It was founded on September 1, 1890 by Gustave Blanche, a Eudist Father, to facilitate the higher education of Acadians in Nova Scotia. The University was named after Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary.
Its enrolment for the 2005-2006 academic year was around 650-700 students, while in 2014, it had 370 full-time undergraduate students, 140 part-time undergrads, and 20 graduate students. In 2003, the provincial government merged the university with Collège de l'Acadie, a French-language community college with campuses throughout Nova Scotia.
Université Sainte-Anne offers many university-level programmes as well as college-level diploma programmes. It has two faculties and one school: the Faculté des Arts et Sciences, Faculté des Programmes Professionnels and the French Immersion School. In the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, one may pursue studies in several fields: French language, literature and linguistics, history, Canadian studies, Acadian studies, commerce, English language and literature, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, General Sciences, Pre-Veterinary Studies, and Health Sciences. In the Faculty of Professional Programmes, students may pursue studies in Administrative sciences, computer technology, office administration and education. The most popular majors are: French, commerce, business administration and education.
In addition to the Pointe-de-l'Église main campus, students may take courses through the university at other locations: Tusket, Halifax, Petit-de-Grat and Saint-Joseph-du-Moine. Its Halifax campus offers a 1-year Bachelor of Education programme and a Master of Education programme.
At the Université Sainte-Anne, students may pursue the following degrees and diplomas:Master's Programmes
Master of Education, teaching French as a first-language (M.Éd.)
Master of Education, teaching French as a second-language (M.Éd.)
Master of Education, teaching French as a first-language in a minority environment (M.Éd.)
General studies (B.A.)
Science (three-year programme) (B.Sc.)
English studies (B.A.)
Canadian studies (B.A.)
Acadian studies (B.A.)
French studies (regular degree or Honours programme) (B.A., B.A. Hon.)
International Commerce (B.A.A.)
Social Work (B.A.)
Business Administration (regular degree or co-op programme), (B.A.A.)
English and French studies with concentration in translation (B.A.)
Health studies: public health (B.tech.)
Education (two-year programme) or Arts/Education combined degree (B.A., B.Éd.)
Business Administration, Administrative assistant diploma
Business Information Technology or Computer Technology
Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Federal Government Office Clerk
Early Childhood Education or Special Education: Teaching Assistant
Health Sciences or Pre-veterinary Sciences (two-year programmes)
Human Services, Human Services Counselling or Continuing Health Care Services
French (Diplôme de français fonctionnel)
French as a second language (beginner, intermediate and advanced)
English as a second language
Sainte-Anne is known for its French Immersion programs. Programs take place year round including winter, spring and summer intersessions. The program is very strict about using immersion to learn the French language. If a student is caught speaking in any language other than French three times, the student is asked to leave the program, without a refund. The rural location of the university means there are few opportunities for students to congregate outside of earshot, compared to more urban campuses where off-campus outings would provide ample opportunity for communication in English.
Cultural activities and workshops are designed to allow for French to become second nature, even at a beginner level.
The current rector of Université Sainte-Anne is Allister Surette. Jean-Douglas Comeau, dean of the immersion program, employs numerous people known as "les animateurs" who assist with organizing, preparation and execution of the program's activities.
In the French immersion program, offered throughout the year as well as during 5-week summer and spring sessions, there are eight levels of classes. Students are put in these classes based on a two-part (oral et écrit) placement test.
During the summer and spring sessions the levels are:Débutant I and Débutant II
Intermédiaire I, Intermédiaire II and Intermédiaire III
Avancé I, Avancé II and Perfectionnement
After completion of Perfectionnement, students receive a bilingual certificate.
However, due to a complete overhaul of the immersion program for the fall and winter university semesters, the new levels are as follows and their equivalents:Level 1 - Débutant I
Level 2 - Débutant II
Level 3 - Intermédiaire I and Intermédiaire II
Level 4 - Intermédiaire III and Avancé I
Level 5 - Avancé II
Level 6 - Perfectionnement
After completion of Level 6, students receive a "functional in french" certificate because although students can fully function in French, they are always learning. It is because of this that immersion students are not qualified to receive a "bilingual" certificate. One should note that the immersion program has been compressed to a one and a half year program instead of two. It is also suggested that when attending university in the program of immersion to be wary of participating in spring and summer sessions because since the levels are different, a student may not advance a level upon returning the next university year.
During the spring and summer sessions, a student's level determines what time the class takes place and what workshops are open to him or her. Beginner students may take only conversation, while higher-level students may pick from several. Workshops from the 2006 summer session include:Art Plastique, Culture Acadienne and Culture Francophone
Danse Latine and Danse Sociale
Collage Souvenir and Sortons en Clare
Musique, Le P'tit Bois and Théâtre
Vidéo Souvenir and Album Souvenir
A regular day during the spring and summer immersion sessions at Sainte-Anne starts off with an hour and a half of class, followed by "La session d'information," which is a thirty-minute presentation by the animateurs and animatrices about the day's activities presented in sketch form. Afterwards, there is another hour-and-a-half class. Afternoon workshops (ateliers) are followed by a sports tournament and an outing activity (sortie). On Friday and Saturday nights there are themed dances (soirées) and on Sunday nights, bonfires (feu de camp).