Home Programs & Courses Academic Upgrading Indigenous program

Academic Upgrading Indigenous program

Open for Fall 2022

Length: 1 year Delivery: Full Time Classroom

Next information session

Academic Upgrading Indigenous Program info session
Jan 27 @ 2:00pm
Academic Upgrading Indigenous Program info session
Jan 27 @ 6:00pm
Upcoming Information Sessions


Our Academic Upgrading - Indigenous program offers a series of courses and experiences to ease your transition into further study at SAIT or other post-secondary schools.

This three-semester, 12-month program begins at the Grade 9 level and ends with your completion of Grade 11 and 12 courses.

You'll experience a blend of academic courses, cultural activities and post-secondary readiness sessions in a welcoming and supportive environment. You'll engage with a group of like-minded Indigenous learners who share your commitment to pursuing post-secondary education and a new career.

Our program team partners with you to support your academic, cultural and personal success. From program application to funding applications, to connecting you with services and supports, we'll walk alongside you throughout your learning journey.

Upon successful completion of the program, you will:

  • meet the minimum Math and English requirements for entry into many SAIT programs and some programs at other post-secondary schools
  • know how to access services and supports in post-secondary school to help you achieve your goals.

Supports and services

A dedicated student advisor will act as your personal coach. They'll spend time with you on a weekly basis to help you through any challenges you may experience. They'll also assist you with long term career planning and connect you with services that will support your success.

You'll receive mentorship and insight from Elders and knowledge keepers. You'll engage in cultural activities with those in your program.

Finally, you'll have access to all the services SAIT has to offer including our recreation facilities, learning support services, employment centre sessions and counselling. A transit pass is included as part of your tuition funding.

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Prepare for SAIT programs

Students complete upgrading courses in order to meet the admission requirements for programs at SAIT and most other post-secondary education institutions in Alberta.

Tuition and fees

  • Tuition for this program is fully funded by the provincial government.
  • We will help you apply for tuition and living allowance coverage if you are accepted into this program.

Admission requirements

You will be offered admission to this program if you meet the admission requirements and space is available.

Admission requirements

Program length and commitment

The program runs from Sept. 6, 2022 - Aug. 18, 2022 (45 weeks).

Learners must be able to commit to 20 hours of classes each week and attend the entire program.


When can you apply?

Term Program Start
Fall 2022 Sept. 6, 2022

Why upgrade at SAIT?

Upgrade or complete high school course equivalencies in English, mathematics and sciences. Our flexible learning options will prepare you for admission to SAIT's career programs.

Admission requirements

To meet the admission requirements for the Academic Upgrading Indigenous Program, students need to complete the following steps:

Step one: Complete our Expression of Interest form then follow the steps outlined in the email you receive once you have completed the form. That email contains the following steps:

  • Register and attend either a virtual, or an in-person information session
  • Acquire a SAIT ID number (if you do not already have one)
  • Complete the required placement tests 0R register and complete a 15 week Math and English preparatory course
  • Submit a Letter of Intent

If successful through the selection process, you will then be invited to:

Step two: Attend a funding application workshop

Step three: Complete the Academic Upgrading Application form.

Classes will then start on Tuesday, September 6th 2022. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Placement Testing

To demonstrate academic readiness for the courses that form part of the Academic Upgrading Indigenous Program you are required to complete an English placement test and a math placement test (or successfully complete our 15 week Math 007 and Comm 006 preparatory courses taking place March - June 2022). Students are expected to take these tests without the use of external resources (including calculators, internet or another person to assist them).

The English placement test consists of multiple choice questions on English comprehension, grammar and a written paragraph on a topic indicated in the test. A passing mark of 60% must be obtained to fulfill English academic readiness for the program. Students have up to 150 minutes to complete the English test. The level for this test is at approximately grade 9. Students only have one attempt to take this test.

The mathematics test consists of 20-25 multiple choice questions which must be done without the use of a calculator. A passing mark of 60% must be obtained to fulfil mathematic academic readiness for the program. Students have up to 70 minutes to complete the mathematics test. The level for this test is at approximately grade 8.There are two versions of the test so a student can take a second version of the test if they are unsuccessful with their first attempt. Each version may only be attempted once. Please download and use the study guide before attempting the Math100 placement test.

Course  Educational equivalent Placement Test Guide Formula Sheet Attempt One  Attempt Two
MATH-100 Math 9 MATH-100 N/A

Take the test

Take the test

COMN-180 ELA 10-1 COMN-180 N/A Take the test

Mathematics and English (Comm) preparatory courses

For those students who would like a refresher in mathematics and/or English.

Course Dates offered Register
Math 007

March 7 - June 17, 2022

Mondays and Wednesdays
6 pm - 9 pm 

Register now
Comm 006

March 7 - June 17, 2022

Tuesdays and Thursdays
6 pm - 9 pm 

Register now


Semester 1 (September-December)

Course code Course name
PREP 100 SAIT Readiness
Develop the skills you need to balance your personal and academic life at SAIT (45 semester hours).
COMP 261 Computer Essentials
Gain practical skills in Windows file management, internet, e-mail, word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation software (45 semester hours).
MATH 100 Grade 9 Math
Cover the basics and prepare for further studies in mathematics. Topics include operations on whole and real numbers, fractions, decimals and more (90 semester hours).
COMN 180 Grade 10 English and Applied Community Project
Focus on writing sentences, paragraphs, emails and essays. Further develop your verbal and written communication skills by working with an Indigenous community to identify a research topic (90 semester hours). 

Semester 2 (January-April) 

Course code Course name
MATH 180 Grade 10 Math
Develop a basic understanding of algebra, number systems, measurement, trigonometry, relations and functions and more (90 semester hours).
COMM 181 Grade 11 English and Applied Community Project
Explore different types of literature through primary and secondary research on a topic of interest related to an Indigenous community (90 semester hours).
Choice of (choose one):
ASPC 180 Science Preparation
Develop the basic science and math skills you need to move on to higher level chemistry and physics courses. (90 semester hours)
BIOL 181 Grade 11 Biology
Explore the biosphere, diversity of life, cell structure and function, photosynthesis and cellular respiration, as well as selected topics in human anatomy (90 semester hours). 

Semester 3 (May-August)

Course code Course name
MATH 181 Grade 11 Math
Dig deeper into algebra, trigonometry, relations and functions through learning about expressions and equations, trigonometric ratios and more (90 semester hours).
COMM 182 Grade 12 English and Applied Community Project
Build on your understanding of primary and secondary research and referencing through exploring a variety of literary and visual content. Analyze your research and present your findings to community members (90 semester hours).
Choice of (choose one):
BIOL 182 Grade 12 Biology
Investigate the nervous and endocrine systems, human reproduction and development, molecular and classical genetics, cell division and populations and communities (90 semester hours).
CHEM 181 Grade 11 Chemistry
Apply mathematical, scientific and laboratory standards for chemical measurement, elements and compounds. Learn about atomic theory and more (90 semester hours).
PHYS 181 Grade 11 Physics
Explore dynamics, circular motion, work and energy, oscillatory motion and mechanical waves. Problem solve technological challenges (90 semester hours).

Cultural mentorship courses

Every semester, students will also take cultural mentorship courses by participating in Indigenous coaching, advising and mentorship to support the application of learning strategies and personal skills, as well as Indigenous cultural practices (30 hours per semester).

Mathematics and English (Comm) preparatory courses

For those students who would like a refresher in mathematics and/or English.

Course Dates offered Register
Math 007

March 7 - June 17, 2022

Mondays and Wednesdays
6 pm - 9 pm 

Register now
Comm 006

March 7 - June 17, 2022

Tuesdays and Thursdays
6 pm - 9 pm 

Register now

Next steps for incoming students

Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.


Orientation for new students will take place closer to the program start date. Watch your inbox for details.

How to register for classes

You'll be registered in your courses by the program academic chair.

Computers and laptops

This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.  

Required textbooks

The Fall 2022 booklist will be available in late August. 

You will need a laptop or computer for your COMP 261 course. Please note, Chromebooks are not compatible with this course. 


Phone: 403.210.4028
Email: chinook.lodge@sait.ca

Supervisor, Chinook Lodge

Larry Gauthier
Email: larry.gauthier@sait.ca

Next steps for all students

Here's what else you'll need to do to get ready!

Next steps for accepted students

Important dates and deadlines

Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

Important Dates

Have questions about this program?

Contact us at

Chinook Lodge

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