Interdisciplinary + Inclusive Education

Led by the associate dean (education), our college is creating world-leading programs and educational opportunities that transcend disciplines to deliver lifelong learning that is connected to research. Our work is inclusive of our diverse populations of learners.

At CNAS, we support exceptional collaborative teaching that crosses disciplines connected to the natural and applied sciences. We champion experiential and work-integrated learning experiences within the U of A and with our community partners both nationally and internationally. These educational opportunities set our students on paths to careers and leadership that will strengthen the ability of our local, provincial and national partners and communities to address the big global challenges society faces.

CNAS values the inclusion of diverse learners and we approach our work in STEM education with the intentional goal of increasing equity across the breadth of the student experience from recruitment to the alumni relationship.

Interdisciplinary Programming

We are connecting diverse groups of learners to the internationally recognized research strengths of CNAS and the U of A. We are doing this by supporting and building new interdisciplinary programs that leverage online education, stackable learning modules that can be connected, and instruction and learning that integrates multiple disciplinary approaches with experiential and work-integrated learning opportunities.

Collaborative Teaching

CNAS students engage in learning and discovery within the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, the Faculty of Engineering, and the Faculty of Science, as well as across the U of A. We support engagement of students, staff, instructors and educational and research leaders across faculties to develop collaborative and innovative approaches aimed at providing outstanding student learning experiences and outcomes that are connected to research.

Experiential + Work Integrated Learning

We are working with our partners across education, government, and the non-profit sector to connect learning and discovery to change, action and engagement. We are passionate about supporting and creating transparent and open access to experiential and work-integrated learning opportunities that open up career connections and provide professional development for diverse learners.

We are doing this by up-lifting and supporting U of A offices and initiatives that connect students to research and work-integrated learning, like the Career Centre, Engineering Co-Op, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, the Science Internship Program, Student Innovation Centre, University of Alberta International and the Undergraduate Research Initiative.

CNAS is also working to create new opportunities for students to explore research, international learning experiences and work-integrated program elements by coordinating the work of partner organizations and existing university supports.


Tracy Raivio, Associate Dean (Education)

Tracy Raivio is the associate dean (education) in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences. Tracy joins the college from the Faculty of Science where she has been a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences for 22 years. She has served as acting chair and associate chair (graduate studies) in the department, as well as associate dean (awards and scholarships) in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Tracy’s research lies at the intersection of microbiology and molecular genetics. Tracy is a champion of Indigenous initiatives and the creation of a culture of equity, diversity and inclusivity on campus. She is also an advocate for experiential learning and academic innovation.

In her role as associate dean (education), Tracy will lead the College of Natural and Applied Sciences in cross-faculty multidisciplinary initiatives for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Tracy can be reached via email at