In the early Nineties, the Board of Directors of Community Futures Northwest addressed the problem of the shortage of teachers from the North teaching in the North by applying for and receiving approval for the Lynn Lake BUNTEP Centre.
The Brandon University Teacher Education Program (BUNTEP) is a community-based program that offers a unique opportunity for residents of Manitoba to enter an exciting career in teaching. The innovative program presents a real alternative to traditional campus-based teacher training. Many residents of Northern Manitoba are unable to attend a university campus largely because of location, lack of financial resources and/or education preparedness.
By offering Brandon University's Bachelor of Education program in communities, many of these hardships can be eliminated. Once a centre is established in a community, a BUNTEP coordinator handles the programming, while a travelling team of professors deliver courses to the students.
In September 1992 Lynn Lake's BUNTEP Centre graduated its first group of 10 teachers who had successfully completed the four and a half year Bachelor of Education program. All of the graduates are currently employed in Northwest's member communities.
At the close of this first intake, the Board at Northwest decided they would like to see the BUNTEP Centre continue. They chose to expand the program to five and a half years by offering a General Studies Bachelor Degree that would emphasize Business Administration and that also included an after-degree program in Education.
In September of 1997, BUNTEP began its second intake offering the General Studies degree and the after-degree in Education. As of Fall 2001,10 students entered their final year of Education, having already earned their General Studies degrees and a Certificate in Business Administration. In essence the graduates will begin their careers as business teachers in the Northwest region. Work on a third intake incorporating Applied Counselling into an Education degree has already begun. It is expected to be offered in September 2002.