Kwitn Program FAQs

The Kwitn Program is designed to create a broad first-year experience for students. It has courses in science, technology, business, and arts, as well as space for students to select an elective course depending on their interests. The Kwitn Program was developed in response to the wishes of Mi’kmaw community and educational leaders who wanted to see students from their communities graduating with a broader skill set within their degree, whatever degree path they may choose.

Kwitn is the Mi’kmaw term for canoe. Symbolically, it connotes a vessel which will enable a journey that members of the program embark upon together and, through collaboration and coordination, explore career opportunities. A canoe in and of itself is an example of Indigenous knowledge, technology, and innovation, which can and has been analyzed in terms of math (geometry) and science (physics). It is also a vehicle that in the past enabled exploration and trade, and still today facilitates cultural practices.

Students interested in the Kwitn Program must meet the general undergraduate admission requirements for CBU, which state that an overall average of 65% based on high school performance is required. This average is calculated based on five grade 12 academic or advanced courses (English plus four other courses). Following completion of the first year of the Kwitn Program, students will declare their chosen degree programs. At that time, they may have to meet additional program-specific requirements.

Students who do not meet the general undergraduate admission requirements can be assessed on an individual basis and may be granted conditional acceptance. Following completion of the first year of the Kwitn Program, students will declare their chosen degree programs. At that time, they may have to meet additional program-specific requirements.

To apply, students can complete the online application and select the Kwitn Program option. Remember that there is a $36 application fee and transcripts must be emailed to admissions@cbu.ca or dropped off at the Enrolment Services Office. Alternatively, students can visit Unama’ki College on CBU’s campus and complete an application with the assistance of staff there.

As seats are limited, it is advisable to apply as soon as possible. However, applications will be accepted up until the start of the program in September if there are seats available. There is a cap of 15 seats for the first cohort.


In most cases, the courses in the Kwitn Program will count towards your chosen university degree, either as required or elective courses. There are a few exceptions. Please consult an advisor to understand how and where these courses count in your chosen degree program.

Most courses in the Kwitn Program will be held in a Mi’kmaw community. For the 2018-19 academic year, in-community courses will take place in Eskasoni. If you live in another community, it may be possible for you to connect via videoconferencing for some classes. In some cases, you may also be on-campus – for example, for some labs and possibly for the elective course that you may choose. For more information on the scheduling of courses in the Kwitn Program, contact Ida Steeves at Ida_Steeves@cbu.ca or 902.563.1871.

Most science courses, as well as some math and coding courses, have a laboratory requirement to provide hands-on experience to develop skills related to the lecture content. For those courses with labs, you will be required to register in both the lecture and the lab. Depending on the course, this may mean approximately 36 hours of lecture time and 36 hours of lab time to complete the three-credit course. Completion of a lab component does not increase the number of credits awarded for a course.

Because the Kwitn Program is a university bridging program and the courses are all for credit, you may be eligible for post-secondary funding from your community. Consult the post-secondary coordinator or education director in your community for information on how to apply for funding and their application deadlines.

Because all of the courses in the Kwitn Program are for credit, they should transfer to other universities. It will be up to the university to which you are transferring to determine whether and how these courses are counted in their degree programs (that is, whether they count as core requirements or electives). Be advised that universities often set a limit on the number of courses that can be transferred from other institutions. If you think you might transfer to another university in the future, you should keep copies of your course outlines, as this can help other institutions evaluate courses when determining whether to accept them as transfer credits.

No. There is no credential associated with this program.

Most of the courses in the Kwitn Program have already been selected for you. You will have the option to choose an additional course according to your own interests and anticipated program of study. A faculty advisor or the mentor-coordinator for the Kwitn Program can assist you.