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December 1999

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Membership Services Answers
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’m a technological studies teacher. Can I teach general studies?

A: The College call centre receives a lot of these calls, even though questions about teaching assignments are covered by Regulation 298, which is administered by the Ministry of Education. The simple answer is no, you can’t. But you can qualify for general studies by taking a general studies Additional Basic Qualification if you have an undergraduate degree.

There are a couple of important "howevers" to add to this answer.

First, according to Regulation 298, teachers with Tech Studies qualifications in specific areas – such as sewing, dressmaking or vocational arts – can teach similar areas in general studies programs in a secondary school.

And second, if your school board applied to the College Registrar for a Temporary Letter of Approval (TLA) – and it was granted – you would be able to teach subjects that you are not qualified to teach for one year. You would only be able to teach subjects or undertake assignments specified in the TLA in addition to any you are qualified for; the TLA is not a blanket approval to teach any subject.

Q: What is a Temporary Letter of Approval?

A: The Registrar of the Ontario College of Teachers may grant a Temporary Letter of Approval, valid for one year, to enable a member of the College to teach a subject or be assigned to a position (for example, vice-principal) for which the teacher does not hold the qualification.

Q: What is a Letter of Permission?

A: The Minister of Education may grant a Letter of Permission, valid for one year, to enable an uncertified person to teach in a publicly funded elementary or secondary school. The school board must apply to the ministry for this letter.

Q: Why was there such a long delay after I completed my Additional Qualification (AQ) course before I received my letter from the College confirming that I had completed the course?

A: When you complete an Additional Qualifi-cation course, the qualification is added to your file only when the College receives official notification that you have successfully completed the course (known as the faculty’s recommendation – the faculty recommends that this qualification be added to your record). After you have completed your AQ, it can take up to two months before the College receives the recommendation from the faculty. The College issues the acknowledgement letter within two weeks of the receipt of the recommendation.

Q: All degrees are not created equal. I feel that my degree required far more work than the degree one of my colleagues completed, yet her degree is listed on her Certificate of Qualification as "honours". I strongly feel that my degree is equivalent to hers. Why can’t I have the term "honours" listed beside my degree as well?

A: The College of Teachers lists information related to acceptable degrees from recognized universities on your Certificate of Qualification. We indicate the name of the degree in full, the year the degree was obtained and the name of the issuing institution. Completed degrees as they are originally conferred from approved universities are shown for information purposes only. If the degree was conferred as an honours degree, this designation will also be indicated.

Your granting institution confers your degree based on the program you were actually enrolled in and completed. The College will not assess your course work to see whether it was equivalent to an honours degree at another university.