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NorQuest Skills of Distinction

Library on Inclusion

Belonging: The Search for Acceptance

Vanier's prophetic counter-cultural ideas weave together a panorama of humanity in the 21st century. 

Sense of Belonging: When Citizens Feel at Home

Does the happiness of the “mainstream” trump any assessment of collective harmony, or should civilization be defined in terms of the broadest possible common good?

Round Up

This short film traces Pete Standing Alone's personal journey from cultural alienation to pride and belonging. 

Building a Better Life

Researchers at NorQuest College along with their partners engaged in a three-year research project that looks at the barriers people face and the strengths they use to transcend marginalization.

Perspectives on Diverse Student Identities

Higher education institutions continue to address an increasingly complex set of issues regarding equity, diversity and inclusion. 


Canada's twenty-sixth Governor General and bestselling author Adrienne Clarkson argues that a sense of belonging is a necessary mediation between an individual and a society. 

Library on Resilience

Embracing Risk in Urban Education

A grounded, close look at innovative pedagogies which embrace risk through an emphasis on critical inquiry, cultural diversity, global awareness, project-based learning, collaboration, community partnerships, and student activism. 

All Our Relations

Tanya Talaga explores the alarming rise of youth suicide in Indigenous communities in Canada and beyond. 

The Courage to Be Altered: Indigenist Decolonization for Teachers

This chapter employs autoethnography to reflect upon the intersection of decolonization with Indigenous knowledge. It considers relational engagement with Indigenous people, land, and language.

Mindsets That Promote Resilience

What educators can do to foster these mindsets and create resilience in educational settings.

Library on New Ways of Thinking

Indigenous Education: New Directions in Theory and Practice

Broadly multidisciplinary, this volume explores Indigenous education from theoretical and applied perspectives and invites readers to embrace new ways of thinking about and doing schooling

Inside Creativity

Jazz great Benny Golson, Animator Chuck Jones, a master calligrapher in Kyoto, a professor at Stanford's Business school, a designer, and a pediatric neurosurgeon all demonstrate and share their creative secrets.

Taking Beautiful RISKS in Education

The article offers advice for educators on how to support student creativity. Particular focus is given to the importance of risk-taking. 

Teaching and Assessing Creativity in Schools in England

The author discusses ways in which creative and critical thinking can be taught and assessed in schools in England. 

Skills of Distinction

Learners value diversity and individuality and base their actions on the principles of social justice. They strive to create safe environments, a sense of belonging and acceptance for themselves and others.

Learners are courageous, healthy and able to respond to or overcome challenges. Through their learning experiences at NorQuest, they become more aware and accountable for their actions.

Learners embrace bold new ways of thinking. They are prepared to take risks, keep learning, be creative and take personal responsibility for adapting to changing situations.

A Commitment to Each and Every Learner

circle of courage diagramIn Fall 2018, NorQuest took steps to review and renew our College-wide Learning Outcomes. This led us on a journey to reimagine what they mean, to whom and what impact they make. Since that time, the focus of the work has shifted to what we’re now calling Skills of Distinction. We’ve also shifted the intent of the Skills of Distinction to focus specifically on learners. That’s not to suggest that continuous learning and development aren’t important for people who work at the college or other stakeholders we engage. But the primary focus on learners is critical to ensure we’re fulfilling NorQuest’s purpose of transforming lives for the better.

To achieve that purpose, the college commits to a common set of outcomes we aspire to achieve with each and every learner. We call those Skills of Distinction because they prepare every learner for the challenges of a changing workforce and a changing world. They are the foundation for changing learners’ lives for the better. They shape the learning outcomes expected for all programs offered at the college and also integrate specific skills essential for all learners such as human skills, creative problem solving, adaptability, and digital fluency. 

These three Skills of Distinction provide the lens for all programs provided at the college and our commitment to every learner at the college. They reflect so many aspects of the NorQuest Difference, especially our unique commitment that everything we do is about learning. We make inclusion a reality not through words but through actions. We connect to the communities we serve. And we’re boldly focused on preparing people for whatever their futures might hold. Most importantly, by enabling every learner to achieve these three Skills of Distinction, we help fulfill the purpose of transforming people’s lives for the better.



New Ways of Thinking

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