Briercrest College & Seminary marked another turning point in education in Saskatchewan this past month.
Before they pushed hard to get the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education to institute the kind of quality and provincial authorization board that guys like me from the United States take for granted, there could be no other universities in Saskatchewan, and no other provincially authorized schools.
Despite Briercrest being fully accredited for a long long while, their degree granted has been quite limited. This has been solely because in Saskatchewan, many ancient and frontier ideas have persisted. “We’re Saskatchewan, we can’t alow our selves to have more than two universities or two general stores! the population won’t sustain it!” (if you didn’t read that with an old man’s get-off-my-lawn voice echoing down from the porch, you should go back and try again). That’s not exactly how the laws were stated, and yes, I’m speaking in a reductionist sort of way here, but the feeling seems right. Another College, CBC moved out of Regina to Alberta exactly because of this awkward Saskatchewan educational system, pretty much. They went to where their value would be accepted. Briercrest stayed here and lobbied, to have the doors to Saskatchewan becoming a modern province opened.
SIAST has also benefitted from Briercrest’s years of lobbying the government, and upgraded to a level equal to the UofR and UofS as the provinces first Polytechnic. Saskpoly has a ring to it that reminds me of my home-state’s Calpoly. But with a lot less sun.
Briercrest has just added two new Provincially Authorized (same level as UofR and UofS) degrees, in English and History. They are dear to my heart simply because I mostly speak english and everything that ever happened to me, happened in the past.
They are dear to my heart simply because I mostly speak english and everything that ever happened to me, happened in the past.
Of course English and History (really, all the humanities) have long been extremely important to a Briercrest education. They both provide the kind of education that extends past your first job (likely involving coffee) and into every job and relationship you’ll have in your life. This kind of learning isn’t as celebrated as something more practical like becoming a journeyman carpenter. The kind of critical learning that come from the humanities is stuff that rounds you out as a person, makes you wise and able to learn and succeed at a wide variety of tasks. It’s a ton less quantifiable, but that hasn’t made it a fraction less real.
In a world that values money and atomized skills over wisdom and general ability to problem solve, they stick out. But the proof is in the pudding. Far more of the top-earning companies have CEO’s with Humanities BA’s over degrees in Business.
But Briercrest offers BAs in Business too, so I guess it all will even out.