Langley university ups student numbers to help meet B.C. teacher demand

The private Christian university has more student spaces in its education department.

Trinity Western University is doing what it can to create more teachers.

The School of Education has doubled its capacity. Last year it had 40 first-year students. This year’s contingent is 85.

Since 2001, it has graduated more than 400 teachers.

TWU is one of the few universities in B.C. to offer a concurrent education degree. Students begin taking education courses in their first year, allowing them to develop the mindset of a teacher from the beginning of their university studies.

“Our concurrent education program means we get highly committed and motivated students choosing our program who feel a calling to the teaching profession from very early on. Also, they are well prepared for the classroom when they graduate because they have so much more time to really come to see themselves as teachers,” said Dr. Allyson Jule, the new dean of the TWU School of Education.

TWU was one of the first teacher education programs in B.C. that required students to take at least one course in special education to meet specialized learning needs of students. The program also includes a mandatory Indigenous Education course.

“We are particularly well positioned to fill the need for special education teachers in B.C. schools,” said Dr. Ken Pudlas, TWU professor of education. “This program prepares teachers to meet a broad range of special educational needs resulting from students’ cognitive, social, and sensory differences – including those resulting from learning disabilities, emotional disorders, behavioural disorders, giftedness, and developmental delay.”

With the November 2016 Supreme Court of Canada ruling on class size and composition in B.C. classrooms, there is a record high demand for teachers in every district.

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