Aspen View division office moving to AU campus

Aspen View Public Schools’ division office relocating to Athabasca University campus
Posted on 05/17/2024

(front, from left) Athabasca University President Dr. Alex Clark and Aspen View Public Schools Superintendent Constantine Kastrinos sign a five-year partnership agreement between the two organizations, witnessed by (back, from left) AU Board of Governors Chair Byron Nelson and Aspen View Board of Trustees Chair Candyce Nikipelo.

(front, from left) Athabasca University President Dr. Alex Clark and Aspen View Public Schools Superintendent Constantine Kastrinos sign a five-year partnership agreement between the two organizations, witnessed by (back, from left) AU Board of Governors Chair Byron Nelson and Aspen View Board of Trustees Chair Candyce Nikipelo.

 

Athabasca, Alberta (May 17, 2024) — Athabasca University (AU) and Aspen View Public Schools are excited to announce the next chapter in an ongoing partnership between the organizations with the relocation of Aspen View’s division office to the AU main campus in Athabasca.

“AU is grounded in Athabasca, and we value opportunities to build relationships so that our campus is a vibrant place for our team members and serves as a space for community connection,” said Dr. Alex Clark, AU President. “We value our partnership with Aspen View Public Schools and extend a warm welcome to their employees in this exciting new chapter.” 

“We are excited to grow an already strong relationship with Athabasca University through the opportunities provided by sharing a physical space,” said Candyce Nikipelo, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Aspen View Public Schools.

The new five-year agreement between AU and Aspen View takes effect July 1, 2024. Relocation of Aspen View’s division office to its new site, within the main building of AU’s Athabasca campus, will take place over the summer. Approximately 15 Aspen View staff work out of its division office.

“We considered a number of possibilities for relocation, both in the Athabasca area and elsewhere within Aspen View,” Aspen View Public Schools Superintendent Constantine Kastrinos said. “Extending our partnership with Athabasca University not only makes sense logistically, but also opens doors for even greater collaboration opportunities between Aspen View and AU.”

History of community collaboration

Aspen View Public Schools and AU have a long history of collaboration:

  • AU’s Science Outreach – Athabasca program has a presence within Aspen View Public Schools spanning decades, providing resources and guest speakers that encourage and inspire students’ interest in science. In recent years, students have also had the unique opportunity to visit AU’s state-of-the-art science lab and perform experiments with the guidance of Science Outreach – Athabasca volunteers.
  • AU was a vital partner in the opening of the new Edwin Parr Composite School in 2018. The university helped facilitate the land transfer that made its construction possible, and also supported a community vision to synergize the resources of Aspen View, AU, the Athabasca Regional Multiplex and Northern Lakes College in a campus-style setting.
  • AU has partnered with Aspen View to provide dual-credit opportunities, offering students the opportunity to transition into post-secondary studies while still in high school. AU’s distance education model and flexible program entry options make it convenient for students to integrate into their schedules.

“Fundamental to these unique partnerships has been the ability to make meaningful connections with AU’s leadership, faculty and staff, through the shared experience of living and working together in the Athabasca community,” Chair Nikipelo said. “Both of our organizations having a vested interest in the sustainability of our community drives us to work more collaboratively and efficiently, for the betterment of all. This can only be enhanced through the synergies that will occur working alongside Athabasca University within their building.”

Fostering connection in place and digital spaces

For AU to realize its highest contribution in open, online education and research, Clark said the university must be grounded in its home community in Athabasca. There is ample room on campus for AU team members who choose to work there under the new hybrid working model, along with community partners and lease-holders, contributing to a vibrant campus community.

“A university campus proves an important spark for connection through face-to-face interaction and relationship building,” he said. “I welcome every opportunity to come together at AU Main as we move forward in our work to realize AU’s highest contribution, both locally in place, and globally in digital spaces.”

Aspen View Public Schools’ division office has operated from the Athabasca County administration building since Aspen View was first incorporated in 1995.

“We are grateful to Athabasca County for hosting us for the first nearly 30 years of Aspen View’s history,” Chair Nikipelo said. “As advocates for rural sustainability, we are encouraged that Athabasca County requires more space to provide enhanced services to its residents, including Aspen View families.”

About Athabasca University

Athabasca University (AU) is one of the world's foremost and fastest-growing online and open education institutions, serving over 38,000 students across 81 countries. AU is the second-largest university in Alberta. AU offers online bachelors, masters, and doctorate programs alongside online courses for both personal learning and professional development. It is uniquely founded on the principles of flexibility and openness, giving students control over their studies so they can learn whenever and wherever it is right for them. For more information, please visit: www.athabascau.ca.

About Aspen View Public Schools

Aspen View Public Schools is a regional and primarily rural school authority located north of Edmonton, Alberta. Aspen View is 9,980 square kilometres in size, serving Athabasca County, Thorhild County and Smoky Lake County, with schools located in the communities of Athabasca, Boyle, Grassland, Rochester, Smith, Smoky Lake, Thorhild and Vilna. Aspen View’s enrollment is approximately 2,600 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Our division employs approximately 400 staff. Aspen View is committed to preparing our students to achieve success and reach their unique potential through the provision of diverse learning opportunities. For more information, please visit: www.aspenview.org.

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