The Ontario government is providing students with more opportunity to study to become teachers at the Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus.
To help learners complete the necessary training to get their Bachelor of Education and become fully qualified teachers, the province is increasing the available positions in Laurier’s Initial Teacher Education (ITE) program by 60 students this year, and another 60 in 2023-24, for a total of 120. This innovative program at the Brantford Campus will have a special focus on French as a Second Language and STEM-related subjects.
“COVID-19 has presented schools with significant challenges and these pressures continue to have an impact on the recruitment and retention of teachers,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “By expanding Wilfrid Laurier’s ITE program, we’re providing more postsecondary options in the Brantford area for prospective teachers and building up our future supply of educators.”
To become a teacher in Ontario, learners must complete a undergraduate degree, or meet other acceptable requirements, and complete an initial teacher education program offered by an accredited faculty of education. Increasing the ITE program spaces at Wilfrid Laurier University will help to address higher teacher absences and staffing pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ontario is facing a teacher shortage from many factors, including burnout from the pandemic,” said Will Bouma, MPP for Brantford-Brant. “This funding will provide more opportunities for students to study locally here in Brantford through Laurier’s world-class Bachelor of Education program and help relieve some of the pressures on Ontario’s education system.”
“The expansion of our BEd program to Brantford builds on Laurier’s reputation as a community-integrated university and grows our student presence in the local community – a presence that contributes more than $16 million annually in direct spending into the local economy and which will now grow to directly support kids, families and teachers in the elementary and secondary school systems in Brantford-Brant and local communities,” said Deborah MacLatchy, President and Vice-Chancellor, Wilfrid Laurier University.