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Education – General Information


Within the broad mandate of the University, York’s Faculty of Education offers innovative pre-service, professional development and graduate programs. The Faculty is distinguished by its commitment to exploring ways to address equity, social justice and environmental issues in all of its programs. The Faculty values collaboration and an interdisciplinary orientation to education within an academic framework of inquiry into the interrelatedness of language and culture, teaching and learning. These values are evidenced in our staffing model and in our programs. York’s pre-service, professional development and graduate programs are staffed by full-time tenure stream faculty, faculty seconded full-time from local school boards and faculty cross-appointed from other programs within the University.

The Faculty of Education at York offers concurrent undergraduate programs for students simultaneously enrolled in other undergraduate Faculties and a full- and part-time consecutive undergraduate program for prospective teachers who have already graduated in another discipline. The Faculty's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education post-baccalaureate program is the only one of its kind in Ontario. Our unique graduate program focus in language, culture and teaching has resulted in interdisciplinary faculty and student collaboration across several departments within the University. Our research and professional development program, offered conjointly with school boards, is based on a teacher-as-researcher model.

Teacher education at York is understood as an intellectual as well as a practical endeavour. Students in the program are exposed to current theory and research in education and education-related fields. As well, students have the opportunity to work extensively in schools and their communities. This balance between theory and practice is made possible, in part, by York’s complementary staffing model which brings together faculty working on on-going research and writing projects with faculty who have extensive and current professional expertise across all aspects of compulsory schooling. Together they are able to provide students with a program which is based on current theory, research and classroom practice. Boards of education inside and outside the province highly value York’s bachelor of education graduates because of their awareness of social justice issues, their knowledge of current theory and research and their strong classroom experience.

BEd Degree Programs

Teacher candidates entering the Faculty of Education’s Concurrent program at York generally do so in the second year of their academic program. They are carefully selected on the basis of academic achievement, oral communication abilities, experience and personal characteristics relevant to the teaching profession. One year is added to their undergraduate studies and they work concurrently to complete the requirements of their bachelor’s degree as well as the requirements of their bachelor of education degree. In three of those years, they spend one day a week in school or community placements along with a block practice teaching period at the end of Years 2 and 3. Concurrent candidates may also pursue the Jewish Teacher Education option, a course of study designed to prepare teachers with qualifications not only for an Ontario Teaching Certificate (OTC) but also for Hebrew language and Jewish studies in the Jewish Day Schools. The Faculty also offers a BEd (French) program option to prepare teacher candidates to teach French with emphasis on French Immersion education in Ontario. Students in the junior/intermediate and intermediate/senior divisions must have French as a Second Language as a teaching subject.

The BEd (Indigenous Teacher Education) Concurrent program is designed to prepare teacher candidates in the concurrent and part-time consecutive BEd programs to teach at all certification levels (primary/junior, junior/intermediate and intermediate/senior) and to meet the needs of teaching indigenous material in appropriately respectful ways to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in a range of contexts. This program includes two additional required courses, ED/EDUC 2200 3.00 (Issues in Indigenous Education) and ED/EDUC 2300 3.00 (Pedagogy of the Land), which will be counted towards satisfying the BEd elective requirements. ED/EDUC 2200 3.00 will need to be completed during the first year of university with a minimum C+ final grade.

A select number of high school applicants who have applied to the Faculties of Environmental Studies, Fine Arts, Glendon, Health, Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Science or the Lassonde School of Engineering, will be offered direct entry to the Concurrent BEd program. Using high school admission averages and other Faculty-specific criteria for selected direct-entry applicants, the Faculty of Education will waive the regular admission requirement to the Concurrent BEd which normally requires the completion of at least 24 credits (equivalent to four full-year courses) of university study with a minimum C+ overall grade point average. To be eligible to continue in the Concurrent BEd program, direct-entry students will be required to meet the current Faculty of Education Concurrent BEd program requirements (i.e. maintain a minimum of a C+ average in their first year at the University, complete at least 24 credits, equivalent to four full-years courses and have a minimum 36 credits, equivalent to six full-year courses, remaining in their undergraduate degree). Direct-entry students must also successfully complete a zero-credit seminar course ED/PRAC 1000 0.00 during the first year of university.

York’s Faculty of Education offers a new opportunity to pursue a teaching career in Technological Education. The concurrent Bachelor of Education in Technological Education is open to candidates enrolled in a related applied field. The part time consecutive Bachelor of Education in Technological Education is available to candidates who have an approved degree in a related technology field that aligns with the Technological Education curriculum from an accredited degree granting institution. Applicants must apply to the intermediate/senior certification level. Both the concurrent and consecutive curriculum is delivered over three years.

Students in the Faculty of Education’s bachelor of education (BEd) Concurrent program will be able to identify that they would like to “specialize,” within their existing program, in international education. For further information, please see the International Specialization section.

Teacher candidates entering the Faculty of Education’s full- or part-time Consecutive program at York must have completed a three- or four-year undergraduate degree. They are carefully selected on the basis of academic achievement, oral communication abilities, experience and personal characteristics relevant to the teaching profession. The full-time Consecutive program offers options such as primary/junior, primary/junior articulated for graduates in early childhood education, primary/junior and junior/intermediate urban diversity, junior/intermediate, junior/intermediate in fine arts and intermediate/senior.  The full-time program runs over an extended academic year. Candidates receive an introduction to the teaching profession and are oriented to campus facilities and to their host schools in the last week of August. The practice teaching and course work of the program continue through to the following June. Candidates normally spend two days a week in schools from early September to early June. As well, nine weeks of block teaching practice are embedded within this time frame. This strong emphasis on practicum is a vital connection in linking theory and practice.

The part-time consecutive program is taken over a three-year period. Teacher candidates typically take their courses and practicum across several days each week and complete a one-week (Year 1) or a four-week (Years 2 and 3) practicum block in May at the end of the University academic year.

The Faculty of Education takes seriously the eradication of discriminatory practices based on race, gender, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation and disability. As such, the Faculty has established structures, procedures and practices that are designed to eliminate those barriers. York University’s Faculty of Education Access Initiative is designed to recruit, admit and support individuals who will make excellent teachers and who reflect the diversity in our society. Our admissions policies are designed to assess the potential of all candidates, in particular those who have faced systemic barriers in educational settings and in their lives.

The Faculty is committed to educating students to work in a pluralistic society. To this end, we recommend that students select academic and educational courses that offer a wide range of experience and knowledge, as well as diverse theoretical and ideological perspectives.

Successful completion of any one of these programs leads to recommendation following convocation for the basic Ontario Certificate of Qualification with qualifications to teach within the two divisions included in the particular program title. Graduates in the primary/junior division of the BEd (French) program option will also be recommended for part one of the additional qualification French as a Second Language.

The divisions of the school system of the province of Ontario are defined as:

  • Primary - junior kindergarten to Grade 3
  • Junior - Grade 4 to Grade 6
  • Intermediate - Grade 7 to Grade 10
  • Senior - Grade 11 to Grade 12

Practicum/Seminar Approach

Much of the curriculum for all pre-service programs of the Faculty of Education is linked to practicum experiences. The teacher candidate spends extensive time in field settings or practica that are supported by coursework and school/community partnerships.

In addition to providing direct experience and an opportunity to apply newly acquired skills and knowledge, the practica are a major source of curriculum in the sense that they bring candidates face to face with concrete situations. These situations are related to practicum seminars. The underlying assumptions of this approach are that teaching can be considered as a form of problem solving and that teacher candidates learn best that which allows them to understand and to master their environment.

A host school which is most suitable for York’s program is defined, in part, by the presence of a pool of committed mentor teachers, a supportive principal and, in addition, a teacher articulate about the process of education who will fill the role of site coordinator. Our program operates in the schools with the continuing consent of the board and the staff of the school. Teacher candidates are assigned their placements. They do not choose their own host schools.

Duration of the Academic Year

Students seeking admission to the Faculty of Education should note that the academic year in the Faculty is somewhat longer than is usual in other Faculties. This longer year is owing to the practicum requirements. Consult the Concurrent and Consecutive program sections above with respect to the specific practicum requirements.

Criminal Background Checks

All Teacher Candidates (TCs) enrolled in a BEd program must have a valid VSS for every year in the program. At the start of the program all TCs must have a cleared VSS document. TCs must re-apply for a new VSS prior to the expiry date of the existing one every year.

Access Initiative - Concurrent and Consecutive Programs

The Faculty of Education Access Initiative is designed to recruit, admit, and support individuals who will make excellent teachers and who reflect the diversity in our society. Our admissions policies are designed to assess the potential of all candidates, in particular those who have faced systemic barriers in educational settings and in their lives. Access invites students from the following under-represented groups to apply as a part of this initiative:

  • Aboriginal (First Nations, Metis, Inuit, Status, Non-Status, Aboriginal Ancestry);
  • people with disabilities;
  • racialized person (A racialized person may experience social inequities on the basis of their perceived common racial background, colour and/or ethnicity, faith and who may be subjected to differential treatment in the society and its institutions. Examples may include: people of African descent, Latinos);
  • other minoritized person (For example: working class/low income; sexual orientation; English Language Learner, Refugee or impacted by the refugee experience).

Applicants to the Access Initiative must meet York Faculty of Education admission requirements.

Information on the Access Initiative may be obtained from BEd Student Services, 128 Winters College or by calling 416-736-5001.

Many of the Catholic school boards in Ontario require that applicants for teaching positions have completed successfully a course in religious education methods. To help candidates meet this requirement, the Faculty of Education, in cooperation with the Catholic Office of Religious Education (CORE), offers an course in Religious Education.

The Catholic school boards prefer that all applicants for positions have had some experience in Catholic schools. Candidates wishing some practicum experience in Catholic schools should make their wishes known on the practicum request form. Every effort will be made to provide interested candidates with a Catholic school placement during at least one of their practica.

Ontario Certificate of Registration and Certificate of Qualification

The Ontario Certificate of Registration certifies that the holder is qualified to teach in Ontario elementary and secondary schools. The basic and additional qualifications of the teacher are recorded on a second form, the Certificate of Qualification. The Certificate of Qualification will be updated as the teacher acquires additional qualifications.

The regulations require a candidate to earn basic qualifications in two consecutive divisions during the pre-service teacher education program. To teach in the intermediate division one must have completed courses in one teaching subject, and in the senior division two teaching subjects, selected from an approved list.

Certificates to teach in Ontario schools are issued by the Ontario College of Teachers on the recommendation of the dean of the Faculty of Education. All information in this publication about regulations with respect to certification is governed by the Ontario College of Teachers. In order for a recommendation to be sent to the Ontario College of Teachers, students must submit their OCT registration number to the Faculty of Education.

The Ontario College of Teachers requires that candidates provide an official transcript indicating that they have successfully completed a BEd degree. Transcripts must be requested by the candidate from the Registrar’s Office.

New graduates from Ontario Faculties of Education must apply for membership in the Ontario College of Teachers in order to obtain a license to teach in publicly funded schools in Ontario.


Applicants to the Faculty of Education should note that, while there are no citizenship, permanent residency or other requirements for entrance to York University or to the Faculty of Education, the Ontario College of Teachers will grant the Certificate of Registration and the Certificate of Qualification only to individuals who have a Canadian social insurance number.