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Accreditation Committee Decision

Laurentian University – School of Education

Application for General Accreditation of the Concurrent Program of Professional Education for the Primary/Junior and Junior/Intermediate Divisions leading to a Bachelor of Education Degree


Introduction

Decision of the Accreditation Committee Regarding the application for General Accreditation of the Concurrent Program of Professional Education for the Primary/Junior and Junior/Intermediate Divisions leading to a Bachelor of Education Degree

The School of Education at Laurentian University submitted an application May 20, 2008 for general accreditation of the Concurrent Program of Professional Education for the Primary/Junior and Junior/Intermediate divisions, leading to a Bachelor of Education degree.

In accordance with Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs, the Accreditation Committee appointed a six-person panel to:

  1. conduct a review of the aforementioned program of professional education,
  2. act in an advisory role to the Accreditation Committee by,
    1. reporting to the Accreditation Committee on its findings, and
    2. making recommendations to the Accreditation Committee with respect to the accreditation of the Concurrent Program of Professional Education for the Primary/Junior and Junior/Intermediate Divisions leading to a Bachelor of Education Degree.

The accreditation panel met the requirements set out in Section 6 of Regulation 347/02.  All panel members had experience in teacher education and/or the accreditation process.

The panel reviewed a self-appraisal report of the program and other documentation provided by the School of Education at Laurentian University. The panel conducted an on-site review from October 26 – 31, 2008 which included an examination of artefacts, interviews with faculty and stakeholders, and a review of the resources at the facility. A public submission regarding the quality of the program was made by representatives of the Learning Disabilities Association of Sudbury. The Learning Disabilities Association of Sudbury is used as one of the alternate sites for teacher candidates’ pre-practicum placements.

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 Concurrent Program of Professional Education in the Primary/Junior and Junior/Intermediate divisions, offered by the School of Education at Laurentian University, qualified for general accreditation.

In making its decision, the Accreditation Committee considered the Accreditation Panel Final Report dated June 4, 2009, the Dean’s response to the draft report dated June 4, 2009, and the 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 June 11, 2009

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.

The School of Education at Laurentian University is a permitted institution and can offer a teacher education program. The establishment of the English-language Bachelor of Education Program was approved unanimously by the Laurentian University Senate in January, 2003, and subsequently, initial accreditation of the program by the Ontario College of Teachers occurred in April, 2003. Confirmation that the School of Education at Laurentian University is permitted to offer the concurrent teacher education program was shown in the 2003 Initial Accreditation documentation and is demonstrated in the Laurentian University Act of 1960.

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.

The conceptual framework of the School of Education at Laurentian University includes the following elements: Mission Statement of the University, Mission Statement of the School of Education, a commitment to the Ontario College of Teachers’ Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession. The theories of constructivism and social reconstructivism support and extend the school of education’s mission to serve the needs and aspirations of regional citizens, with particular provision for First Nations peoples. The mission statements are included in program support documents for the teacher candidates’ course work and their practica.

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,

  • the College’s “Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession” and “the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession”,
  • current research in teacher education, and
  • 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.

The concurrent program has a strong emphasis on ethical behaviour and professionalism in conformity with the Ontario College of Teachers’ Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession through the course work and pre-practicum preparation, practicum handbooks and workshops offered by the Ontario College of Teachers.

The program is consistent with and reflects current research in teacher education. The conceptual framework informs both the program’s content and design and research work done by the faculty. This evidence also confirmed the faculty’s commitment to the use of current research in the program and the integration of theory into practice.

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 programs.

The curriculum of the program is current through the inclusion in course descriptions of references to up-to-date research and literature and Ontario curriculum policies and related support documents. Practica placement handbooks contain current legislation regarding education and teacher responsibilities and the current Ontario College of Teachers’ Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession. Teaching method courses offered in the Professional Year make extensive use of current Ontario curriculum documents. High priority is placed on acquiring current teacher education research documents and resources. The program includes workshops offered by the Ontario College of Teachers, Ministry of Education, Ontario federation affiliates, and other professional community organizations on current issues in education.

The program curriculum references the Ontario curriculum. The course outlines for the method and curriculum courses demonstrate extensive references to the Ontario curriculum and support documents for the primary/junior and junior/intermediate divisions. Faculty instructing in the method and curriculum courses make use of Ministry documents such as the Aboriginal Students and Self-Esteem: A Framework for Success in Lifelong Education. The Ministry of Education Kindergartenprogram document is used extensively.

The program curriculum includes the application of current research in teacher education. The guiding principles of constructivism and social reconstructivism in the documentation, along with supporting research references have informed the design of the concurrent program and the selection of content for courses.

The program curriculum represents a wide knowledge base in the divisions and components of the program. Teacher candidates use the Ministry of Education curriculum documents for primary/junior and junior/intermediate divisions and they take courses in a broad array of methodology and content areas. They also study human development and learning, special education, classroom management, education legislation, and related teaching topics. In all cases, the course work has the primary/junior divisions’ or the junior/intermediate divisions’ perspective.

The education community served by Laurentian University includes Aboriginal communities and urban schools that have a significant number of First Nations pupils as part of their student population. The school of education’s building design shows sensitivity to, and awareness of, Aboriginal conceptions of the curriculum. The teachings of the Seven Grandfathers of the Anishinaabe serve as an organizing principle for teaching and learning, and therefore, brings a new focus to the curriculum.

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.

Selected theories of constructivism and social reconstructivist scholars permeate much of the curricular work of the school of education. Theory as content appears in such courses as the required foundation courses which give teacher candidates theoretical backgrounds in sociology and history of education as well as in the general principles of psychology of education and special education, human development and learning.

The course content of the program includes method and foundation courses. In the Professional Year, teacher candidates take division appropriate curriculum and method courses. At the primary/junior level, course outlines were provided for method courses for such subjects as music, health, social studies, health and physical education, drama, science, mathematics, language arts, and visual arts. Method courses for the junior/intermediate divisions were included for music, health and physical education, science, social studies, history, geography, mathematics, language arts, science and technology, French as a second language, and visual arts. As well, teacher candidates complete a course in instructional methods.

While completing their initial degree program, teacher candidates are required to take two foundation courses: Educational Psychology and Special Education, provides the general principles of psychology of education and special education; Education and Schooling provides background in sociology and history of education. Another foundation course in Social and Legal Issues in Education is provided for teacher candidates during their final (professional) year and focuses on the areas of social and legal issues in education. The Social and Legal Issues in Education course emphasizes school law appropriate for the primary/junior or junior/intermediate divisions and provides an overview of Ontario school governance that includes governance in First Nations Schools.

The course content of the program includes an appropriate provision for the application of theory in practice. Teacher candidates are provided opportunities to examine theories and apply them in practice. As examples, the method courses for the primary/junior and junior/intermediate divisions include course objectives that provide the application of theory in practice. The course Preparation for the Initial Practicum has a goal to enable teacher candidates to understand and apply to classroom settings components related to major theories of human development and learning, and cognitive, physical, emotional and social stages and patterns of development that influence children’s perceptions and needs. In conjunction with the in-faculty professional theory courses, the practicum provides teacher candidates with the actual classroom experience required to become reflective practitioners. Faculty indicated that the pre-practicum portfolio, which is completed over three years in the initial degree, is intended to have teacher candidates make connections between course work and teaching practice. The faculty modelled theory to practice, and theories such as multiple intelligences were used in planning lessons.

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 program proceeds from a broad overview of teaching, schools, and societal expectations to a focused development of professional skills. During the initial degree program, teacher candidates complete compulsory courses in psychology, education and schooling, and computer applications along with other integration courses provided by other faculties at Laurentian University. Education foundation courses taken by the teacher candidates before the professional year help them understand the activities observed in classrooms and the rationale(s) supporting curriculum design and instructional practice. Courses taken during the Professional Year (final year) consist primarily of curriculum and instruction and method courses that support teacher candidates in their planning of learning activities for the primary/junior or junior/intermediate divisions.

The scheduled practica have increasing expectations of the teacher candidates as they progress through the initial degree and program of professional education. The graduated, sequenced practicum experiences that start with the pre-practicum placements, continue through an initial placement in May in the last year of the initial degree, and culminate in the three final placements in the professional year. Thus the program proceeds from a broad theoretical and experiential foundation to courses focussed on teaching in the primary/junior or junior/intermediate divisions.

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.

Assessment in the concurrent teacher education program is provided on an ongoing basis in both the undergraduate initial degree and professional year coursework and practica. Teacher candidates are informed of the grading practices and methodologies used throughout their education program. Documentation contains a table of the various assessment and evaluation strategies used in each concurrent education course which has an evaluative component. Course descriptions identify the assignments that are required to be completed by teacher candidates as well as corresponding submission due dates. Some assignments include the schedule that faculty feedback will be provided to teacher candidates.

The practica handbooks provide samples of the forms used for formative and summative assessment of teacher candidates’ practica. The documentation provides the timeframes for the practica assessments of the teacher candidate as well as who completes the assessments. The documentation provided observation charts, achievement charts, and practicum improvement plans to guide the assessment of the teacher candidate and progress in the practicum.

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:

  • 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.
  • The practicum must be completed in accordance with the requirements of Ontario Regulation 184/97.
  • 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.
  • An experienced teacher supervises the students and assesses their practicum.
  • A faculty member is appointed as an advisor for each student.

Findings

The evidence indicates that the practicum satisfies all of the necessary requirements.  Teacher candidates undertake 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. The practicum is completed in accordance with Ontario Regulation 184/97 requirements. Teacher candidates complete three practica (a total of 85 days). Every teacher candidate has the opportunity to participate in a practicum in each of their divisions and for the Intermediate candidates in their teachable subject area. Every teacher candidate is supervised by an associate teacher who also completes Formative Assessment and Summative Evaluation forms based on the practicum experiences of the teacher candidate. A faculty member is appointed as an advisor for each teacher candidate.

The Professional Year practicum may be completed in schools of the Rainbow District School Board, the Sudbury Catholic District School Board and in Lakeview School in the M’Chigeeng First Nation Community on Manitoulin Island.

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 successful completion of the program.

Successful completion of the Initial Practicum in the final year of the initial degree (in Year 3 or 4) and the Professional Year practicum (in Year 4 or 5) is a requirement for the successful completion of the concurrent teacher education program and the Bachelor of Education degree. Prior to the Initial Practicum in Year 4, teacher candidates must be successful in each of the three pre-practicum placements.

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 the relation to the divisions to which they relate.

The teaching method courses in the program are appropriate in the relation to the divisions to which they relate. Teaching method courses are aligned with the primary/junior and junior/intermediate divisions in the program. Method components such as instructional strategies, classroom management and computers are also addressed in such courses as Instructional Strategies P/J, and Instructional Strategies J/I. Method components are also addressed in a course titled Preparation for the Professional Year Practicum.

All the method courses in the primary/junior and junior/intermediate divisions refer to goals and outcomes that connect to learnings and learners related to those specific divisions, along with intermediate division teachable subject courses. Course outlines are presented in detail and include course content, resources, student assignments and assessment procedures. Although topics of study listed in some primary/junior and junior/intermediate method courses are the same, the actual content covered and the assignments to be completed align with the Ministry curriculum and policy documents and the developmental characteristics of pupils in each division.Assignments completed by teacher candidates reflect division appropriateness.

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.

Teacher candidates take the following two theory and foundation courses as part of their initial degree:

Education Psychology and Special Education investigates topics such as human development, cognition, learning theory, motivation and psychological and educational assessment. In addition, Aboriginal issues are infused throughout the course as well as special education issues.
Education and Schooling introduces teacher candidates to educational philosophy and social conceptions of childhood and learning.

Teacher candidates’ portfolios reflect on how human development research was applied in classroom settings.

During the professional year, teacher candidates take the theory and foundation course Social and Legal Issues in Education, which focuses on the areas of social and legal issues in education, especially in Ontario. Through this course, teacher candidates are familiarized with the legal aspects of teaching, the organization of Ontario schooling, and how First Nations schools are governed. As well, Ontario legislation relating to education, such as the Teaching Profession Act, Child and Family Services Act, the Ontario College of Teachers Act, and Duties of Teachers under the Education Act, is referenced in the practicum handbooks. Workshops are offered by the Ministry of Education on legal issues and related directives impacting schools.

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,

  • 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.

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 have appropriate academic qualifications, including doctoral degrees for full-time tenured and tenure stream faculty and graduate level credentials for the remaining faculty. Faculty are involved in scholarly activities.

Faculty have experience in teaching, research and administration in the field of education. A number of the faculty have experience in developing curriculum documents and support materials for the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Faculty have appropriate expertise that includes academic preparation and teaching or research experiences in the primary, junior, and intermediate divisions and core subjects in all three divisions.

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 School of Education at Laurentian University maintain adequate controls to reserve the integrity of student records relating to the program.

The School of Education at Laurentian University maintains adequate internal controls to preserve the integrity of student records relating to the concurrent teacher education program. Student records are stored securely and access is controlled.

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 School of Education at Laurentian University is committed to continuous improvement and quality assurance of the program and has implemented measures demonstrating that commitment in all its teacher education programs, including the proposed one.

The school of education has had extensive feedback on the program, and especially the practica. Measures to support quality assurance were identified such as regular opportunities for feedback on the program from faculty and teacher candidates, an active TEAC that offers considerations to the program, and the support of educational stakeholders such as the boards of education and First Nations communities on the design and components of the new school of education facilities. As part of its commitment to continuous improvement, the school of education is looking at recruiting strategies for visible minority, Aboriginal and mature teacher candidates. Formal professor evaluations are required by the collective agreement, and in addition, many faculty use a “stop-start-continue” mid-course assessment to get class feedback on their teaching.

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 School of Education at Laurentian University has a Teacher Education Advisory Council (TEAC) that functions in an advisory capacity in relation to the program.

The concurrent teacher education program has a Teacher Education Advisory Committee (TEAC) and a Teacher Education Liaison Committee that function in an advisory or liaison capacity in relation to the program.

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

Concurrent Program of Professional Education - Primary/Junior and Junior/Intermediate Divisions

For the reasons set out above, the Accreditation Committee finds that the concurrent program of professional education offered by the School of Education at Laurentian University, leading to a Bachelor of Education degree, and including a concentrated study of the Primary/Junior and Junior/Intermediate divisions, fully satisfies the requirements of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs.

The Accreditation Committee grants general accreditation for a period of seven years (June 11, 2016) or such shorter period of time as may be requested by the provider or agreed to by the Accreditation Committee and the School of Education at Laurentian University.

Accreditation Committee
Ontario College of Teachers
June 11, 2009


Amendment to Expiry Date

Pursuant to Section 15.2 (0.a) of the Accreditation Regulation, the Accreditation Committee granted an extension of general accreditation until June 11, 2017 to the concurrent program of professional education with areas of study in the Primary/Junior and Junior/Intermediate divisions, leading to a Bachelor of Education degree. This extension provides additional time for Laurentian University, School of Education to implement the enhanced teacher education program as required in September 2015.

Accreditation Committee
Ontario College of Teachers

June 26, 2014

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