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Discipline Decisions

"You may have already accumulated credits towards 
your PLP course requirements."

College Members have been earning Professional Learning Program credits since June 29 .

More than 46,000 College members have officially begun their first five-year Professional Learning Program (PLP) and have until December 31, 2006 to accumulate 14 PLP course credits.

In mid-October, the College informed 40,000 randomly selected classroom teachers and all new members certified for the first time in 2001 that their first five-year PLP cycle has officially begun.

Bill 80, which established the new professional learning requirement for all certified teachers, outlined the criteria for selecting the first group of College members to complete PLP requirements.

All other College members — including classroom teachers, principals, vice-principals, supervisory officers, directors of education and teachers employed by the Ministry of Education and the College of Teachers — begin their five-year PLP cycle next September and must successfully complete their 14 credits by December 31, 2007.

R E T R O A C T I V E   C R E D I T

However, all College members can receive retroactive credit for courses completed on or after June 30, 2001, whether they officially began their PLP cycle this year or begin next September.

College Deputy Registrar Doug Wilson says it is likely that many courses completed over the summer and fall will be eligible for multiple PLP credits. "When our new Professional Learning Committee meets in November and December, one of the first questions they will deal with is the issue of multiple credits for courses that are longer than the minimum and deal with more than one of the core subject areas."

The minimum course length is five hours — equivalent to one Professional Activity (PA) day. The core subject areas are: curriculum, student assessment, special education, teaching strategies, classroom management and leadership, use of technology, and communication with parents and students.

"More than 13,000 members have completed Additional Qualification courses since June 29. AQs, at 125 hours, usually deal with a number of the core subject areas," says Wilson. "Over 8,000 teachers attended summer institutes. Thousands more will have taken university or community college courses, PA day workshops, music or computer courses, or any of a very large number of courses that contribute to their professional learning. All these courses could count, many for multiple credits, if they meet the conditions."

F A C T   S H E E T

The conditions that must be met for courses to count for PLP credit are outlined in a fact sheet Retroactive Credits — Professional Learning Program, which can be found on the College web site at‹ Professional Learning Program. They include:

• the course provider must successfully apply to become an approved provider
• the College must also approve the course for PLP credit
• the course must have been completed on or after June 30, 2001 (the regulation does not 
  allow the College to give retroactive credit before that date)
• the course must include a formal assessment.

"We know that some courses may not have included a formal assessment," says Wilson. "Members should contact their course provider to see if they can do a retroactive assessment, which the College will accept for a limited period. We can accept successful completions based on a wide range of assessment tools — it’s not limited to a written test at all.

C O U R S E   P R O V I D E R S   T H E   K E Y

"I can’t stress enough, though, that it is up to course providers to apply for approval and submit information about our members’ successful completion of courses. If an Ontario course provider does not apply for approval as a provider or for approval for the course, the College can not grant credit for it. If the course provider does not include some formal assessment, even retroactively, we can not approve it.

"If members want to seek credit for a course they’ve taken since June 29, they must contact their providers and work it out with them.

"What members need to know is that they can continue to follow their own plan for their individual professional growth — whether it’s an MEd or an AQ, a PA day, a university course or degree — and that it’s most likely that this professional learning will count towards their required 14 course credits."

With the Professional Learning Program only a few months old, the College has already granted approved provider status to dozens of Ontario education institutions and organizations. Approved providers are listed on the College web site.

However, the College has received only a few applications for approved provider status from outside the province. The Professional Learning Committee will look at ways for members to receive PLP credits for professional learning completed outside Ontario. Information about the criteria for these courses will be published on ‹ Professional Learning Program and in future issues of Professionally Speaking.
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