Concordia’s teacher preparation program granted interim recognition

January 17, 2012
Shelley Svidal, ATA News Staff
Following approval of the draft memorandum between Concordia University College of Alberta and the Alberta Teachers’ Association, Sharon Armstrong, ATA vice-president, and Rev. Dr. Gerald Krispin, Concordia’s president and vice-chancellor, and Mark Swanson, its dean of education, participated in a signing ceremony in Provincial Executive Council chambers.
The Alberta Teachers’ Association has granted interim recognition to the teacher preparation program at Concordia University College of Alberta.

On December 2, 2011, Provincial Executive Council approved a draft memorandum of understanding between the Association and the Edmonton-based postsecondary institution. The draft memorandum applies in every respect to the elements of the relationship the Association enjoys with the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta and grants interim recognition of Concordia’s teacher preparation program. Following approval of the draft memorandum, Gerald Krispin, Concordia’s president and vice-chancellor, and Mark Swanson, its dean of education, participated in a signing ceremony in Council chambers.

The draft memorandum is in keeping with the ATA’s obligations under the Teaching Profession Act, to further improve the teaching profession "by promoting and supporting adequate programs of preservice preparation, internship and certification."

Under the draft memorandum, the ATA is a voting member of Concordia’s faculty of education council, has a seat on the faculty’s program advisory council and serves on its dean selection and review committees. The Association also enjoys direct access to Concordia’s teacher preparation program.

In addition to granting interim recognition of that program, the draft memorandum makes available to Concordia an ATA program of service, including sessions on governance of the teaching profession, professional conduct and competence standards, and issues related to securing employment as a teacher. An agreement will be established relating to cooperating teachers and there will be an area field experience committee structure to provide support. The Association will also offer Concordia a student local and admit student members to the ATA. Finally, Concordia faculty who are associate members of the Association will be eligible to join specialist councils and to compete for research grants and awards.

The move was facilitated by the passage of several resolutions regarding teacher preparation at the 2011 Annual Representative Assembly. The resolutions, which previously referred to “public Alberta universities with professional faculties of education,” now refer to “accredited teacher education programs recognized by the Association.” Rather than recognizing universities, the ATA intends to develop criteria for recognition of teacher education by the profession. On an interim basis, the Association has offered recognition to other institutions while these recognition criteria are developed.

The ATA’s Teacher Education and Certification Committee, on which Concordia has been given a seat, is developing criteria that will serve as the basis for professional recognition of teacher preparation programs by the Association. Until those criteria are established, the Association will maintain its present program of service to the faculties of education at the universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge as well as to Campus Saint-Jean of the University of Alberta.