Portage College

Founded 1968 | Lac La Biche, AB

Portage College operates the Museum of Aboriginal Peoples’ Art and Artifacts, which is home to nearly 2,000 traditional and contemporary works. The museum complements coursework in the Native Arts programs, which includes studies in beading, carving, sewing, footwear, hide tanning, sculpture, drawing, painting, printmaking and mixed media. These programs are among more than 50 diplomas and certificates offered by the college. Other areas of study include business, environmental studies, technical and university studies, hospitality, health and wellness, human services and trades. The college has seven campuses across northeastern Alberta. Student residences are available at the Lac La Biche and St. Paul campuses.

Applied research conducted at Portage focuses on environmental, scientific and engineering studies. In 2018, Portage opened the new energy-efficient Environmental Studies building, which houses the natural resources technology program and is equipped with a greenhouse, a water simulation lab and classrooms.
Portage is expanding its list of courses by building partnerships with other institutions. For instance, the school offers a bachelor of business administration degree in management with NAIT, and the Aboriginal teacher education degree program with the University of Alberta.

Popular Programs

• Early Learning and Child Care

• Academic Upgrading

• University Transfer

• Practical Nurse

• Community Social Work

School Size



• Diploma: $4,635

• Certificate: $4,492

Residence Offerings


Cool Options

• Natural Resources Technology: In this hands-on program, students learn about the management of environmental resources while using current industry software and equipment.

• Artisan Entrepreneurship Diploma: Through studio courses and directed lessons, students explore a range of Aboriginal and contemporary art forms, including painting, hide tanning, carving and beadwork. Graduates are prepared to become self-employed artists and artisans.

• Hairstyling and Barbering: This program provides foundational skills in hair cutting, texturizing and design through 16 weeks of lectures and salon training.