Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Frequently Asked Questions

 How do I know whether I have registered in the required courses for the program in which I am enrolled?

Students are enrolled in courses during the fall and winter semesters of Year One.

Students are enrolled in the extended practicum for the fall semester of Year Two as soon as it is confirmed that students have successfully completed all academic prerequisites and Year One courses and practica.

In the fall of Year Two, you will be sent a form that lists the required courses and your choice of elective courses. Completed forms are returned to the Dean's office and students are registered by the School in their required and elective courses.

 Can I register for additional courses while I am in the Bachelor of Education program?

The Bachelor of Education program is an intensive, full-time program. Therefore, students may not add credit to their prescribed course load in any term of the program.

 Do I need to complete course work in one term before proceeding to the next?

We expect you to pass all courses and practica prescribed for each term before proceeding to the next.

 What happens if I do not demonstrate an acceptable standard of written English after I am admitted to the program?

All students in the TRU BEd. Program are expected to demonstrate high standards in all aspects of written and spoken English.

If you have not undertaken all of your post-secondary studies in an English speaking institution(s), you are required to provide evidence of an acceptable standard of writing by means of a written English test set by the faculty. Other students who do not demonstrate an acceptable standard of English during the program may also be required to sit a written English test. On the basis of the results of this test, students may be required either to improve their standard of written English before proceeding to the extended practicum and/or before being recommended for the BEd. degree and a teaching certificate, or to withdraw from the BEd. Program.

 What happens if I do not demonstrate competence in oral English?

If a student does not demonstrate competence in English, he or she may be required to take the Test of Competence in Oral English before proceeding to the extended practicum (Education 4200). Students who are required to sit the test and do not pass will be required to undergo a more extensive evaluation of their spoken English. Students with language difficulties will be required to undertake a program of remedial work in spoken English. Should their language difficulties be such as to preclude effective participation in course work and/or the practicum experience students may be asked to withdraw from the program.

 How long do I have to complete the program?

The Teacher Education Program must be completed in its entirety within a four-year period. Students who do not complete the program within this time limit may submit a new application. If they are readmitted, they will not receive advance credit for courses completed previously.

 Am I expected to be responsible for students with special needs?

If you are working with a teacher who has instructional responsibilities for students with special needs, you will be expected to assume similar responsibilities. Exceptions may be made in cases where students are severely disabled.

 How is the Bachelor of Education degree awarded?

As soon as grades are received after the final term of the program, the Dean of the Faculty of Education and Social Work  reviews individual transcripts and forwards a Graduation List of all those who have successfully completed the requirements of the Teacher Education Program to the Registrar's Office at TRU. It is the responsibility of the student to apply to graduate.

 How do I obtain my professional certificate?

A list of all students who have successfully completed the requirements of the Bachelor of Education Program is prepared by the Dean and is forwarded to the Ministry of Education, Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB), for professional certification. An Evaluator from the TRB comes to TRU to explain the process and to hand out an application package to Teacher Candidates. It is the student's responsibility to complete and forward the application for certification to the TRB. Supporting documents for the evaluation of standing by the Teacher Qualification Service (TQS) is sent from the Dean's office.

 Who has access to my records?

All information in your files is considered confidential. Records are copied only when a student appeals a decision concerning her or his practicum experiences, and the documents on file are relevant to a committee's consideration of the appeal. Copied documents are provided to those directly involved in the appeal (e.g., the student, appeal committee members, witnesses, affected faculty). Once the appeal procedures have concluded, the copies are collected and destroyed. You may request copies of any information in your file. Reference reports submitted to support your application for admission are released only after they are reviewed to determine that no third party's right to privacy is violated. Student records are not forwarded to potential employers. Students are expected to retain their own copies of practicum reports for the purpose of preparing applications for teaching positions.

 How long are my records kept on file?

Upon completion of the BEd. program, student records are retained for a period of one year.

 Expectations about classes: Am I required to attend all classes?

Teacher Candidates in the TRU BEd. Program are expected to attend all classes. If you must miss a class, you are required notify to your instructor as soon as possible. In the event that you are absent for more than four days, you should immediately notify the School of Education Secretary at 250-828-5204. If you are unable to complete assignments or are absent from examinations due to illness, you must obtain a medical certificate from Student Health Services, based on a statement from your physician, which must be submitted to the Dean as soon as possible. If you are absent during a practicum, you need to notify your Teacher and Faculty Mentors immediately.


Practicum Questions

 Where will I be placed for the extended practicum?

As mentioned in the TRU Calendar, fifty percent of our Teacher Candidates are placed in the Kamloops/Thompson School District (#73) for the EDPR 4100 and 4200 practica, and fifty percent are placed in neighbouring districts, namely Cariboo-Chilcotin (SD#27), Gold Trail (SD#74), Nicola Similkameen (SD#58), North Okanagan-Shuswap (SD#83), Vernon (SD#22) and Okanagan Similkameen (SD#53), . Although we attempt to place Teacher Candidates in their preferred areas, please note that you must be prepared to accept a school placement wherever one is available within these regions, and you are responsible for the costs of transportation and accommodation during the practica. Placements are determined by a lottery system.

 What if I have special circumstances that need to be considered in my practicum placement?

If you have special circumstances such as a disability, a serious medical condition, are a single parent or have a child under five years of age, please provide relevant details in writing to the Practica Coordinator, School of Education on the "Special Circumstances" form. These circumstances will be considered by the Practica Coordinator and the Dean. Please be advised that students are responsible for all costs incurred during practica and financial concerns cannot be considered as special circumstances.

 Am I required to complete course assignments during my practica?

As a Teacher Candidate, your attention should be devoted fully to the responsibilities determined by your Teacher and Faculty Mentors during the two-week practicum (EDPR 3200), the three-week practicum (EDPR 4100) and the extended practicum (EDPR 4200). Instructors in courses other than these three practica should not ask teacher candidates to undertake assignments or research during the school practica. (On the other hand, some assignments in the first half-day practicum, EDPR 3100, originate in EDLL 3100.)

 Should I seek part-time employment during the practica?

Employment should not interfere with any practica. In order to give full attention to your practice teaching, it is strongly recommended that you do not work at an outside job during the practica. Please note that employment will not be taken into account when making arrangements for your placement, nor will it be given consideration when questions of workload, expectations and responsibilities are discussed during the practicum.

 Should I be a teacher-on-call during the extended practicum?

As a Teacher Candidate, you may not be a teacher-on-call (substitute teacher), nor can you accept payment for your work in the school. In the event that your Teacher Mentor is absent, it is expected that a teacher-on-call or an appropriate replacement appointed by the principal will assume responsibility for the students in the classroom to which you have been assigned.

 Am I expected to teach ESL during the extended practicum?

If you are working with a teacher who has some responsibility for instructing students for whom English is a second language, it is expected that you will assume similar responsibilities. Since you are enrolled in an elementary program, it is expected that you will teach all subjects in the elementary curriculum, including instruction to ESL students. The exception to this is ESL instruction to newly arrived ESL students (“reception ESL”).

 Should I arrange job interviews during the practicum or during class time?

You will not be granted permission to be absent during the practicum or during class time in order to attend a job interview. Such interviews should be scheduled for weekends or during after school hours.

 What if a labour dispute occurs during the practicum?

In the event of a labour dispute which affects the staff of the school in which you are placed for your practicum, you should not undertake any instructional, extracurricular activities, or other duties not performed by your Teacher Mentor, nor should you become involved in any other labour dispute between the school districts, teachers' associations, or support staff.

 Am I able to appeal a decision made about my progress in courses or in practica?

If you wish to appeal a decision made about your progress in the program you may do so. Appeals regarding academic decisions in courses should go first to the instructor. If the appeal remains unresolved, it should then be referred to the Dean, Faculty of Human, Social and Educational Development. For more information, please see the Appeal Section in this Handbook and in the TRU Calendar.

 What happens if I am absent during the extended practicum?

Teacher Candidates should understand that attendance during the extended practicum and during course work is of paramount importance. However, there may be times when personal commitments might require you to be absent. If your request is for more than one day of absence from your practicum, you must seek approval in advance from the Practica Coordinator and make arrangements to make up the missing time. If you wish to be absent at any time from practicum for personal reasons or to participate in scholastic, athletic or performance activities, you must submit a written request to your Faculty Mentor and the Practica Coordinator. An objection to your absence from your Teacher Mentor, Faculty Mentor, or school administration will likely result in your request being denied. In the event of illness, you should phone your Faculty Mentor and your Teacher Mentor as soon as possible about your absence. Please remember that if you are away for more than four days you need to provide a medical certificate. If you are absent for four or more days of practicum, you may be expected to make up for the lost time by extending your practicum for a corresponding period of time up to a maximum of two weeks. A failing grade for the extended practicum is normally issued to a Teacher Candidate whose absences total nine teaching days. (However, if such absences during the extended practicum are due to illness, the Practica Coordinator may choose to divide the thirteen-week practicum into two parts provided the student is ready to assume an 80% practicum load early on in the second half.)

 What happens if I am absent for a seminar?

Seminars are considered to be an integral part of EDPR 4200, the extended practicum. Any absence is therefore taken seriously and must be approached in the same manner as an absence during a practicum. Students must notify their Faculty Mentor in advance if they are ill and unable to attend a seminar. Special requests to be absent for personal reasons must be directed to the Practica Coordinator, as noted above.