Our Education Strengths

Teaching Our Children
Several early childhood programs are available to our youngest learners. These are operated by Alberta Health Services, Parent Link, Evergreen Catholic and Grande Yellowhead Public School Divisions and several independent care providers. As well, the Hinton Friendship Centre offers the Head Start program, to prepare children for a successful education experience. While Aboriginal children are given priority, the Head Start doors are open to all.

Once the little ones are ready to move on, their parents can choose the public or separate school system, including three elementary schools and two high schools. As well, some families in our community choose to home school their children. Support for parents who home school is provided through the Learning Connection.
3 Table 1 Community Education Attainment Profile
Students attending local schools perform consistently with the provincial average in reading, math, problem-solving and science skills.

Post-Secondary Education
Compared to other parts of Alberta, we have a higher percentage of residents with apprenticeship and trades qualifications and fewer with university degrees. Our community Education Attainment Profile illustrates that reality. Despite the large number of tradespeople, health care providers, educators and equipment operators employed in our community, we do not have a permanent trade school and training facility.

Educational institutions, such as the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, offer mobile training hosted by Campus Alberta (formerly the Yellowhead Region Educational Consortium), and local industries provide apprenticeships and private courses to meet internal needs. For those interested in forest and land management or working as forest firefighters, the Hinton Training Centre, run by Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, offers internationally recognized programs. Campus Alberta also offers college and university programs.

Internationally Known Research
The Hinton Training Centre is a leader in the delivery of forest related education, research and technology. Lured by the Centre's Cache Percotte Training Forest and interactive multimedia wildfire simulator, learners from Alberta, Canada, and across the globe come to the centre to learn about managing forest, wildlife, and land resources. The centre had received many awards, including the Canada Award of Excellence and the Premier’s Award of Excellence.

The Foothills Research Institute has been conducting applied research on the cultural, ecological, economic and social values of Alberta’s forested landscape since 1982. The internationally acclaimed institute plays a vital role in the study of sustainable forest management. Some of its most provocative and successful research programs include the Grizzly Bear Program, the Natural Disturbance Program, Fisheries and Watershed Natural Disturbance Program, Fisheries and Watershed Program.

FP Innovations is the world’s largest private, not-for-profit forest research institute. The Hinton Training Centre has been home to the FP Innovations Wildlife Fire Operations Research Group since 2001. The wildland fire program delivers practical solutions to issues affecting fire fighters enhancing safety and effectiveness. It is the only program of its type in Canada.
3.3 Community Perspectives on Education
Lifelong Learning
Community members also have access to non-credit lifelong learning opportunities. The Hinton Adult Learning Society (HALS) provides a range of community based adult learning courses as well as a Volunteer Tutor Adult Literacy Service and iCCAN video conferencing facilities. Creative Campus, the Hinton Municipal Library and a host of clubs and organizations also organize a variety of learning sessions. When the doors open to the Historical Tracks & Trails Society museum, it will also offer educational programs.
The Town of Hinton and Campus Alberta are committed to developing Hinton as a regional education hub. Together, they are exploring and promoting a variety of strategies, such as
  • Providing local access to work-based training, so workers do not have to leave the community
  • Providing local access to post-secondary opportunities that support our mountain community economy
  • Supporting employers to train employees, including enhancing employee awareness of the value of training for young job-seekers looking for long-term, well-paying employment
  • Expanding the Campus Alberta facilities into a major post-secondary institution
“Developing a post-secondary facility for professional programs, such as nursing. Or develop and promote specialized, short-term relevant training, like lodge management or mountain river and wilderness training.” - Community Consultation Participant