Update to SJC's Act of Legislation

14 December 2023

St. Joseph’s College
News Release

St. Joseph’s College is pleased to announce an update to its historic Act of Legislation (Act to Incorporate) from 1926. This simple updating of the Act continues everything SJC currently is, respects and promotes our current affiliation with the University of Alberta, while providing more options for students.

For nearly 100 years, St. Joseph’s College has served its mission on the campus of the University of Alberta, through its courses, its residences, and other services, for the benefit of the University community. As early as 1926, SJC offered courses for credit at the U of A and multiple spaces for students to live on campus. Now in 2023, SJC offers over 70 courses per year to more than 2000 students, with 300-plus residents living in two buildings. SJC offers a variety of other services for students, including an active worshiping community and Campus Ministry for all U of A students.

As an affiliate Catholic college at the University of Alberta, SJC and U of A exist for the mutual benefit of students, and SJC will always serve this role on North Campus. The update to this historic Act does not change anything regarding this affiliate model.

Through this legislative update, St. Joseph’s College will have the opportunity in the coming years, in addition to all it offers currently, also to offer its own academic programming. Academic programs housed in SJC’s small environment will help students become better prepared for their University journey. President Bill Flanagan of U of A notes: “[T]he Act update respects and promotes the affiliation agreement we have long enjoyed, but it also leverages the College’s strengths in providing a supportive community . . . in which students can thrive across all dimensions of their University lives.” St. Joseph’s College received similar support from seven other postsecondary presidents across Alberta as part of the legislative process.

Through its affiliate program and now the opportunities provided by this update, SJC continues to provide space where the liberal arts broadly intersect with a variety of U of A degree programs, for the benefit of students.

About St. Joseph’s College

St. Joseph’s College is an affiliate Catholic college located at the heart of the University of Alberta, the province’s premier research institution. We support students in their development as whole people by offering University credit courses that explore the unity of faith and reason, and by providing a safe, inclusive community through our residence and Campus Ministry. At St. Joseph’s College, students are empowered to ask big questions, build lifelong relationships, and develop a faith that is authentic and their own, and they go out into the world with the tools and vision to help bring about the common good.

Mission Statement

St. Joseph’s College is a University community of Catholic higher education rooted in the Gospel, dedicated to helping all people discern truth and build the common good.

In the spirit of reconciliation, St. Joseph’s College respectfully acknowledges that we gather on
Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people.


Why is St. Joseph’s College doing this?

  • We believe our gifts can be offered more broadly. The student who is not quite ready for their university journey can come to SJC and transfer later on: the student from a small town who wants a small community; the international student who needs a landing pad; or the students whose grades are not quite there; or students who need time to discern if university is the right pathway for them.
  • We have found many students find it difficult to know and learn about SJC and what it offers. We have also realized our community does well in supporting students during their university journeys. As the U of A seeks to grow in the coming years, both SJC’s affiliate program and possible future programs can be a partner to this growth. We have learned we are well positioned to help students start their university journeys, specifically those that might not yet be competitive for places like the
    U of A.
  • This will place SJC under the Post-Secondary Learning Act, so it can grow in coordination with other post-secondaries across the province.

Will St. Joseph’s College be offering degrees?

  • SJC plans to provide a program that offers the first few years of a university journey.
  • Any such programs will always first go through the quality assurance systems in the Province of Alberta and the Ministry of Advanced Education (CAQC). This will be our next step as we explore further.
  • In addition, SJC will continue to serve current U of A students as an affiliate College as it has always done.

What type of process did SJC need to go through to update the legislation?

  • The process is well laid out in the province. SJC President Shawn Flynn was the primary advocate through the legislative process. SJC first consulted with various stakeholders, administration at other Alberta post-secondaries, and SJC faculty. The process then involved public notices (in the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal) and then consultation with Parliamentary Counsel on the completeness of our application.
  • Any Bill update requires a Bill sponsor who is an MLA. Then it involves First Reading in the Legislative Assembly, which is followed by a hearing before the Standing Committee on Private Bills where MLAs from both parties deliberate on the Bill. The Bill goes onto Second Reading, Committee of the Whole, and then Third Reading all in the Legislative Assembly. As with any other Bill, the final step is to receive Royal Assent.

What does this mean for all students studying and living at SJC currently?

  • There is no change for any U of A students accessing the resources and supports at SJC. All such students will continue to receive all SJC has to offer.

How will future SJC students in these other programs relate to the U of A?

  • These conversations are in development with the U of A and regular partners. We will work with the U of A so that all students have a positive experience on campus.

For more information about St. Joseph’s College, please go to: https://www.ualberta.ca/stjosephs/index.html