in Aboriginal communities.

This course presents reflective theory and practice through a series of hands-on activities designed to encourage both professional renewal and awareness of self as Aboriginal teacher and learner.

Program notes

  1. Undergraduate credits required in Program B or Program C may be taken on a Letter of Permission (LOP). Students electing this method should familiarize themselves with the LOP regulations.
  2. Brock will award a maximum of 10 advanced standing credits. Students seeking advanced standing through transfer credits should consult the Admissions section of this calendar for further information.
  3. All candidates must take the five adult education credits through Brock University.
  4. A college of Applied Arts and Technology diploma may give students a maximum of five undergraduate credits. In some cases, where programs at the College and Brock are completely compatible, up to seven credits may be awarded for a three year diploma. A transfer credit is not awarded for Certificate programs, with the exception of a Certificate in the Teaching of Adults.

ABED 4F84, 4F85, 4F86, 4F87 and 4F88

ABED 4F84, 4F85, 4F86, 4F87 and 4F88
one Humanities context credit (see program note 4)
one Science context credit (see program note 4)
one Social Science context credit (see program note 4)
two credits numbered 1(alpha) 00 or above (see program note 4)
five credits numbered 2(alpha) 00 or above (see program note 4)

Frequently asked questions

Recent developments in Aboriginal post-secondary education/training at Canadian universities and community colleges, the vibrant expansion of Aboriginal institutes, as well as initiatives between the Federal, and Provincial governments and First Nation governance speaks of a changing reality. Associated to this is a continued devolution of responsibilities to First Nations and the progress towards Aboriginal self-government. At the same time Aboriginal adults are participating in upgrading, post-secondary education and training in unprecedented numbers. Finally, Aboriginal people are rediscovering and integrating the traditional beliefs, spirituality and associated ceremony in their lives. This emerging reality suggests a growing need for qualified, culturally and spiritually strong Aboriginal faculty, trainers, administrators, counsellors and support personnel.

The overall goals of this program are:

  • to enhance the abilities of Aboriginal teachers/trainers of adults, or those who would be teachers/trainers of adults;
  • to facilitate student learning outcomes;
  • to promote organizational effectiveness and to develop a renewed sense of self as teacher;
  • to develop expertise in curriculum design and delivery,
  • to combine effective and significant access to Aboriginal cultural and heritage education with the great thinkers in the field of adult education.

To this end, the adult learning principles which will be used to form the basis for teachers’ learning will also be used to design and evaluate course delivery and experiences. Emphasis is placed on the practical aspects of adult teaching/training, the learning environment and the variety of challenges inherent in all forums of adult education/training. The goals surrounding development of expertise in curriculum design and delivery are thus supplemented by consideration of teacher thinking and development as related to educator preparation. Cohesiveness will be achieved by reflecting and integrating the essentials of other types of professional development.

While course design and initial delivery will draw upon Brock Education Faculty as course instructors and coordinators, qualified and acceptable personnel will be trained and used as site leaders during course offerings. Upon completion of degree requirements teachers will be expected to have acquired enhanced understandings of self, teaching methods, student characteristics and needs, organizational structures and influences, change and development, critical thinking skills, curriculum development techniques, lifelong learning skills and a basic set of research skills.

The Faculty of Education, Aboriginal Education Council at Brock University, and the Wildfire Circle developed the Bachelor of Education in Aboriginal Adult Education Degree Program.

The Wildfire Circle is a unique national group of Elders, representative from First Nation governance, Native institutes, universities, and colleges. They are students, teachers, trainers, funders, administrators and counsellors who have given tirelessly of their time and expertise to develop this program.

First and foremost this is community based adult education that eliminates your need to travel long distances to go to school and is completed on a part-time basis allowing you to stay employed and take care of your family’s needs.

The program is also designed to address the unique circumstances of the Aboriginal adult learner and includes,

  • Advanced standing for existing Native institute diplomas, university degrees and college diplomas.
  • Small class sizes that acknowledge Aboriginal learning preferences.
  • Cultural protocols that are imbedded in the learning experience.
  • Trained Aboriginal facilitators who will work with you and your fellow learners throughout the program.
  • Culturally specific support services to assist you over the rough spots.
  • Curriculum that balances our ways of knowing with the mainstreams way of knowing.
  • A degree that is recognized by our communities as well as the mainstream.
  • Site facilitators that are from our communities.

If you are currently working with or would like to work with Aboriginal adults in education, training, health or community development then this program is for you!

Please see information under Degree Program and Certificate Program. Please note that this program does not lead to a Ontario Teachers Certificate.

Up to five credits for a three-year college diploma and up to three credits for a two-year college diploma may be granted provided an overall minimum average of 70 percent has been attained. Transfer credits are determined by the Registrar’s Office

Brock allows the transfer of up to ten credits from accredited universities. The number of credits that can be transferred will be determined by the Admissions Office.

ADED 4F84, ADED 4F85, ADED 4F86, ADED 4F87, and ADED 4F88

Please see the courses page for course descriptions.

Each adult education course is approximately 72 hours in length and will usually be conducted on a Friday evening/all day Saturday basis. A different meeting schedule may be followed if there is group consensus to do so, provided the number of required hours is still met.

Each course will be comprised of seminars, discussions, learning partner activities, small and large group activities, films and other interactive techniques. Grading will conform to undergraduate standards and include a self-assessment component. Required textbook(s) will be selected and made available through Brock’s Bookstore. Additional resource materials will be supplied or specified for student acquisition.

Program registrants will receive a Brock University student card entitling them to all university undergraduate privileges, including library privileges at Brock and other universities and complete gym privileges at Brock.

The instructors for the five core courses are Brock University faculty members, and they appear on the videotapes for these courses. The facilitators for the courses will usually be institute, college or university faculty members or other educators who have knowledge of experience in adult education.

Contact for information. Course materials will be provided at a nominal cost. Costs of the texts will be the responsibility of the candidate. See the SAFA page for more details on tuition.

The program is held at various locations across Ontario. For the site nearest you contact the Program Recruiter at

Applicants should be aware that sites might change depending on enrolments.

The Brock B.Ed. in Aboriginal Adult Education program is a recognized and accredited program and qualifies a person to apply for a Master of Education at Brock. Each university has its own policies which govern admission procedures; therefore, it would be important to find out what policies exist for any university that one might be interested in applying to.

The usual start time for a beginning cohort will be September; however, with sufficient interest, there could also be a January intake. The following chart shows the timetable for how the courses will normally be offered:

When do the courses begin?

Sept. to Dec: ADED 4F84
Jan. to April: ADED 4F85
Apr. to July: ADED 4F86
Sept. to Dec.: ADED 4F87
Jan. to Apr.: ADED 4F88

There may be specific needs that will require deviating from this timetable. Those needs will be addressed on an individual basis.

Application is easy. The steps to apply are outline above. You can also call us at 905 688 5550 x4574 and we’ll provide the necessary information to get you started.

No problem, contact Sarah McGean on 905 688 5550 x3530 or at

Application for Admission

Once you have made the decision to begin your degree or certificate, you will need to complete the Application for Admission.

Tuition and fees

For information on tuition and other fees, please refer to the Finance Office website.


General Inquiries

Sarah McGean
Administrative Coordinator & Academic Adviser
905 688 5550 x3530