2003 Annual Report highlights
College members make their mark not only in the classroom but throughout Ontario's education system.
Members work in administration in schools and school boards. They work in faculties of education preparing teacher candidates to enter the profession. They work in teachers' federations. They play policy-making roles in the Ministry of Education, implement programs and services at the College of Teachers and promote learning in museums and other educational institutions around the province.
But every one of these people has a common starting point for their professional career - a teaching certificate.
Entry to the profession
An important College initiative in 2003 focused on ensuring the quality of Ontario's teacher programs.
The College began the accreditation process with six new teacher-education programs. These accreditations included English-language programs at Trent University, UOIT and Laurentian University, part-time programs offered in French at University of Ottawa and at Laurentian University and a full-time program offered in English by Redeemer University College.
The Accreditation Committee of Council reviewed 511 Additional Qualification courses identified in legislation for practising teachers.
The College launched other initiatives to help members in their daily work - attracting new teachers, seeking input from members on what they need to improve their teaching, and supporting newly certified teachers.
As part of the Be the Spark campaign intended to attract third and fourth-year math and science university students to teaching, the College launched a series of streamed videos on its web site. The videos feature College members talking about the joys and challenges of the teaching profession.
Assessment and response
In a survey of 1,027 College members in good standing by the public opinion firm COMPAS Inc., the College sought input from its members as to how they think and feel about their roles as teachers and education leaders and about the teaching profession itself. Members reported a very high degree of satisfaction from their work, despite conflict in the education system and the need for more resources.
The information from this survey, as well as from the five-year Transition to Teaching study of the work experiences of new graduates, informed a College policy paper on induction and mentoring. The paper recommended to the Ontario government that it create and support a mandatory induction program in every school board in order to ensure that skilled teachers pass on their wisdom and experience to their younger colleagues.
In 2003 the College joined with Skills for Change, the Ontario Teachers' Federation and LASI World Skills to develop a joint proposal to provide resources that would aid foreign-trained teachers to enter the profession. The proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for funding under the Access to Professions and Trades Program.
Changes at the helm
The College named W. Douglas Wilson as the new Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Joe Atkinson, who retired due to ill health. Doug Wilson is a veteran classroom teacher, vice-principal and principal, board of education superintendent and co-author of Canadian history textbooks.
To recognize the exceptional career of Joe Atkinson, the College established the Joseph W. Atkinson Scholarship for Excellence in Teacher Education in 2003 - an annual $2,000 scholarship for a student enrolled in one of Ontario's faculties of education. The first recipient was Claire Button, a teacher education candidate at Queen's University.
During 2003 the College continued to administer the Professional Learning Program. In December the provincial government announced that the program would be repealed. The announcement has offered the College an opportunity to take a fresh look at its mandate to "provide for the ongoing education of members of the College" and at how to ensure effective and high quality learning opportunities for members.
The College spent cautiously in 2003 in response to concerns about the future of the Professional Learning Program. This caution has paid off with accumulated reserves that should provide the opportunity to reduce fees in the future.
Lower-than-foreseen spending on investigations and hearings and on the Professional Learning Program (PLP) and lower rates of spending in staffing, services to members, printing and other operational and capital costs contributed to a surplus in 2003. The final surplus for the year was $3.181 million.
Almost all of the surplus revenue over expenses has been assigned to the fee stabilization reserve fund.
For full details from the annual report, including the College's audited statements for 2003, click here.
Ontario College of Teachers
Operating Results for the year ending December 31, 2003
(amounts noted in thousands of dollars)