101 Bloor Street West
Toronto ON, M5S 0A1
P: 416-961-8800
Toll Free (Ontario Only): 1-888-534-2222
F: 416-961-8822
info@oct.ca

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FAQ – General

  1. Who made the decision to enhance the teacher education program?
    1. In June 2013, Ontario’s Ministry of Education, working in partnership with the College, announced plans to lengthen the program to give future teachers more practical experience and greater exposure to teaching methods that will help teachers support diverse student needs.  
  1. Why the change?
    1. Based on 10 years of research of newly certified teachers and an extensive review of teacher qualifications, the College recommended significant changes to initial teacher education programs in Ontario.
  1. When does the program start?
    1. The new program began on September 1, 2015.
  1. How is it being enhanced?
    1. The new program will feature:
      1. Four semesters (increased from two)
      2. more time for practice teaching (80 days minimum, up from 40 days)
      3. greater focus on students’ mental health and well-being, parent engagement and communication, and special education among other core elements
      4. greater attention to diversity in Ontario classrooms and knowledge of the Ontario context, and
      5. greater understanding of how to use technology in teaching. 
  1. When will the first cohort graduate?
    1. The majority of students in the first cohort of the new program will graduate in 2017.
  1. Will it be rolled out simultaneously at every faculty of education?
    1. Yes. Ontario faculties of education will implement the new program requirements by Sept. 1, 2015.
  1. How does this improve learning for students?
    1. Students benefit from great teaching and the excellent preparation of teachers. More time for teacher preparation with deeper appreciation for teaching strategies and Ontario’s education context will help students to succeed individually and collectively.
  1. What’s the College’s role in this?
    1. As a lead partner, the College:
      1. provides guidance to the faculties about what must be included in the program
      2. assures the public that programs meet the new standards through its accreditation review process
      3. establishes the criteria to certify teachers based on the enhanced teacher education program
      4. provides information to the public and the profession about the changes.
  1. What are the substantial differences between the existing programs and the enhanced program?
    1. There are three substantial differences: a longer program to accommodate additional content; more time for practice teaching; and new required content for all Ontario faculty of education programs.
  1. What’s the impact on Internationally Educated Teachers or those from other provinces who apply to teach in Ontario?
    1. Because of labour mobility, the changes will not affect those from other provinces applying for certification in Ontario. The changes apply to Ontario educated teachers and those from outside of Canada.
  1. What will new teachers learn that those currently teaching did not?
    1. Content in the new program has been organized in three areas - curriculum; pedagogical and instructional strategies; and the teaching context such as classroom, social, diversity and legal perspectives.  Many of these content areas are included in current programs but they have been enriched in the enhanced program.
  1. Will existing teachers be required to upgrade their skills and knowledge?
    1. Ongoing learning is a professional responsibility. However, there is no expectation directly related to the new program that affects Ontario Certified Teachers. 
  1. How will the enhanced teacher education program affect Associate Teachers?
    1. Associate teachers will continue to be a critical partner in the practical teaching experience. Faculties and school boards will continue to determine placements and best situations in instructional settings as approved by the College for all involved.
  1. How will this affect the courses and programs Ontario’s faculties of education offer?
    1. The College accredits all Ontario faculty of education programs. Accordingly, all faculties are required to include new content and longer practice teaching in a four-semester program as of September 1, 2015. The College has produced an accreditation resource guide to help faculties develop programs and courses to meet the new requirements.
  1. How will the College ensure that the programs are in place and appropriate?
    1. The College will review each program by April 2016 to ensure that it meets all accreditation requirements including the new enhanced elements.
  1. How can I avoid delays with my application?
    1. Plan ahead.  Make arrangements for all required documents to be sent to the College promptly. Read the registration guide carefully. Make sure you understand which documents must be submitted to complete an application. This will avoid delays caused by unacceptable documents (ex. criminal record reports that are expired, photocopied or missing legal names, documents that have not been translated according to the College’s translation policy, transcripts sent by third parties).
  1. What happens if I’m enrolled in a program before September 2015 and can’t complete it until after that date because of exceptional circumstances?
    1. There are provisions in place for candidates who began their teacher education program before September 1, 2015 and were unable to complete it prior to that date because of exceptional circumstances, such as illness, incomplete program requirements, military service etc. If this describes your situation, please contact Client Services for a form.  You will need to provide a detailed explanation and supporting documentation for our review. We will advise you if more information is required.

101 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON, M5S 0A1, P: 416-961-8800 / Toll Free (Ontario Only): 1-888-534-2222 /
F: 416-961-8822 / info@oct.ca

© 2017 Ontario College of Teachers

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