Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a polytechnic[2] and applied sciences institute in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. NAIT provides careers programs in applied research, technical training, applied education, and learning designed to meet the demands of Alberta's technical and knowledge-based industries. NAIT offers approximately 120 credit programs leading to degrees, applied degrees, diplomas and certificates. As of 2018, there are approximately 16,000 students in credit programs 12,000 apprentices registered in apprenticeship training, 14,500 students enrolled in non-credit courses, and more than 20,000 registrants for customized corporate based training. NAIT also attracts international students from 94 countries.[1] NAIT is similar to an Institute of technology or university of applied sciences as termed in other jurisdictions. The campus newspaper, the NAIT Nugget, is a member of the Canadian University Press (CUP).

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
MottoDiscere, Efficere, Praestare
Motto in English
To Learn, To Do, To Succeed
Endowment$45 million
PresidentDr. Glenn Feltham
Academic staff
Undergraduates10,950 (Full Time)
10,000 (Part Time)
Location, ,
CampusUrban Edmonton (main campus)
Other LocationsOther locations in Spruce Grove
ColoursTeams:blue      & yellow      Institute: Dark blue (Pantone 288) & light blue (Pantone 299)
AffiliationsACCC, CCAA, AACTI, Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference, CBIE, CUP, Polytechnics Canada
MascotOok snowy owl, "ookpik"


The polytechnic confers certificates, diplomas, applied degrees and baccalaureate degrees. NAIT's four-year baccalaureate degrees (Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management and Bachelor of Technology in Construction Management[3] and Bachelor of Business Administration[4]) were launched in 2007.

NAIT is one of the largest apprenticeship trainers in Canada offering 34 registered trades programs.


In 1959, the Alberta provincial government decided to build an Edmonton facility to supplement apprenticeship and vocational training, which was at the time handled by the Provincial Institute of Technology (PITA) in Calgary. The new institution would be named the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and PITA would be renamed the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). Construction of the new facility began in January 1962. The first class was enrolled in October, a group of 29 Communication Electrician apprentices. NAIT officially opened on May 27, 1963, with a ceremony led by Premier Ernest Manning. The first graduation ceremony happened in 1965, with a class of 326 graduates. In 1982, the government transferred control to the new Board of Governors, chaired by Allan McCagherty.[5] NAIT has been a leading polytechnic for more than 50 years. The school marked its 50th anniversary in 2012.[6]


The institute has four campuses[7] located in Edmonton and Spruce Grove:

  • Main campus at 11762 - 106 Street, Edmonton
  • Patricia campus at 12204 - 149 Street, Edmonton
  • Souch campus at 7110 Gateway Boulevard, Edmonton
  • Spruce Grove campus at 281 Tamarack Drive, Spruce Grove.

In February 2019, the Main campus acquired 13.27 hectares of the former Edmonton City Centre Airport with the option for another 3.23 hectares, as well as the 4.8 hectare Westwood Transit Garage to the north. This will enable the closure of the Patricia and Souch campuses, and the construction of a student residence building. The Spruce Grove campus will remain open since its crane and hoisting classes cannot be accommodated at the Main campus.[8]


NAIT's mascot is the Ook. This is a shortened version of the Inuktitut word for the snowy owl, ookpik. NAIT was presented this mascot in 1964 by the federal Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources,[9] now Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Most of NAIT's sports teams are now called the Ooks as well.


The NAIT Ooks compete in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference. Ooks team sports include badminton, basketball, hockey, soccer, curling and volleyball. NAIT's official colours are blue and yellow.[10]

Students' Association

The NAIT Students' Association (NAITSA)[11] is composed entirely of current NAIT students. It is led by a four-person elected Executive Council, and governed by an eighteen-person elected Senate (two representatives from the 9 program groups). NAITSA is responsible for running the Nest Taphouse Grill, The NAIT Nugget (campus newspaper), campus events, the student health and dental plan, U-Pass and various other services aimed at enhancing student life.

Techlifetoday magazine

Techlifetoday is the polytechnic's official magazine, focusing on people, technology and innovation. It launched in 2007 as techlife, a print magazine, which later expanded to in 2016. Techlifetoday has published exclusively online since November 2018[12] and has earned numerous industry awards.[13]


NAIT is organized into four academic schools and three academic departments:[14]

  • JR Shaw School of Business
  • School of Health and Life Sciences
  • School of Applied Sciences and Technology
  • School of Skilled Trades
  • Department of Culinary Arts and Professional Food Studies
  • Department of Continuing Education
  • Department of Corporate and International Training

Notable alumni

See also


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