Okanagan College and UBC Sign Education Partnership

On hand for this week's signing of the Trades and Technology Teacher Education agreement were (back row, from left) Robert Campbell, Dean of UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Education; Phil Beckmann, Dean of Science, Technology and Health at Okanagan College; John Haller, Dean of Trades at Okanagan College. (Front row) Gwen Zilm, Assoc. Vice President, Learning Services, at UBC Okanagan, and Andrew Hay, Okanagan College’s Vice President of Education.

On hand for this week's signing of the Trades and Technology Teacher Education agreement were (back row, from left) Robert Campbell, Dean of UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Education; Phil Beckmann, Dean of Science, Technology and Health at Okanagan College; John Haller, Dean of Trades at Okanagan College. (Front row) Gwen Zilm, Assoc. Vice President, Learning Services, at UBC Okanagan, and Andrew Hay, Okanagan College’s Vice President of Education.

There’s big demand for trades and technology teachers in B.C.’s secondary schools. Responding to the need, Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan are working together to help more students become qualified secondary school teachers with this high-demand specialization.

The two institutions signed a letter of understanding on Monday that will see students from the two-year Trades and Technology Teacher Education (TTTE) diploma program at Okanagan College seamlessly move into the Trades and Technology Specialty in UBC Okanagan’s Secondary Teacher Education Program.

"Finding trades and technology teachers is hard," said Robert Campbell, Dean of the Faculty of Education at UBC Okanagan. He noted that B.C.’s only other trades and technology secondary teacher education program is at UBC in Vancouver, and demand is so great that graduates from that program have not made it out of the Lower Mainland.

"There are jobs just about everywhere in the world for people with your background," he told students from Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan on hand for the signing. "I've been really impressed with the quality of students from Okanagan College," he said.

"About five years ago we started talking about the demand for trades and technology teachers in the secondary system," said John Haller, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship at Okanagan College. “About a year and a half later we got funding to launch the program -- just as we were in transition from OUC to Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan. It was a lot of hard work -- a lot of persistence, but it was worth the work. Today is a momentous day for us."

Most of Okanagan College’s 2006 TTTE diploma program graduates are now enrolled in UBC Okanagan’s Secondary Teacher Education Program.

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