Malaspina's new Education degree approved by B.C. College of Teachers

January 26, 1997 - 4:00pm

Malaspina University-College has received approval from the British Columbia College of Teachers (BCCT) to offer a new Bachelor of Education degree program.

"We're very pleased that our program has passed the rigorous examination of the College of Teachers," said Malaspina University-College president Rich Johnston.

Malaspina has been offering an elementary education degree program in partnership with the University of Victoria, since 1989, and the BCCT approval marks the beginning of Malaspina's own independent degree.

"This is an important milestone in the history of Malaspina's education department," said Dr. Mike Grant, dean of education programs at Malaspina.

"This approval creates the first independent teacher education program in British Columbia outside of the three major B.C. universities," Grant said.

Approval was also given for a post-baccalaureate degree program, for students who wish to complete one-and-a-half years of study after completion of a bachelor of arts or science degree in preparation for careers as elementary teachers.

Grant explained that Malaspina's new degree is unique in the province because it allows students to complete a Bachelor of Arts, as well as a Bachelor of Education degree, during the five-and-a-half years of the program.

"To my knowledge, the closest concurrent degree is offered at York University in Ontario," Grant said.

"We developed the concurrent degree in response to directions from the College of Teachers to increase academic expectations, especially for elementary teachers. Completion of both degrees will also give graduates flexibility in future career choices in case they later change their minds about teaching."

Vice-president of instruction, Glenn Johnston, praised the support Malaspina has received in developing the new degree.

"I'd like to acknowledge the support of the education faculty at the University of Victoria, our partner for the last 8 years, in supporting our move to autonomy, and I also want to thank the elementary teachers in the region who have acted as supervisors for our students in practica," Johnston said.

Students who are currently enrolled in the pre-professional, third year of Malaspina's existing education degree program will complete the UVic partnership degree over the next two years at Malaspina, while students entering their third year in September 1997 will be enrolling in Malaspina's independent teacher education degree program.

The BCCT approval team visited Malaspina for three days, last fall, to conduct interviews with education faculty and Malaspina administrators, as well as with Nanaimo teachers and other representatives of two Vancouver Island school districts.

The BCCT report stated that local teachers who were interviewed "noted that the current Malaspina program had done an excellent job in reaching out to its community and expected that an independent program could only improve in that area."

The BCCT approval of Malaspina's education program is mandatory because all graduates who wish to be employed in the B.C. public school system are required to be certified by the British Columbia College of Teachers.

Applications for the third year of the new degree program, which starts in September at the Nanaimo campus, are now being accepted at Malaspina's registration centre.

For further information on Malaspina's new education degree, please contact the education advising office at 741-2555.

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