AQs Count for Four PLP Credits | Professional Learning Committee Approves Over 200 Courses | Information Sessions for Professional Learning Providers Well-Attended | PLP Approval Given to Popular Teachers’ Activities | Better Access for College Members as AQ Provider Base Broadened | Minister Highlights More Change for Teaching Profession in 2002 | De Quetteville to Chair Professional Learning Committee | Transition to Teaching | New Manager of Information Systems and Policy and Research | Discipline Panel Decisions
"Each information session for professional learning providers has been well attended and all the providers have had good questions," says Rick Chambers, manager of the College’s Professional Learning Program Unit after the most recent session held on December 11.
The December session was primarily for new and potential providers and drew approximately 150 commercial and non-profit organizations and individuals from around Ontario. Their wide-ranging interests included nutrition, computer skills, travel tours, mentoring and conservation.
Among the participants who have since applied for provider status was Paul Godin of the Stitt, Feld, Handy Group which offers training in negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution.
"We’ve done some customized courses for various school boards," said Godin "and we have regularly scheduled public courses offered to the public that we know a fair number of teachers, principals and administrators have attended as well."
Godin said that a number of courses they offer would meet requirements for PLP credit in core and elective areas. The College’s willingness to be flexible means that customized courses that might vary in length depending on the individual school board can still be eligible for the PLP program.
"We can teach a course from a half-day to five days in length and if we can get an idea of what credits would apply, it would allow us to have our customized courses approved as a single entity," Godin said.
Elizabeth Vasas Smythe, with her partner Caroline Hilton, have formed the company C and E Mentors and designed courses on mentoring.
"We’re retired principals with 35 years experience in education," said Vasas Smythe. "We want to work with administrators who are new to that role. We have a workshop that can be given in four segments covering leadership, management organization, communications and school entry."
Vasas said they are still unsure whether to apply for provider status on their own or try to partner with a school board, which is an option for smaller organizations for whom some PLP requirements — such as a web site — may not be viable.
Many of the same questions asked by participants in the December session — such as the number of credits a course might be eligible for — have been raised at each session, says Chambers. Some of the questions couldn’t be answered until the Professional Learning Committee met to make decisions.
"But we were able to clarify a lot of misinformation that had been floating around out there. Some providers had heard that teachers were going to have to pay $25 just to register for each course. This is definitely not true.
"Providers who want to provide courses free to teachers are able to do so, and they can find sponsors to help underwrite the cost of running a course instead of having to charge teachers for it."
So far, well over 200 providers have been approved by the Professional Learning Committee. In late January the committee announced that Additional Qualification (AQ) courses will be eligible for four Professional Learning Program credits. Since then applications have flowed in for course approval for all of the 200 AQ courses offered in Ontario.
The College web site at www.oct.ca has extensive information for members and providers on the PLP as well as lists of approved providers and courses.
Participants in the College’s workshop for new Professional Learning Program providers represented a wide range of organizations covering topics such as first aid training, environmental preservation, computer skills, curriculum, literacy and mentoring.
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