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Accreditation Committee Decision

Application for Accreditation for the following French-Language Programs of Professional Education delivered in Alternative Mode

  • Renewal of the Part-Time, Consecutive Program of Professional Education with Areas of Concentration in the Primary and Junior Divisions; and

  • Proposed Addition of Junior and Intermediate Areas of Concentration to the Part-time Consecutive Program


Decision of the Accreditation Committee Regarding the Application by L’École des sciences de l’éducation of Laurentian University for the Renewal of Accreditation of the Part-Time, Consecutive Program of Professional Education Delivered in Alternative Mode in the French-Language with Areas of Concentration in the Primary and Junior Divisions; and for the Proposed Addition of Junior and Intermediate Areas of Concentration to an Accredited Program

Introduction

L’École des sciences de l’éducation at Laurentian University submitted an application on February 14, 2007 for the renewal of accreditation of the part-time, consecutive program of professional education delivered in alternative mode in the French-language with areas of concentration in the primary and junior divisions, and for the proposed addition of junior and intermediate areas of concentration to the accredited program.

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

  1. conduct a review of the program of professional education and the proposal for the additional areas of concentration,
  2. act in an advisory role to the Accreditation Committee by
    1. reporting to the Accreditation Committee on its findings on the review of the program of professional education, and
    2. making recommendations to the Accreditation Committee with respect to the accreditation of the program of professional education offered by L’École des sciences de l’éducation at Laurentian University, and the proposed additional areas of concentration.

The seven-person panel included two elected members of Council, one of whom was a member of the Accreditation Committee, and one member appointed to the Council by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, a member of the College who was not a member of Council, a person nominated by Laurentian University, and two people drawn from a roster of individuals with expertise in teacher education programs. As the review was conducted in French, members of the panel were fluent in the French language.

The panel reviewed documentation provided by the L’École des sciences de l’éducation at Laurentian University, conducted an on-site review, examined artefacts and facilities, and conducted interviews with Faculty members and various stakeholders. There were no submissions from the public. The on-site review took place from May 28 – June 1, 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 French-language program of professional education delivered in alternative mode offered by L’École des sciences de l’éducation at Laurentian University, and the proposed additional areas of concentration, qualified for accreditation.

In making the determination, the Accreditation Committee considered the Final Report of the Accreditation Panel, dated August 9, 2007 and the response of the Director, dated July 5, 2007 of L’École des sciences de l’éducation at Laurentian University to the Panel’s Draft Accreditation Report to determine if the program of professional education and the proposed additional areas of concentration qualify for accreditation under Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs.


Accreditation of Programs of Professional Education

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

Subsection 4(b) of the Laurentian University of Sudbury Act authorizes the university to offer degrees. Agreements between Laurentian University, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities dated in 1987 and a Ministry letter dated in 1990 confirmed Laurentian University’s authority to offer pre-service teacher education programs in Ontario.

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 conceptual framework of the program of professional education delivered in the alternative mode is the same as that used in the regular program offered by L’École des sciences de l’éducation (É.S.É). It is solidly grounded in theory and used in almost all program courses, is consistent with Laurentian University’s strategic plan, and describes the specific contexts in which the program operates. The mission statement is appropriate to the program.

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, and
  3. the integration of theory and practice in teacher education.

Findings

The current program of professional education for the Primary and Junior divisions, and the proposed additional areas of concentration in the Junior and Intermediate divisions, are consistent with the College’s “Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession” and “the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession.” The Standards were reflected in the alignment framework component of the conceptual framework, and used to develop the course outlines for the program. The Standards were also referenced by associate teachers, principals and students during the interviews. The courses were designed to incorporate recent research in teacher education. The specific structure of the program effectively integrates theory and practice. Since candidates holding Letters of Permission are already teaching in a school setting, they have opportunities to apply the academic theory to their classroom situations.

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

A regular review process facilitates updates to the courses in the program. The course content reflects the recent curriculum changes made by the Ontario Ministry of Education and emphasizes significant education-related initiatives in the province, including literacy and numeracy. The program represents a wide knowledge base in the Primary, Junior and Intermediate divisions and is based on recent research in the field of teacher 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 program concentrating on the study of the Primary and Junior divisions, and the Junior and Intermediate divisions, includes theory, method and foundation courses and makes appropriate provision for the application of theory in practice.

Teacher candidates and faculty confirm that the courses make appropriate provision for the application of theory in practice.

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 program’s format considers the complexities involved in managing a hybrid program, that is, one offered both as a distance program over the Internet, and as a classroom course provided over two summer sessions.

The significance of the program coordinator role to the program’s success was confirmed in interviews with associate teachers, school principals, superintendents and teacher candidates. The presence and support provided by Faculty and the prompt feedback to messages from the teacher candidates were also noted as contributing factors to the program’s success.

The program’s structure is consistent with the course content. The skills matrix and delivery contexts constitute a unifying theme. Teacher candidates confirmed in interviews that they had created learning communities and support networks in both the classroom instruction and distance education components of the program.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided to the Accreditation Committee for its consideration, Requirement 6 is fully satisfied.

Requirement 7

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

Findings

Assessment planning rests on a solid foundation. The assessment practices for the program are subject to a university policy that makes appropriate use of formative and summative functions. The course plans include descriptive assessment scales to measure skill development. Teacher candidates are monitored and receive continuous feedback in both the classroom instruction and distance education components. Considerable feedback is provided to teacher candidates during their practicum placements.

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.
  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

Observation and teaching take place in the teacher candidate’s current school placement, which uses the Ontario curriculum. Practicums exceed the 40-day minimum stipulated by Regulation 184/97, Teachers’ Qualifications, and allow the teacher candidates to work in each division and in at least one relevant subject area, as appropriate.

The candidates are provided opportunities to teach in all divisions relevant to their areas of concentration. The principal of the candidate’s school ensures that these opportunities are assigned to candidates within the school schedule. Experienced teachers and usually the candidate’s own principal supervise the practicum placements. The teacher candidate is paired with a teacher mentor within the candidate’s school. The program coordinator from L’École des sciences de l’éducation, Laurentian University also visits candidates at their schools and provides feedback.

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 program requires that teacher candidates successfully complete each of the two practice teaching practicums before they can earn their Bachelor of Education degree and be recommended to the Ontario College of Teachers for a Certificate of Qualification. Students who fail a practicum have the right to repeat it. If they fail a second time, they must withdraw from the program. This same model will be used in the proposed addition of areas of concentration in the Junior and Intermediate divisions.

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 documentation included teaching method courses appropriate to the Primary, Junior and Intermediate divisions. All course plans reference division-appropriate theory, resources, learning activities, and an application of the theory to the practice.

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

Components of human development and learning are embedded throughout the theory and foundation courses of the program. Each division includes a course that addresses the 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 faculty members teaching the current Primary and Junior program of professional education offered at Laurentian University have appropriate academic qualifications, field experience, and experience in the divisions and components appropriate to the program.

As the Junior/Intermediate concentration is a new component proposed to be added to the current program, the qualifications of the teaching faculty were not available for the panel to examine.

Conclusion

Based upon the information provided for the Accreditation Committee to consider, it finds that Requirement 12 is fully satisfied for the current Primary/Junior program and substantially satisfied for the proposed addition of a Junior/Intermediate area of concentration.

Reasons for Conclusion

As the teaching faculty for the proposed additional concentration were not yet assigned at the time of the accreditation panel review, the panel was unable to make sufficient factual findings to recommend that the requirement was fully satisfied for the Junior/Intermediate option. However, the Accreditation Committee accepts that there is an intention to hire both full-time and part-time faculty with appropriate academic and practical experience in the Junior and Intermediate divisions to satisfy Requirement 12.

It concludes that fully satisfying Requirement 12 for the proposed Junior/Intermediate area of concentration is contingent upon the Accreditation Committee receiving and examining evidence of the qualifications and experience of the educators hired to teach the proposed addition to the program, that complies with Requirement 12, as might be demonstrated in faculty academic profiles for the educators hired to teach in the Junior and Intermediate concentrations of the program.

Requirement 13

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

Findings

Laurentian University employs multiple methods to ensure academic records are accurate and held securely. The University subscribes to Canada’s privacy legislation (Privacy Act, R.S.C, 1985, c. P-21) and has appointed a coordinator to implement the provisions of the Act, and to create a task force for the establishment of practices and procedures.

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 Committee is satisfied that the program is committed to continuous improvement. It is subject to a university program assessment policy which has set a seven-year assessment frequency. Teacher candidates confirmed that program staff listened to concerns and quickly found solutions. The coordinator proactively engages various partners in program improvements. The program has a retention rate of 93.5%.

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

Laurentian University has set up an advisory committee made up of various stakeholders, including representatives from the University, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Ontario teacher federation members. The mandate of the advisory committee includes reviewing the program and making recommendations to the University Senate, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

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 part-time consecutive program of professional education delivered in alternative mode in the French-language, with areas of concentration in the Primary and Junior divisions, offered by L’École des sciences de l’éducation of Laurentian University, fully satisfies the requirements of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs. The Accreditation Committee grants general accreditation without conditions to the Primary/Junior concentration of the program for a period of five years (August 30, 2012).

The Accreditation Committee finds that the proposed addition of a Junior and Intermediate area of concentration to L’École des sciences de l’éducation of Laurentian University’s part-time consecutive program of professional education, delivered in alternative mode in the French-language, substantially satisfies the requirements of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs. The Accreditation Committee grants general accreditation, with a condition, to the Junior/Intermediate concentration of the program for a period of time such that the accreditation of the addition to the program expires at the same time as the accredited program (August 30, 2012).

The general accreditation of the proposed addition of Junior and Intermediate areas of concentration to the program of professional education is subject to the following condition:

Fully satisfying Requirement 12 is contingent upon the Accreditation Committee receiving and examining appropriate documentation such as faculty academic profiles summarizing the qualifications and experience of the educators hired to teach the Junior and Intermediate program components, for evidence that the faculty members teaching the program are an appropriate combination of persons with appropriate academic qualification, practitioners with appropriate experience in the field of education, and persons with appropriate expertise in the divisions and components of the program.

As required in Section 16. (1) of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs, the Director of the proposed program shall submit to the Accreditation Committee, within six months of the Accreditation Committee issuing its decision, a plan outlining the proposed methods and estimated time for satisfying the condition, and report annually to the Accreditation Committee on the progress in satisfying the condition.

Accreditation Committee
Ontario College of Teachers
August 30, 2007


Amendment to Expiry Date

In accordance with the May 1, 2009 amendment to the accreditation period for programs of professional education in the Accreditation Regulation, the expiry date for this program is amended to July 28, 2011.

Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs
May 1, 2009


Removal of Conditions

At its June 24, 2009 meeting, the Accreditation Committee considered the request of the Director of L’École des sciences de l’éducation at Université Laurentienne to remove the condition of accreditation to the addition of concentrations in the Junior/Intermediate divisions to the Multi-Session Consecutive Program of Professional Education, delivered in alternative mode in the French-language, as issued in the August 30, 2007 Accreditation Decision.

In accordance with Section 16(2) of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs, the Committee determined that Requirement #12 was fully satisfied and issued an order to remove the condition of accreditation.

In making its decision, the Committee heard a presentation from the Director of L’École des sciences de l’éducation at Université Laurentienne and reviewed the qualifications of the faculty members teaching in the program. The Accreditation Committee determined that the faculty teaching in the Junior/Intermediate  concentration have an appropriate combination of academic qualifications, practical experience in education, and expertise in the divisions and components of the program.

Accreditation Committee
Ontario College of Teachers
June 24, 2009

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