College Breaks New Accreditation Ground
December 12 2002
December 12 (Toronto) - The Ontario College of Teachers today broke
new ground as it formally assumed responsibility for the accreditation of all
pre-service and in-service teacher education programs.
The College is believed to be the only professional self-regulatory body in
Canada empowered to accredit the programs that train its members. In other
professions, the accrediting authority is given to an independent body.
"Placing this responsibility in the hands of the College is a gesture
of public confidence in the teaching profession," says College Registrar
Joe Atkinson. "Accreditation tells parents that teachers - no matter whether
they train in Thunder Bay, North Bay or Toronto - will receive the same high
quality teacher education. Through recommendations that the College accreditation
panels make to the provider institutions, the College will now play a role
in ensuring that course content reflects our standards of practice and the
reality of today's classrooms."
Education Minister Elizabeth Witmer announced that the Accreditation Regulation
was now in effect during a visit to the College on December 12.
The regulation comes into force as the government is granting authority to
existing and new institutions to develop more pre-service and in-service teacher
education programs. All new programs and courses will have to be accredited
by the College before they can enroll students.
The accreditation regulation sets out the criteria by which the College will
assess teacher education programs. The College must approve:
- policies and procedures for the institution and the conceptual framework
for the program
- course descriptions and content
- the program's format and structure
- practicum requirements
- the library and technological resources available to the students
- the assessment methodology for students
- learning materials
- the qualifications and experience of the instructors.
In close collaboration with Ontario's faculties of education, the College
conducted a three-year pilot accreditation project from 1997-2000 in which
it reviewed the province's 11 teacher education programs. After a thorough
review, all programs received an initial accreditation. Each program will go
through the accreditation process every five years.
The College has started the process of accrediting the in-service Additional
Qualifications (AQs) courses under Regulation 184/97, Teachers’ Qualifications.
AQs are offered by faculties of education, professional associations such as
the Ontario Principals’ Council, and other education stakeholders. Currently
there are more than 200 AQ courses offered in Ontario.
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