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Faculty of Education (ED) – 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 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.

New Education program 2015

The Ontario government and the Ontario College of Teachers have modernized teacher education in the province beginning September 2015. The change has expanded to four semesters of course work, and include minimum of 80 days* of classroom teaching experience.

The new program builds on the Faculty’s belief that where there is education, there is also a powerful transformation. The B.Ed. Program, is built on a solid ethical foundation and is infused with strong principles including equity, diversity, community, collaboration, interdisciplinary, and social justice. It meets, and exceeds, the new ministry requirements for teacher education programs, both in terms of content and practicum experiences.The modified program draws on elements of the existing concurrent and consecutive program to offer a more coherent and progressive structure. The program is structured around four broad themes: Orientation to the Profession in the Community; Learners; Classroom & Curriculum; and Schooling, Society and Research.

BEd Degree Programs

The BEd program is a four-semester (or equivalent) program, offered as a Consecutive BEd (for those students who already hold an appropriate undergraduate degree) or as a Concurrent BEd (for those students also studying an undergraduate degree). The program consists of 10 full courses (60 credits) or their equivalent with 5 full courses (30 credits) or their equivalent being taken in each of the two years (ED1 and ED2). Both the Concurrent and Consecutive BEd programs contain a number of required courses, a community placement, practicum placements and elective courses.

The BEd (Indigenous Teacher Education) Concurrent program is designed to prepare teacher candidates in the concurrent program 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 be completed in ED 1, Semester 2 and achieve a minimum C+ final grade.

The Faculty of Education offers Ryerson University, Early Childhood Studies BA students the opportunity to pursue a teaching degree in the Concurrent BEd program (Primary/Junior) at the same time. Admission requirements to the Concurrent BEd requires a minimum of three years, 24 Ryerson courses (24.00 credits) by the end of their winter session in the Early Childhood Studies program, and a minimum B overall grade point average. Next admission entry is September 2017.

May 2015 entry: York’s Faculty of Education offers an 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 two 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.

A select number of high school applicants who have applied to the Faculty of Education and the Faculties of Environmental Studies, Glendon, Health, Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Science, the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, or the Lassonde School of Engineering, can be considered to the Direct Entry Pre-Education 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.   To be eligible to continue in the Concurrent BEd program (entering ED 1), 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 undergraduate program.  Direct-entry students must also successfully complete a three credit  seminar course ED/EDUC 1000 3.00 during the first year of university. Direct Entry students will be entering the new model for the BEd Concurrent program after 2015.

Students will now enter the program after completing a minimum of 60 York university credits or equivalent if pursuing a general degree (90 credits) with teaching level Primary/Junior or Junior/Intermediate or after completing a minimum of 90 York University credits or equivalent if pursuing an honours degree (120 credits) with teaching level Primary/Junior, Junior/Intermediate or Intermediate/Senior.

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 at Glendon 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

The academic year in the Faculty begins the end of August and continues through to end of April/early May.

Criminal Background Checks

All Teacher Candidates (TCs) enrolled in a BEd program must have a valid Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) for every year in the program. At the start of the program all TCs must have a cleared the VSS document and 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, 416-736-5001, or

Religious Education: Teaching in Catholic Schools certificate course

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 a course in Religious Education. This course is not part of the BED program and is offered through the Faculty of Education Professional Development Office:

This course is intended to introduce pre-service Teacher Candidates to professional practice and to extend knowledge and skills in the delivery of Ontario Catholic curriculum. The course is 36 hours in length and is comprised of 10 hours online and thirteen two-hour face-to-face sessions and may include a day retreat. This course answers the question, "What do I need to know to begin teaching in Ontario Catholic Schools?".

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 Qualification and Registration

The Ontario Certificate of Qualification and Registration certifies that the holder is qualified to teach in Ontario elementary and secondary schools. The Certificate of Qualification and Registration 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.