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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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For more information:
Denys Giguère
Media Relations Officer
416-961-8800, ext. 221
1-888-534-2222, ext. 221

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