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Accreditation Committee Decision

Lakehead University - Faculty of Education Programs of Professional Education


Introduction

Decision of the Accreditation Committee Regarding the Application for Initial Accreditation of a Proposed Four-year, Stand-alone Program of Professional Education, Concentrating in the Primary and Junior Divisions, Leading to an Honours Bachelor of Education (Aboriginal) Degree

The faculty of education at Lakehead University submitted an application on October 17, 2007 for initial accreditation of the following program of professional education:

  • Four-year stand-alone program of professional education for the Primary and Junior Divisions, Leading to an Honours Bachelor of Education (Aboriginal) Degree.

The application was received and considered in accordance with the interpretation of a consecutive program in Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs (Regulation 347/02).1

In accordance with Regulation 347/02, the Accreditation Committee appointed a panel to:

  1. conduct a review of the proposed program of professional education,
  2. act in an advisory role to the Accreditation Committee by
    1. reporting to the Accreditation Committee on its findings on the review, and
    2. making recommendations to the Accreditation Committee with respect to the initial accreditation of the program of professional education proposed by the faculty of education at Lakehead University.

The seven-person panel was comprised of three members of Council, two of whom were also members of the Accreditation Committee and one of whom was appointed to Council by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, a member of the College who was not a member of Council, a person with expertise in Aboriginal teacher education, a person drawn from a roster with experience as an educator in a faculty of education, and a person nominated by the faculty of education at Lakehead University.

The panel reviewed documentation provided by the faculty of education at Lakehead University and conducted an on-site review which included an examination of artifacts, interviews with faculty members and stakeholder representatives and a review of resources at the facility. The review took place in Thunder Bay, Ontario, from November 11 to16, 2007.

The Accreditation Committee, by virtue of the authority granted under the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996, and Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs, set out to determine if the program of professional education proposed by Lakehead University qualified for initial accreditation.

In making its decision, the Accreditation Committee considered the following information in making its decision:

  1. the Final Report of the Accreditation Panel dated March 11, 2008,
  2. the response of the Dean of the faculty of education,
  3. regulatory requirements of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs and, Regulation 184/97, Teachers’ Qualifications.

Decision of the Accreditation Committee at its Meeting of April 3, 2008

Requirements and Findings

The reasons for the Committee’s decision and the facts upon which it is based follow herein:

Requirement 1

The provider of the program is a permitted institution.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the provider of the program is a permitted institution.

Legislative documents confirm that the faculty of education at Lakehead University is a permitted institution. An Order-in-Council approved by His Honour, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and dated the 15th day of May, 1969, established the faculty of education as an integral part of Lakehead University.

The Senate of Lakehead University approved the Honours BEd (Aboriginal) program at its meeting on March 23, 2007.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 1 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 2

The program has a clearly delineated conceptual framework.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the program of professional education has a clearly delineated conceptual framework. This framework is:

  • an extension of the conceptual framework designed for the currently accredited teacher education programs at the faculty of education of Lakehead University. The conceptual framework for the Honours BEd (Aboriginal) program is built on the mission statements of Lakehead University, the faculty of education, the teacher education programs and the Department of Aboriginal Education and the five strategic goals for Aboriginal Education outlined in the faculty of education’s Strategic Plan, 2006 – 2011. 
  • reflective of indigenous world views and indigenous knowledge.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 2 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 3

The program is consistent with and reflects,

  1. the College’s Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession and the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession
  2. current research in teacher education
  3. the integration of theory and practice in teacher education.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the program of professional education is consistent with and reflects the Ontario College of Teachers’ Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession, current research in teacher education, and the integration of theory and practice in teacher education.

Specific references to the standards are found in many course outlines As a result, multiple opportunities exist for teacher candidates to study the Standards.

Current research in teacher education informs the program’s content and organization. The Education Library contains print and electronic versions of current research in teacher education. Faculty Curriculum Vitae show involvement in research in teacher education and Aboriginal teacher education.

The evidence indicates that the integration of theory and practice is a feature of the program. Teacher candidates connect theory and practice in their courses, their field placements and their Honours project. All teacher candidates are assigned to a faculty advisor who has a major role in connecting theory to practice through Classroom Management seminars, instruction in Planning and Evaluation strategies and practicum visits. Professional seminars provide teacher candidates with opportunities to hear from practicing teachers and professional organizations about theory to practice links.

The field study experience during the third year is an additional example of integration of theory into practice. In organizing the collection in the Education Library, the library staff place theoretical and practical resources side by side to facilitate teacher candidates’ research and planning.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 3 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 4

The program curriculum is current, references the Ontario curriculum, includes the application of current research in teacher education and represents a wide knowledge base in the divisions and components of the program.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the program curriculum is current, references the Ontario curriculum, includes the application of current research in teacher education and represents a wide knowledge base in the divisions and components of the program.

Current research on literacy is present in course outlines. Reference to current research in Aboriginal curriculum design and delivery is found in courses.

The Education Library supports the program’s curriculum through current resources such as journals, instructional handbooks, and staff-generated resource materials.

Faculty curriculum vitae document current curricular research.

Courses are updated annually to reflect current research. The Ontario First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework (2007) informed the program design recognizing current Ministry of Education priorities regarding Aboriginal education.

The program curriculum references the Ontario curriculum. Teacher candidates receive curriculum documents for all subjects in the primary and junior divisions. Specific reference to Ontario curriculum can be found in course outlines.

The program curriculum includes the application of current research in teacher education. Course outlines indicate that current research in teacher education has been used in their development. Some courses have an Action Research component.

The program curriculum represents a wide knowledge base in the divisions and components. Course outlines demonstrate the integration of theory and practice in the primary and junior divisions, drawing upon interdisciplinary knowledge and research-informed practices. The Education Library holdings present a wide knowledge base in the primary and junior divisions and Aboriginal education.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 4 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 5

The course content of the program includes theory, method and foundation courses and makes appropriate provision for the application of theory in practice.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the course content of the program includes theory, method and foundation courses and appropriate provision for the application of theory in practice.

The program designates three core theory courses. Course outlines indicate the integration of theory and practice through readings and course assignments. Course outlines for the core foundation courses are theoretically grounded. Methods course outlines indicate theory is applied to art, music, physical education and mathematics instruction for the primary and junior divisions.

Methods courses include curriculum and instruction in the subject areas taught in the primary and junior grades. There are two core foundation courses that examine the ways in which students’ identity and self-concepts are formed and enacted in response to school curriculum and foundational principles.

The application of theory to practice is facilitated through the faculty advisor who also teaches the theory courses and a seminar. Course outlines and assessment procedures indicate a theory to practice orientation. Additional examples of the application of theory to practice are the field study during year three and the Honours project in year four.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 5 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 6

The program’s format and structure are appropriate for the course content.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the program’s format and structure are appropriate for the course content.

The four-year program is designed to prepare teacher candidates to teach the Ontario curriculum to all students, especially Aboriginal children, in the primary and junior divisions. The professional year courses are distributed across three of the four years of study. The courses are scheduled in such a way that teacher candidates focus on foundational studies before moving on to courses in curriculum and instruction and extended practica.

Additional new courses in Aboriginal education provide background enrichment over the four years. Teacher candidates also must select three full course equivalent electives from both the Social Sciences and Humanities Department and Science and Environmental Studies Department. Literacy and numeracy and the use of technology are infused across the Honours BEd (Aboriginal) program.

The practicum is scheduled in two, five-week practicum placements in the final year, year four. Prior to year four and the practicum experience, teacher candidates enroll in field study, a supervised practical placement of 20 days, in which they have an extended opportunity to observe and practice teach in an alternative instructional setting such as native cultural centres in year three.

The program is delivered to two cohorts of teacher candidates:

  • a face-to-face on-campus cohort
  • and a community-based cohort who access instruction in face-to-face and through distance education.

Community-based teacher candidates will also be able to enrol in on-campus courses offered in the summer.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 6 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 7

Students are assessed and informed of their progress on an ongoing basis throughout the program.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the teacher candidates are assessed and informed of their progress on an ongoing basis throughout the program.

Teacher candidates are assessed and informed of their progress on an ongoing basis throughout the program. Course outlines include rubrics and assessment instruments and techniques used to inform teacher candidates of their progress throughout the program.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 7 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 8

The program includes a practicum that satisfies the requirements set out Regulation 347/02, Subsection 9. (2). The requirements for the practicum portion of the program are as follows:

  1. The practicum must include observation and practice teaching in an instructional setting in schools or other situations that use the Ontario curriculum or in situations approved by the College.
  2. The practicum must be completed in accordance with the requirements of Ontario Regulation 184/97, which includes a minimum of 40 days of practical experience.
  3. The practicum enables every student to participate in settings related to each division and at least one of the subject areas of the program that are relevant to the student.
  4. An experienced teacher supervises the students and assesses their practicum.
  5. A faculty member is appointed as an advisor for each student.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the practicum includes observation and practice teaching in an instructional setting in schools or other situations that use the Ontario curriculum or in situations approved by the College, and that a faculty member is appointed as an advisor for each student.

The practicum is completed in accordance with the requirements of Regulation 184/97, Teachers’ Qualifications, and enables every student to participate in settings related to each division and at least one of the subject areas of the program that are relevant to the student. The practicum is supervised and assessed by an experienced teacher.

The practicum exceeds the minimum of 40 days stated in Regulation 184/97.

The practicum co-ordinators and representatives of the regional directors of education indicate that teacher candidates participate in a practicum in each of the primary and junior divisions and are supervised and assessed by experienced teachers.

The evidence indicates that a faculty member is appointed as an advisor for each teacher candidate.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 8 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 9

Successful completion of the practicum is a requirement for successful completion of the program.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the successful completion of the practicum is required for the granting of the Honours Bachelor of Education (Aboriginal) degree.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 9 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 10

The teaching method courses in the program are appropriate in relation to the divisions to which they relate.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the teaching method courses in the program are appropriate in relation to the divisions to which they relate.

The method courses in the primary and junior divisions of the program meet the grade/division program requirements in The Ontario Curriculum policy documents from the Ministry of Education. These method courses reflect Aboriginal content including Aboriginal worldviews, culture, and culturally appropriate assessment. Methods courses also reflect current research on teaching and learning in the primary and junior divisions, including a study of individual differences, and special needs of exceptional students.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 10 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 11

The teaching theory and foundation courses in the program include courses on human development and learning and on the legislation and government policies relating to education.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the teaching theory and foundation courses in the program include courses on human development and learning and on legislation and government policies relating to education.

There is a required course on human development and learning. Human development and learning is integrated into all courses, with specific references to current research into learning and development in Aboriginal children.

Educational Law is a required course focusing on legislation and government policies relating to education

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 11 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 12

The faculty members teaching the program are an appropriate combination of,

  1. persons with appropriate academic qualifications,
  2. practitioners with appropriate experience in the field of education, and
  3. persons with appropriate expertise in the divisions and components of the program.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the faculty members teaching in the program are an appropriate combination of persons with appropriate academic qualifications, practitioners with appropriate experience in the field of education, and persons with appropriate expertise in the divisions and components of the program.

Faculty members possess appropriate academic qualifications and have experience with Aboriginal education and education research. All full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty possess graduate degrees.

Faculty members have combined expertise in the primary and junior divisions and/or expertise in literacy, numeracy and educational foundations related to school learning amongst Aboriginal children.

The faculty demonstrates expertise in the key components of the program, including Aboriginal education, education research, literacy and numeracy, special education, educational foundations, and curriculum and instruction.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 12 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 13

The permitted institution maintains adequate internal controls to preserve the integrity of student records relating to the program.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the faculty of education and Lakehead University maintain adequate internal controls to preserve the integrity of student records relating to the program.

Student records are housed on the university’s Datatel system. A policy is in place for the sharing of electronic information between faculty and teacher candidates.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 13 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 14

The permitted institution is committed to continuous improvement and quality assurance of the program and, if the program is an existing program, has implemented measures demonstrating that commitment.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the faculty of education is committed to continuous improvement and quality assurance of the program and has implemented measures demonstrating that commitment. 

Regular internal and external reviews have been conducted at the faculty. The faculty has integrated the recommendations from these reviews into program changes.

A number of advisory and management groups provide regular and ongoing feedback on program initiatives.

The evidence indicates that, consistent with current practice in teacher education, teacher candidates’ annual course evaluations inform program revisions.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 14 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 15

The program has a Teacher Education Advisory Committee or similar body that functions in an advisory or liaison capacity in relation to the program.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the faculty of education has a Teacher Education Advisory Council (TEAC) that functions in an advisory capacity in relation to the program.

The Teacher Education Advisory Council is comprised of 17 persons and includes representation from various other university departments, student groups, teacher federations, school boards (superintendents, principals, and teachers) and the Aboriginal community. Documents, including TEAC minutes, illustrate that the TEAC meets on a regular basis to give advice on program.

In addition to the Teacher Education Advisory Council, there are a number of other faculty of education and university based advisory boards to advise the teacher education programs. A committee of the faculty of education’s Department of Aboriginal Education advises the Dean and faculty on issues related to programs for Aboriginal teacher candidates. At the university level, an Aboriginal Management Council co-ordinates activities and provides support to Aboriginal programs.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 15 is fully satisfied.


Decision of the Accreditation Committee

For the reasons set out above, the Accreditation Committee finds that the four-year, stand-alone program of professional education concentrating in the primary and junior divisions, leading to an Honours Bachelor of Education (Aboriginal) Degree, as proposed by the faculty of education at Lakehead University, fully satisfies the requirements of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of TeacherEducation Programs.

The Accreditation Committee grants initial accreditation without conditions for the period of time specified in Regulation 347/02 for the initial accreditation of a consecutive program. Thus, the accreditation period shall be for two years (April 3, 2010) or the period of time ending on the graduation of the second class of students enrolled in the program, whichever is the longer period of time, not to exceed three years (April 3, 2011).


1Regulation 347/02 defines a concurrent program of professional education as “A program of professional education that is undertaken at the same time as a program leading to an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than education.”(emphasis added). Graduates of a concurrent teacher education program in Ontario would typically receive a bachelor of education in addition to a separate undergraduate degree such as a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science.

The proposed program of professional education is included within a four-year undergraduate degree which leads solely to one degree - a bachelor of education. As a concurrent program must lead to an undergraduate degree other than education, the proposed program was considered to be a consecutive program which is identified in Regulation 347/02 as “a program of professional education that is not a concurrent program.

Accreditation Committee
Ontario College of Teachers
April 3, 2008


Amendment to Expiry Date

On June 23, 2009, the Accreditation Committee and the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University agreed to extend the initial accreditation period for this program to April 3, 2012 to provide the faculty with additional time to complete an internal appraisal before preparing a submission for renewal of accreditation.

Accreditation Committee
Ontario College of Teachers
June 23, 2009

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