This Annual Report for 2020 provides an overview of the activities of the Accreditation Committee related to the third Object of the Ontario College of Teachers Act, “to accredit professional teacher education programs offered by post-secondary educational institutions.”
The College’s Accreditation Committee seeks to ensure the availability of high-quality programs of professional education to prepare Ontario’s teachers, through program review and accreditation. A rigorous review process assures the public that Ontario’s teacher education programs meet the standards set out in regulation.
The Accreditation Committee appoints an accreditation panel to review each initial teacher education program in Ontario. New programs are reviewed before they can be offered to teacher candidates, and existing programs are reviewed every seven years to confirm that they continue to meet standards and requirements.
In the reviews, panel members examine documents submitted by the program provider. Panels also visit program sites when considering a program for accreditation renewal. The panel interviews program faculty and stakeholders, examines materials, and reviews facilities and resources. Members of the public are always provided with an opportunity to offer feedback about the programs under review.
After the review, the panel develops its report, and sets out its recommendations and the evidence it considered. The committee considers the information in the panel’s report and issues an accreditation decision.
In 2020, the Accreditation Committee rendered the following decisions pertaining to 12 programs of professional education offered at six different providers in the province:
- With conditions: 1
- No conditions: 1
- Addition to program: 2
- Substantial change in programs: 1
Extensions to accreditation period
In 2020, the committee considered two panel reports for renewal of accreditation of the following programs:
- Faculty of Education at University of Ottawa:
- consecutive program of professional education with areas of study in the Primary/Junior, Junior/Intermediate and Intermediate/Senior divisions, including the Primary/Junior divisions with a focus on teaching French as a Second Language, leading to a Bachelor of Education degree.
- concurrent program of professional education that combines studies in Aboriginal Education with areas of study in the Primary/Junior divisions, leading to a Bachelor of Education degree (Aboriginal).
In late 2020, the Faculté d’éducation at Université d’Ottawa (French-language program) submitted an application for renewal of the general accreditation of their programs. This review will occur in 2021 with a virtual site visit in February.
Monitoring Programs with Conditions
When the Accreditation Committee issues its decision, it may:
- grant accreditation without conditions
- grant accreditation with conditions if the committee finds that the program does not fully satisfy the requirements for accreditation
- deny accreditation of the program.
When a teacher education program is accredited with conditions, the faculty provides the Accreditation Committee with a plan for satisfying the conditions, followed by annual reports that describe their progress. Faculties may also request that the committee remove conditions from accredited programs.
The Accreditation Committee received and reviewed a plan from the Faculty of Education, Brock University to satisfy the conditions pertaining to the concurrent Bachelor of Education (Aboriginal) program (Primary/Junior divisions). The conditions remain on this program.
Program Change Decisions
The Accreditation Committee received and reviewed:
- A substantial change request from the Department of Education, Tyndale University to offer an environmental education stream alternative for the following program:
- consecutive program of professional education with areas of study in the Primary/Junior and Junior/Intermediate divisions, including the Primary/Junior divisions with a focus on teaching French as a Second Language, leading to a Bachelor of Education degree.
- consecutive program of professional education with areas of study in the Primary/Junior, Junior/Intermediate and Intermediate/Senior divisions, leading to a Bachelor of Education degree
- concurrent program of professional education with areas of study in the Primary/Junior and Intermediate/Senior divisions, leading to a Bachelor of Education degree, including the Early Childhood Education concurrent program for the Primary/Junior divisions.
The committee approved these program changes.
Extensions to Accreditation Period
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Accreditation Committee extended the accreditation period for one provider (five programs) from Spring 2020 until Spring 2021. An extension of up to one year to the accreditation period is made available in Ontario Regulation 347/02 Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs.
The Accreditation Committee responded to the request of the provider to revoke the accreditation for two programs of professional education offered by the School of Education and Professional Learning at Trent University:
- one part-time consecutive program that had not been offered since the implementation of the four-semester delivery structure
- one concurrent Indigenous program deemed redundant since the differences existed solely in the pre-professional years.
COVID-19 Pivot Reports
In Fall 2020, providers submitted descriptions of how program delivery and practicum adjustments had been made as a short-term, emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Accreditation Committee reviewed the trends that were reported in these accountability reports including:
- adjustments to format and structure with a pivot to online delivery of coursework
- accommodations to practicum due to school closures, limited availability of associate teachers and transition to online learning in K-12 classrooms.
Accreditation Resources and Virtual Site Visit Practices
In order to balance rigour, consistency and efficiency in the review process for accreditation, staff continuously improve resources and practices. In 2020, resources continued to be refreshed and translated to align the streamlined accreditation processes for English- and French-language providers. All translations reflect regulatory language and sector-specific terminology.
Site visits for the two accreditation renewals in 2020 were completed prior to the enactment of the emergency measures of the pandemic. Since March 2020, all panel and committee work has occurred virtually. Staff have continued to transition practices in preparation for the likelihood of virtual and hybrid site visits in 2021.
Professional learning, specifically led by Indigenous scholars, has continued to inform resource development and refinement. Site visits for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous programs of professional education will benefit from more culturally responsive practices and protocols. This work is ongoing and will allow for the collection of more salient information pertaining to the programs seeking accreditation.
Committee Professional Development
Presentations were provided in support of continuous professional development for the Accreditation Committee. Timely orientation and training are embedded in committee meetings with respect to regulatory and legal considerations. In 2020, professional learning topics included:
- “We are All Treaty People” Indigenous presentation, Dr. Sandra Styres and Ryan Neepin, Deepening Knowledge Project OISE
- Braiding Culturally-Responsive Accreditation Practices in an Era of Truth and Reconciliation
- Distinguishing between FSL AQ and French as a Focus program
- Accreditation Decision-Rendering when Conditions Have Been Recommended in a Panel Report
- Theory and Practice Connections - Review of current literature pertaining to online learning and virtual delivery of programs of professional education
The College invites public input regarding the teacher education programs under review. An email notification tool on the College website allows members of the public to learn about upcoming accreditation reviews and offer input on the quality of the programs for the panel’s consideration. Social media outreach throughout the accreditation review provides the public with opportunities to offer input to the panel. As virtual site visits evolve, novel opportunities for connecting with stakeholders will continue to be leveraged.
- Paige Bennett, OCT (e) (Vice-Chair)
- Chantal Côté, OCT (e) (from October 30)
- Susan E. Elliott-Johns, OCT (e) (to July 20)
- Rebecca Forte, OCT (e)
- Jacqueline Karsemeyer, OCT (e)
- Todd Lalonde (a) (from July 8)
- Colleen Landers (a) (Chair)
- Mary-Anne Mouawad, OCT (e)
- Bonnie Oakes Charron (a) (from May 21)
- Thomas (Tom) Potter (a) (to March 6)
- Vincent Rinaldo, OCT (a)
(a) = appointed
(e) = elected