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Accreditation Committee Decision

Niagara University - College of Education, Program of Professional Education


Introduction

Decision of the Accreditation Committee regarding The Program of Professional Education proposed to be offered in Ontario by The College of Education, Niagara University

The College of Education, Niagara University, submitted an application in November 2005 for initial accreditation of the following program of professional education:

  • Program of Professional Education for Teachers, with concentrations in the Primary/Junior and Intermediate/Senior divisions, leading to a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Education

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

  1. conduct a review of the program of professional education,
  2. act in an advisory role,
  3. report to the Accreditation Committee on its findings, and
  4. make recommendations to the Accreditation Committee with respect to the initial accreditation of the program of professional education offered by the College of Education at Niagara University.

A panel of six persons was comprised of:

  • three members of Council (one of these members was appointed to the Council by the Lieutenant Governor in Council), two of whom were also members of the Accreditation Committee
  • a member of the College who was not a member of Council
  • a person nominated by the College of Education
  • a person drawn from a roster who had expertise in teacher education programs.

The panel, in carrying out its duties, reviewed documentation provided by the College of Education and conducted a review which included an examination of artefacts, interviews with representatives of stakeholder groups and a review of resources. The review took place January 16 to 20, 2006. There was one submission from the public.

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 to be offered in Ontario by the College of Education, Niagara University, qualified for initial accreditation by satisfying the 15 requirements of Regulation 347/02.

The Accreditation Committee considered:

  • the final report of the Accreditation Panel
  • the response of the College of Education, Niagara University dated March 8, 2006 to the Panel's Draft Report
  • regulatory requirements of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs and Regulation 184/97, Teachers' Qualifications.

Based on its review of this information, the Accreditation Committee decides the following.

Initial Accreditation of Programs of Professional Education

Requirement 1

The provider of the program is a permitted institution.

Findings

The Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities granted consent to Niagara University, pursuant to Subsection 4(1) of the Post-secondary Choice and Excellence Act, 2000 (the Act) to offer the Bachelor of Education degree in Ontario.

Conclusion

Requirement 1 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 2

The program has a clearly delineated conceptual framework.

Findings

The conceptual framework for Niagara University's proposed Program of Professional Education is grounded in a tradition established by St. Vincent de Paul: to inspire students and to serve all members of society, especially the poor and oppressed in the local and global community. Three dimensions depict the overarching conceptual framework:

  1. constructivism learning theory
  2. interdependence of process and product in learning and teaching
  3. reflective practice.

Conclusion

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

All course outlines will link assignments, lesson plans and course work to the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession and Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession. The conceptual framework used in the design and development of course work is based in current research and reflected throughout the program.

Theory and practice are at the core of the program structure which is divided into three terms:

  1. Foundation and Theory
  2. Methods
  3. Professional Practice.

These will be aligned with three practicum phases to further integrate theory and practice:

  1. Pre-service Practicum
  2. Teacher Assistantship Practicum
  3. Student Teaching Practicum.

Conclusion

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

Course syllabi reference the Ontario policy documents and curriculum expectations. Faculty and teacher candidates will have access to digital library collections. Textbooks and journal articles referenced are current and demonstrate exposure to a wide knowledge base relative to the divisions and components of the program.

Conclusion

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 course content does include theory, method and foundation courses. These courses are taught in the first, second and third terms of the program.

There is provision for the application of the theory, method and foundation principles.

Conclusion

Requirement 5 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 6

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

Findings

The program is structured around the three dimensions of the Conceptual Framework and the ten Program Goals. The program is three terms in length and provides for both course work and practicum. The program is to be structured in a cohort model that permits teacher candidates to learn in a collaborative and supportive environment.

Conclusion

Requirement 6 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 7

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

Findings

Students are assessed through assignments, examinations, practicum and portfolios. The final (summative) evaluation is aligned with the goals and is evaluated by faculty.

They are informed on an ongoing basis. This is achieved through visits by the supervisor during the practicum, by reports on progress by the supervisor in consultation with the associate teacher.

There is a specific and intensive process for students experiencing difficulty.

Conclusion

Requirement 7 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 8

The program includes a practicum that satisfies the requirements set out in 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

All practicum experiences, both observation and practice, will be in Ontario schools and well exceed the 40-day requirement.

Primary/junior teacher candidates program will have one placement in each division. Intermediate/senior division teacher candidates will have a placement in the specific subject area they intend to teach.

They will be mentored and evaluated by an associate teacher with a minimum of three years teaching, certified in the teacher candidate's subject area. Supervision is provided by a Niagara University field supervisor in collaboration with the associate teachers.

Conclusion

Requirement 8 is fully satisfied.


Requirement 9

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

Findings

Teacher candidates are required to successfully complete all three phases of the practicum in order to receive the Bachelor of Professional Studies in Education degree in accordance with the Ontario Regulations 184/97.

Conclusion

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

Course syllabi are currently relevant to New York State divisions and requirements. Syllabi will be developed that are applicable to Ontario divisions and requirements. Two course syllabi developed as examples of adaptation to Ontario requirements fully satisfied this requirement.

Conclusion

Requirement 10 will be fully satisfied before the program commences.


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

Theory and foundation courses "Human Development, Learning and Motivation" and "Foundations of Legal Principles of Education in Ontario" as outlined, meet this requirement.

Conclusion

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

All current tenure-track Faculty listed in the documentation hold doctoral degrees and demonstrate scholarship. The three practitioners also listed in the documentation have post-graduate degrees and teaching experience.

A requirement of new faculty will be knowledge of Ontario educational law, the Ontario curriculum and successful classroom experience. Desirable qualifications of faculty are urban education experience, experience with students from diverse backgrounds and exceptionalities, university teaching experience and proficiency with technology.

Conclusion

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

Internal controls, maintenance and archiving of student records by the institution comply with the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers' (AACRAO) Retention of Records: Guide for Retention and Disposal of Student Records.

Internal controls for candidates' records in the proposed program will adhere to relevant privacy policies in Ontario.

Conclusion

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

Niagara University presently reviews its programs on a seven-year cycle. The Niagara University College of Education will align their review for the proposed Program of Professional Education to the Ontario College of Teachers five-year accreditation review process. Mechanisms are currently in place to evaluate instruction methods. Ongoing statistical analysis informs efforts directed toward quality assurance and continuous improvement.

Conclusion

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

A Teacher Education Advisory Committee is comprised of the College of Education's Advisory Council and new members to represent the divisions and sites of the proposed program. The membership includes practitioners from Ontario. The group will serve in a liaison capacity.

Conclusion

Requirement 15 is fully satisfied.


Decision of the Accreditation Committee

For the reasons set out above, the Accreditation Committee finds that the College of Education, Niagara University's Program of Professional Education for Teachers, with concentrations in the Primary/Junior and Intermediate/Senior divisions, leading to a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Education substantially satisfies the requirements of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs, and grants initial accreditation for a period of two years (2008), with the condition that all course syllabi be submitted when developed.

Accreditation Committee
Ontario College of Teachers
April 19 and 20, 2006


Removal of Conditions

At its January 22, 2007 meeting, the Accreditation Committee considered the request of the College of Education, Niagara University, to remove the condition imposed on the initial accreditation of its Program of Professional Education for Teachers with concentrations in the Primary/Junior and Intermediate/Senior divisions.

In making its decision, the Accreditation Committee reviewed course syllabi submitted by the College of Education and determined that the condition was satisfied. In accordance with Section 16 (2) of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs, the Committee issued an order to remove the condition of initial accreditation.

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