UBC Okanagan adds new post-degree programs for B.C.'s teachers

Two new post-degree professional programs are being launched by UBC Okanagan's Faculty of Education to help B.C. teachers acquire new skills for the classroom and keep up with changes in education in British Columbia.

"The new programs expand professional development opportunities for educators and respond to the needs of schools and districts for education specialists," says Robert Campbell, Dean of Education.

The Early Learning certificate and diploma program will help teachers prepare for the new full-day Kindergarten initiative, which begins for five-year-olds starting in September 2010.

The program is also designed to help teachers align their skills with a number of other province-wide early learning initiatives such as Strong Start B.C. for preschool-age children and Ready, Set, Learn for three-year-olds and their families.

"The Early Learning certificate and diploma is an important new program, particularly for Kindergarten teachers in B.C.," says Campbell. "The courses will provide effective strategies to get the most from extended time with young learners in the classroom. It is also a way for teachers to gain additional expertise and be qualified to teach Kindergarten."

The second new program offers a Language and Literacy Education certificate and diploma. It is designed for teachers and educational leaders who wish to deepen and extend their knowledge in areas of literacy and language arts including oral and written communication, reading, children's and adolescents' literature, English education, English as a second language, new media literacy, assessment, and literacy for diverse learners.

Two years ago, the Faculty introduced an Inclusive Education post-baccalaureate certificate and diploma. That program prepares teachers to establish inclusive practices in classrooms and in schools so all students, including those with diverse needs, have equitable access to learning and achievement. The courses appeal to B.C.-certified graduates who are currently employed as, or who wish to become, learning assistance teachers or resource teachers, and to classroom teachers who wish to create inclusive environments in their instructional practice.

Each of the three programs leads to a 15-credit certificate that can be continued through to a 30-credit diploma. To respond to professional schedules, the courses will be offered as Saturday sessions during winter terms, and also as regularly scheduled summer session courses, says Campbell.

For more information, contact the Faculty of Education at 250-807-9651 or visit the website www.ubc.ca/okanagan/education.

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