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First students in pioneering education program graduate

Anthony Leung, left, and Kaitlin Brock were among the 20 UTSC students graduating from the Concurrent Teacher Education Program.

They were pioneers in an exciting new educational program five years ago. Now they are the first cohort of students to graduate from the Concurrent Teacher Education Program (CTEP).

“I loved it,” says Kaitlin Brock, a UTSC CTEP student graduating this year. “We got so much in-school experience. We had great teachers. We were getting ready to be teachers. We weren’t just going through the motions.”

The program allows students to complete a BA (Hons) or a BSc (Hons) at UTSC concurrently with a Bachelor of Education at UTSC and OISE. CTEP students at UTSC select from chemistry, physics, French or mathematics as their anchor subject – all areas with high teacher demand. Students spend significant amount of time studying at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Upon graduation, all CTEP students are recommended for certification as elementary or secondary school teachers in Ontario.

“In those five years, I have obtained so much exposure to the field itself,” says Anthony Leung, another UTSC CTEP student graduating this year. While in the program, Leung observed elementary school classes and volunteered in community education programs, including one dedicated to providing science education to underrepresented communities.

“That’s one of the advantages of the program,” says Saddaf Syed, UTSC CTEP coordinator. “Every year, the students are completing placements and acquiring extensive field experience. These field experiences enable students to grow personally and professionally before they begin their teaching career.”

By the time they graduate, the students have completed more than 90 days of field experience, including 100 hours of internship in their anchor subject.

“All the French CTEP students have taken the opportunity to study elsewhere,” says Corinne Beauquis, French CTEP academic advisor and senior lecturer in French, “either in Québec with the Explore Program or in France, with the Study-Abroad Program.”

Of the 20 graduating students from UTSC, half are graduating with distinction or high distinction.

Syed says that several of the UTSC CTEP graduates already have either jobs lined up or plans for graduate studies. Leung, for instance, will go to York University for a master’s degree in physics, and may continue towards a PhD in physics education. Brock is busy supply teaching French immersion classes, and is hopeful she’ll get a full-time teaching job soon.

Charles Dyer, UTSC professor of astrophysics, is currently the CTEP science academic advisor and was involved in the original planning phase of the program. Dyer and Xiamei Jiang, senior lecturer in mathematics and CTEP mathematics academic advisor, have both supported students in the math and science stream.

“The CTEP graduates at UTSC are highly professional, experienced and knowledgeable,” Syed adds.“Their extensive experience in the field, their knowledge and skills will all make them wonderful teachers. We are proud of our UTSC Concurrent Teacher Education Program graduates.”

© University of Toronto Scarborough