Accreditation Committee Decision
University of Ontario Institute of Technology — Program of Professional Education
(Consecutive - Intermediate/Senior divisions)
Decision of the Accreditation Committee regarding the Consecutive Program of Professional Education offered at the Intermediate/Senior divisions by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology's Faculty of Education
Nature of the proceeding
The faculty of education of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) submitted an application for general accreditation of a consecutive program offered at the Intermediate/ Senior divisions in January 2005.
The Accreditation Committee, by virtue of the authority granted under Section 5 of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs, set out to determine, at its May 11-12, 2005 meeting, if the UOIT Consecutive Program of Professional Education offered at the Intermediate/Senior divisions qualified for accreditation under Regulation 347/02.
The Accreditation Committee directed a panel to review the UOIT Program. The purpose of the panel was to:
- conduct a review of the UOIT Program
- act in an a A dvisory role and report to the Accreditation Committee on its findings
- make recommendations to the Accreditation Committee with respect to the accreditation of the UOIT Program.
The panel, in carrying out its duties, reviewed documentation provided by the f aculty of education of UOIT, conducted an on-site review, considered public comments and conducted interviews with the majority of the f F aculty, including the dean of the faculty of education and a number of teacher candidates, alumni, associate teachers and host principals. As well, the panel visited a practicum site (local school) and interviewed teacher candidates and associate teachers.
The on-site review took place March 6-10, 2005 at UOIT. The panel received one public submission from the Durham Catholic District School Board, which acknowledged the faculty of education's commitment to meeting the needs of teacher candidates who wish to teach in Catholic school boards and recommended the inclusion of certain courses in the program.
The panel was comprised of four members of Council who are also members of the Accreditation Committee (one of these members was an appointed member of Council 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 the Faculty of Education of UOIT and a person drawn from a roster who was an educator in a faculty of education.
Issue(s)/Question(s) to be determined
The issue to be determined by the Accreditation Committee is: Does the UOIT program satisfy the requirements of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs?
In making its decision, the Accreditation Committee, considered the final report of the accreditation panel, the response of the faculty of education of UOIT dated April 27, 2005 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 has made the findings of facts that follow.
Evidence — Findings of Facts
UOIT, located in Oshawa, was established on May 9, 2001, by The University of Ontario Institute of Technology Act, 2002, an Act of the provincial legislature. Ministerial consent for UOIT to offer the bachelor of education (consecutive) degree program in Ontario was granted in February 27, 2003, subject to accreditation by the Ontario College of Teachers, which was granted on April 24, 2003.
The full-time consecutive program of professional education began in September 2003. The program addresses the Intermediate and Senior divisions and focuses on the following teaching subjects: biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer studies and general science. The faculty of education at UOIT strives for excellence in the use of technology in teacher preparation and as such refers to itself as a “laptop” university.
The essence of the foundations of the faculty of education's teacher preparation programs as stated by the faculty is:
- professional development is a process of reflection-in-action
- learning is a process of constructing personal meaning
- teacher candidates learn to teach through guided practice
- teachers make wise use of the tools available to them.
Each UOIT program course is crafted to include the key elements of the conceptual framework: constructing personal meaning, thoughtful use of technology, opportunities for students to reflect, and incorporating theory into practice. In addition, all courses are required to address issues related to individual needs and diversity and the ways in which communication skills are fostered.
The UOIT program offers options in mathematics, computer science and science ( biology, physics, chemistry, and general science) for the Intermediate and Senior divisions. In addition, all teacher candidates are required to take seven foundation courses (four in the first term and three in the second term). Teacher candidates also choose from one of three electives offered in the second term.
Teacher candidates' field experiences consist of weekly field studies and formal practicum blocks. Both are essential components of the education program and comprise a significant percentage of its hours. As defined by Regulation 347/02, these field experiences take place in instructional settings in schools or other situations that use the Ontario curriculum or in situations approved by the College. Teacher candidates participate in settings related to each of the Intermediate and Senior divisions and plan, deliver and assess instruction for at least one of their teachable subject areas. Every effort is made to provide teacher candidates with opportunities for teaching experiences in both of their chosen teachable subjects.
The underpinnings of the UOIT program, including all courses and the practicums, embed the College Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession and the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession.This is evidenced in the documentation, the interviews and the exhibits room. Current research in teacher education is evidenced in the courses (theory, methods and application). All teacher candidates can link their theory and methods courses to practice.
The UOIT program submission demonstrates that the curriculum is current in respect to Ministry of Education policies and curriculum guidelines. Literacy, special needs, at-risk learners and technology across the curriculum are addressed throughout the UOIT program as evidenced in the documentation, interviews and exhibits room. Each course includes the theoretical framework, a connection to the Ontario curriculum, and provides the teacher candidate with methodology to transfer this theory into practice. Teacher candidates are required to take learning theory to authenticate their core methods courses. The UOIT program includes applying theory to practice in many courses and in their practicum.
Both the format and the structure of the UOIT program design and the courses have an appropriate balance between theoretical knowledge and practical application. The evidence can be seen in the course outlines, timetables, orientation week plan, and weekly group sessions, held each Friday. The interviews and exhibits room supported the documentation. The Field Experience Handbook gives teacher candidates, principals and associate teachers an overview of the structure of the practicum.
Technology is an integral part of the UOIT program format and course content reflects the extensive use of electronic software and resources.
Teacher candidates are assessed formatively (formally and informally) as well as summatively on an ongoing basis throughout the courses. The documentation, interviews and exhibits note the benefits of reflective practice as well as the requirement for interactive feedback and assessment by the associate teacher and faculty advisors during the practical field experience.
The documentation and Field Experience Handbook indicate that teacher candidates are to observe, for example, the teaching practices of the associate teacher as well as make class observations of their students. After consultation with the associate teacher, the teacher candidate plans, prepares and teaches lessons.
The Field Experience Handbook provides a 2004-2005 Fall and Winter calendar that highlights all field experiences (individual and block practica). The calendar indicates that teacher candidates are provided with approximately 60 days of practical experience in schools. This duration exceeds the minimum of 40 days as required by Regulation 184/97.
A UOIT faculty advisor is appointed and made available to each teacher candidate to provide information and discuss issues regarding the field experience.
The documentation provided by UOIT as well as the Field Experience Handbook indicate that teacher candidates must earn a pass in all field studies and practicum components to be eligible for the bachelor of education degree.
The course outlines considered and the interviews indicate use of the Ontario curriculum and teaching methods for the intermediate and senior divisions. Research activities and assignments are relevant for use in the adolescent classroom. Readings and resources are specific to the division to which they relate.
An understanding of student learning styles and levels of competencies by teacher candidates is evident in the interviews with the course instructors. Teacher candidates consider students' individual learning styles in the development of assignments, teaching tools and strategies in their field placements. Teacher candidates become familiar with the concepts and structure of legislation and government policies in education in the first semester.
The members of the faculty of education have the appropriate academic qualifications, experience and divisional expertise. Approximately one half of the faculty has completed a doctoral degree and others are in the process of doing so. Most have been involved in extensive research in education and other disciplines. They have a wide range of experience in the field of education including classroom teaching in the various divisions. Documentation shows that most of the faculty are engaged in current research projects.
Student records are managed by the registrar's office under policies and guidelines which ensure controls and security of access to the information. There is a double locking system and controlled access to all areas where records are kept. Only staff in the registrar's office or instructors have access. The instructors have access to the records for their class only.
UOIT uses SCT Banner to maintain the student records, an electronic information system that is used by several universities and colleges across Canada and other higher education institutions worldwide. The electronic records will be kept indefinitely. Paper record documents, particularly admissions records, are maintained for five years after a student graduates.
The mission of the UOIT faculty is to prepare teachers skilled in the use of a wide range of methods and technologies. A formal process has been developed for teacher candidates to regularly provide feedback and make recommendations for improvement of courses, instruction and other services. UOIT has purposely established itself as an institution which places emphasis on self-appraisal, quality and continuous improvement. It is evident that the culture of the university validates this.
The documentation indicates the roles and responsibilities of the Teacher Education Advisory Committee (TEAC) as well as the composition of the voting members from the UOIT faculty and representatives from the profession/community. The TEAC annually organizes a focus group forum to ensure that the Faculty Council of UOIT has the benefit of a wide range of community opinions about the program.
For the reasons set out above, the Accreditation Committee finds that the Consecutive Intermediate/Senior Program of Professional Education at UOIT meets the requirements of Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs.
As a result, the Accreditation Committee, at its May 11, 2005 meeting, has decided to grant general accreditation to the Consecutive Program of Professional Education offered at the Intermediate/Senior divisions at UOIT for a period of five years (2010).
Ontario College of Teachers
May 11, 2005
Amendments 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 May 11, 2012.
Regulation 347/02, Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs
May 1, 2009
On June 23, 2009, the Accreditation Committee and the Faculty of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) agreed to shorten the general accreditation period for this program to November 30, 2010 to enable all accredited programs at the institution to have a harmonized expiry date that aligns with the undergraduate program reviews conducted internally by the university.
Ontario College of Teachers
June 23, 2009