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College of Teachers Will Seek Innovative Ways to Assess Refugee's Teaching Qualifications

January 17 2007

In 2006, the College evaluated the teaching qualifications of 3,982 applicants who received their teacher education outside Ontario. Over 90 per cent – 3,626 of them – were granted licences to teach in Ontario.

Since 1997, the College has granted Ontario teaching licenses to teachers from more than 100 countries.

The College’s web site provides internationally educated teachers with country-specific information about the requirements for applicants from dozens of different jurisdictions around the world.

Applicants who are denied certification are provided with detailed reasons why their qualifications do not meet Ontario’s minimum standards for certification, and the College gives them guidance on how to acquire the required qualifications.

Over the years, more than half of the international applicants who were initially denied certification have undertaken further studies – usually coursework at Ontario faculties of education – and were subsequently granted teaching licences.

Some of the most common reasons for the College to deny certification are that the applicant:

  • doesn’t have the required undergraduate degree
  • completed a teacher education program that is shorter than the one-year minimum required in Ontario or was missing some courses regarded as essential
  • does not meet acceptable standards for reading, writing and speaking English or French
  • completed a teacher education program that was designed for teaching adults, not children.

The College meets every year with hundreds of international applicants and provides them with a wide range of assistance, including sending intervention letters from the College in their native language to help applicants get required documents from universities or other educational institutions.

For more information on the assistance the College of Teachers provides to immigrant teachers, see Internationally Educated Teachers.

 Teach in Ontario

The Ontario College of Teachers is a partner in Teach in Ontario with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, LASI World Skills (Ottawa), Skills for Change (Toronto) and Windsor Women Working With Immigrant Women.

The organization is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and its central offices are located at 121 Bloor East in Toronto.

Since 2004, Teach in Ontario has provided information and counselling to 16,655 immigrants interested in pursuing teacher certification in Ontario. It has provided language-upgrading courses to more than 200 teacher applicants and 964 Teach in Ontario clients have gone on to receive their teaching licences from the College.

Recent research shows that even though immigrant teachers are enjoying significant success in seeking certification, they face real challenges in the teaching job market. Teach in Ontario is developing additional supports for immigrant teachers who have been certified by the College but can’t find jobs.

To learn more about Teach in Ontario, visit teachinontario.ca.

Transition to Teaching

The College of Teachers reported on the dim employment picture for internationally educated teachers in the December 2006 edition of its quarterly magazine, Professionally Speaking.

In its report on the College’s annual Transition to Teaching study, the College revealed that four out of 10 already-certified immigrant teachers had never been hired – even as occasional teachers – compared to one out of 10 of new teachers educated in Canada.

Most – 69 per cent – of new-Canadian teachers who do get hired are limited to daily supply teaching. High-demand qualifications like math, physics, and chemistry don’t help, either, as immigrant teachers with those qualifications face difficulties in landing teaching jobs similar to Canadians without these qualifications.

The College is not involved in hiring classroom teachers, who are hired directly by district school boards or private schools.

101 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON, M5S 0A1, P: 416.961.8800 / Toll Free (Ontario Only): 1.888.534.2222 / F: 416.961.8822 / info@oct.ca

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