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Accreditation Committee Decision

School of Education and Professional Studies at the State University of New York College at Potsdam


Decision of the Accreditation Committee regarding the Part-Time Program of Professional Education for the Primary and Junior Divisions proposed to be offered in Ontario by the School of Education and Professional Studies at the State University of New York College at Potsdam


Introduction

The State University of New York College at Potsdam (SUNY Potsdam) submitted an application in March 2005 for initial accreditation of a proposed Part-Time Program of Professional Education for the Primary and Junior Divisions.

The Accreditation Committee appointed a panel to:

  1. conduct a review of the program,
  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 accreditation of SUNY Potsdam’s Program of Professional Education.

The 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 SUNY Potsdam and two persons drawn from a roster who had expertise in teacher education programs.

The panel reviewed documentation provided by SUNY Potsdam, conducted an on-site review, reviewed artefacts and conducted interviews with various stakeholders.
The on-site visit took place on Tuesday October 3, 2006.

The Accreditation Committee, by virtue of the authority granted under the Ontario College of Teachers Act 1996 and Section 5 of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs, set out to determine if the concurrent program of professional education offered by SUNY Potsdam qualified for 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 Dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies, SUNY Potsdam, dated February 14, 2007 to the panel’s draft report, and 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.


Accreditation of Programs of Professional Education

Requirement 1

The provider of the program is a permitted institution.

Findings

In a letter dated February 10, 2005, from the Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to the President, the State University of New York College at Potsdam, the Minister indicated her intent to grant consent to the State University of New York College at Potsdam to advertise and offer in Ontario a Master of Science in Teaching (Childhood Instruction) program in Ontario and to hold itself out as a university and be known in Ontario by the name of the State University of New York College at Potsdam, subject to ten conditions, the first being that the “program receives initial accreditation from the Ontario College of Teachers”.

Conclusion

Given the decision of the Accreditation Committee stated herein, Requirement 1 is fully satisfied.

Requirement 2

The program has a clearly delineated conceptual framework.

Findings

Documentation contained a clearly delineated conceptual framework that flows from:

  1. the mission statement of The State University of New York College at Potsdam (SUNY Potsdam)
  2. the program mission statement for the School of Education and Professional Studies and
  3. theoretical underpinnings represented in current research in education.

The major conceptual themes:

  1. well-educated citizen
  2. reflective practitioner and
  3. principled educator

act as centres around which various program elements are organized.

Course outlines of the proposed program reference the conceptual framework. Program goals are outlined in detail and are consistent with the themes within the conceptual framework.

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

The proposed program builds on the Master of Science in Teaching (Childhood Instruction) program currently in place at SUNY Potsdam. It has been revised to meet the Ontario College of Teachers’ Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession and Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession (revised in 2006) and Ontario Regulation 184/97, Teachers’ Qualifications.

The design of the program is based on research in teacher education. Evidence indicated that the course work for the proposed program will be based on current and emerging research in teacher education. Specific course outlines make mention of a basis in research.

For example, the “Education Research in Curriculum and Instruction” course will require study and reading of current educational research that will include Canadian authors and Canadian texts and journals.

A carefully developed sequence of theoretical and field-based courses has been included in the proposed program. Course descriptions highlight the integration of theory and practice. The information from the content and methods courses will be applied to the field experience and practica, providing an integrated curriculum for the development of a professional educator.

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

The proposed program is based on current teacher education research and practice and reflects the standards of the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI). As noted in a number of course syllabi, the teacher candidates will be involved in in-depth discussions of contemporary research. In some cases, coursework will be informed by research conducted within the program.

Teacher candidates and faculty will have access to an educational research data base that includes references to Canadian data.

The proposed program is designed to include a wide knowledge base related to Primary and Junior Divisions as evidenced by the application of the Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum Policies and O. Regulation 347/02 made under the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996.

Course outlines for the proposed program demonstrated the requirement for a breadth of knowledge of curriculum across the primary and junior divisions.

The currency of teacher candidate knowledge will be derived from course work and will be reinforced through attendance at such events as professional development programs, parent-teacher interviews, and professional meetings at Ontario schools during the practica.

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 importance of education theory is noted in all the course outlines. The mission statement articulates the goal that graduates will demonstrate a thorough grounding in the philosophical, theoretical and conceptual bases of current knowledge in Education.

The course outlines demonstrate that appropriate method and foundation courses, along with the practica, form the basis for the proposed program.

The course descriptions and the sequence of course delivery demonstrate that specialized knowledge and theory will be applied in practice, through field experience, reflection and action research.

Conclusion

Requirement 5 is fully satisfied.

Requirement 6

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

Findings

The format and structure reflect a design continuum in which theory and practice inform each other. The sequence of course delivery is appropriate. Each practicum experience involves increasing teacher candidate responsibility from start to finish.

Conclusion

Requirement 6 is fully satisfied.

Requirement 7

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

Findings

Teacher candidates will be provided with regular timely feedback for tests, assignments and projects and will receive daily feedback from associate teachers during field placements. Summative evaluation occurs in compliance with university regulations.

Conclusion

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

All practica associated with the proposed program will be conducted in Ontario’s publicly funded schools in accordance with Ontario Regulation 184/97. Practicum experiences will include observation, planning, teaching and reflection.

All teacher candidates will be required to successfully complete one placement at the primary division (7.5 weeks) and one placement at the junior division (7.5 weeks).

All teacher candidates will work under the direct supervision of experienced Ontario certified teachers (associate teachers). Associate teachers and faculty advisors will be assigned to each teacher candidate and will provide assessment and feedback to the teacher candidates.

Conclusion

Requirement 8 is fully satisfied.

Requirement 9

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

Findings

All teacher candidates must successfully complete the practicum to be recommended for certification to the Ontario College of Teachers. As well, successful completion of the practicum is a program requirement of the Master of Science in Teaching degree.

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

The School of Education and Professional Studies proposes to offer teaching method courses that will contain both content and methodology appropriate to junior kindergarten to grade six in Ontario schools. In the documented course outlines, Ontario curriculum guidelines are listed as reference material.

Course outlines also show that the Ontario College of Teachers’ Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession and Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession have been used to inform the design and/or content of the courses.

Conclusion

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 required course entitled "Learning and Development" (GRCN 677) will provide teacher candidates with an understanding of learning and development of children from birth to adolescence.

A compulsory concurrent seminar associated with the practicum (GRCN 676) will address Ontario educational legislation and government policies and practices including student codes of conduct and school board policies.

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

The faculty members teaching the program have appropriate academic qualifications; doctoral degrees in relative areas and relevant teaching and/or research experience. This has been demonstrated with the submission of their CVs.

It is the Dean’s intention to add a faculty member with a broad knowledge of K-6 education with particular emphasis in literacy.

The current practicum placement officer for the full-time program is a former local Ontario school principal.

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

All academic records will be maintained in the Stillman Computing Center located at SUNY Potsdam under established confidence policies and procedures. No records will be kept at the Derry Byrne Teacher Resource Centre in Ottawa.

Teacher candidates will have electronic access to their records using a personal identification number (PIN). Faculty will submit teacher candidates’ grades through secure online accounts.

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

The faculty will conduct a formal summative program assessment to ensure continued compliance with Ontario College of Teachers Standards of Practice. Program review will be conducted every five years for continued compliance.

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

The Dean has committed to establishing a TEAC consisting of the Dean, program coordinator, current program faculty, program alumni (as they become available) a representative from the Ministry of Education (ON) representatives of supervisory officers from Ontario school board, principals and associate teachers.

Conclusion

Requirement 15 is fully satisfied.


Decision

For the reasons set out above, the Accreditation Committee finds that the proposed Part-time Program of Professional Education for the Primary and Junior Divisions, to be offered in Ontario by the School of Education and Professional Studies of the State University of New York at Potsdam, fully satisfies the requirements of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs, and grants initial accreditation for a period of two years (2009) 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 (2010).

Accreditation Committee
Ontario College of Teachers
February 28, 2007


Amendment to Expiry Date

On June 23, 2009, the Accreditation Committee and the School of Education and Professional Studies at the State University of New York College at Potsdam (SUNY Potsdam) agreed to extend the initial accreditation period for this program to February 28, 2011 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


Expiry of Accreditation

On February 25, 2011, the Ontario College of Teachers received notification that the School of Education and Professional Studies at the State University of New York College at Potsdam (SUNY Potsdam) would not apply for renewal of accreditation of this program. Teacher candidates admitted to the program before February 28, 2011 may complete the program as accredited. Anyone admitted after February 28, 2011 will not be enrolled in an Ontario accredited program.

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