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Realignment of Teacher Education & Graduate Education


June 11, 2014


OISE is ending our undergraduate teacher education programs to focus on teacher education at the graduate level.

We are doing this in response to the provincial government’s decision to extend undergraduate programs from two semesters to four and to manage the 33 per cent operational cut to the budget that the government imposed on all faculties of education in Ontario.

The provincial cuts will amount to a base reduction of more than $3 million to our annual budget.

No matter which path we chose – either to retain the BEd program or to focus on the graduate level – we would still face this same shortfall of more than $3 million annually.

OISE will receive the same reduced amount of funding as we convert the existing 1,167 BEd spaces into approximately 500 graduate spaces.

A focus on the graduate level makes sense for OISE as Canada’s foremost research-intensive institute of teaching and learning and Ontario’s only institute offering graduate teacher education programs.

There has been extensive consultation about the future of OISE. This change to focus on the graduate level is consistent with OISE’s strategic plan which was developed following consultations with over 500 OISE faculty, staff, students, and alumni along with representatives from other units at the University.

Following the government’s announcement last summer to reduce funding to all Bachelor of Education and Diploma programs by 33% and to extend the programs from two semesters to four, a working group was convened to consider the implications of that plan for OISE. That group recommended we focus our programming on our two graduate programs that meet the requirements for licensure to teach.

We wanted to be sure that whatever we did allowed us to make our unique contribution to the teaching profession. It is our graduate programs, and our research intensity, that will allow us to do that.

Unfortunately, these changes will result in job losses. The size of the cut in government support makes job losses inevitable. No matter which academic structure we adopt, we simply cannot absorb a $3 million annual reduction without an impact on our employees.

The job losses will primarily impact our administrative and support functions as we amalgamate services to support our graduate programs. We will also see an impact on our stipendiary faculty who support our undergraduate programs. There will be no impact on full-time faculty positions.

Three working groups have been established to review our current program offerings to ensure they are consistent with the revised accreditation regulation and the guidelines for teacher education in Ontario. One group, led by Jeanne Watson, Associate Dean Programs, will develop principles to inform program planning & delivery across OISE. The other two groups – one led by CTL, specific for the MT program; the other led by AP&HD, specific to the MA-CSE program – will look at similar matters at the departmental level.