Rural Capacity Internship Program

About the Program

Rural and agricultural-based communities play important economic and social roles in Canadian society. These roles are often undermined as communities grapple with limited capacity to research, engage citizens, and make key decisions relating to the sustainability challenges they face.

In an effort to assist communities in addressing these issues and to create meaningful rural-based undergraduate student experiences, the University of Alberta's Augustana Campus based Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities and Learning and Beyond office have partnered to establish the Rural Capacity Intern Program. The first phase of this program ran during the summer of 2010 and provided 3 Augustana students with the opportunity to live and work with rural communities in East Central Alberta. The second phase of the program will start in May 2011, and provide up to 6 University of Alberta students with an internship opportunity working with a community in Alberta.

This program is designed to provide interns with a comprehensive rural experience where they will be exposed to multiple aspects of rural municipal planning, administration, and program development. In addition to working with their host municipality, interns will also work under the guidance of Augustana faculty members in developing and researching community-based projects that support rural capacity and sustainability issues.

Meet the 2012 Rural Capacity Intern:

Andrea Dyck is a fourth year Philosophy major. This summer Andrea is working with the Wetaskiwin Parent Link Centre (PLC). The PLC is a community hub designed to provide a space for parents, particularly with children between the ages of 0 and 6 to play, learn, and connect with their families and build relationships with others in the community. A variety of parent education and early childhood development programming takes place at the PLC, and all programs are free. Andrea describes the main objective of her summer work with PLC as building and reinforcing sustainable practices, policies, and programming that will strengthen relationships between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community in Wetaskiwin. One of Andrea's major projects for the summer will be to create a program for families that builds intercultural relationships through learning and open dialogue that will continue to be a point of reference for the Centre. She will also be very busy assessing the current PLC Aboriginal policy and programming, developing strategies that will address any improvements to the Centre as well as exploring programs in other Centres and taking part in the National Aboriginal Day celebrations.

ACSRC Rural Capacity Intern Program in the News

July 25, 2011 - Students learn from - and teach - rural communities

August 19, 2010 - Rural Intern Helping Village Prepare for the Future

August 4, 2010 - Canadian Students Work to Increase Sustainability in Rural Communities

Support for this project is provided by, in part, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development