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St. Mary’s Bachelor of Education After Degree

From application to convocation…

On convocation day our Bachelor of Education graduates are delighted as they are handed their diplomas from St. Mary’s president, Dr. Gerry Turcotte and are recognized by Bishop Fred Henry, dignitaries and family members. This is one of the most exciting days for faculty, supervisors and staff as we know that as our graduates will enter the world of education.

St. Mary’s University Bachelor of Education is a two year post degree program. Students have already completed their first degree when they arrive. Many students choose St. Mary’s for their undergrad degree with hopes of entering the program. Other applicants may have completed their undergrad elsewhere and have experienced work or travel opportunities. Most important, however, is that each applicant has taken the time to think about teaching as a career and have pursued this choice as a vocation.

Since the onset of the program in 2008 when Catholic school districts in Alberta gathered together to create “something more than an education,” school districts across the province, western Canada and beyond have sought the excellence of teacher graduates from St. Mary’s University. In addition to being recognized as a program of excellence, St. Mary’s Bachelor of Education program is also noted for being the only program in western Canada that offers teacher preparation for those who have aspirations to teach in Catholic school setting as well as a non-Catholic school setting.

Bachelor of Education quote

Graduates of the Bachelor of Education program at St. Mary’s are described by our school district partners as mature, confident and hardworking individuals who are committed to helping their students succeed. In addition to the strong knowledge skills and attributes expected of teachers, the program provides opportunities to understand the philosophy, spirituality and profession of teaching in Catholic and non-Catholic settings.

Each applicant who is admitted to the program is carefully chosen to ensure that they are the best fit for the following two years of rigorous coursework and teaching assignments. In addition to transcripts, reference letters and essay questions, each applicant is personally interviewed by faculty and supervisors of the Bachelor of Education program.

Teachers should feel like they have a support system and our program has been designed in a cohort model where student teachers have opportunities to network and collaborate together, much like a school staff. Collegial relationships are established and ongoing discussions and conversations allow the sharing of ideas, and various perspectives. In our classrooms we teach techniques of inspiration, engagement for learning and team teaching collaboration.

Bachelor of Education quote

St. Mary’s offers three extensive practicum experiences during the two year program. Opportunities are provided not only in Division One, Division Two and K-9 school settings but also in schools of specialization and international settings. Student teachers who have demonstrated success in an area of concentration with their first degree and have previous training experience and interest may apply for such opportunities. Student teaching practicum locations include Calgary and area as well as within Alberta, Western Canada and international possibilities.

Bachelor of Education quote

The Bachelor of Education program strives to successfully link theory to practice wherever possible. Our faculty members, instructors and supervisors hold B.Ed. degrees with teaching experience. This is an essential component to ensure the best possible delivery of course outcomes, knowledge and skills. Instructor team teaching, guest presentations and ongoing collaboration with partner districts add tremendous value and expertise.

Our faculty and instructors embrace our welcoming environment and community spirit from their first days at St. Mary’s University. One of our newest sessional instructors recently said that “there was a real sense of welcome during the student orientation and an inclusiveness that was a pleasure to be part of. I think that the focus on building and sustaining relationships is wonderful.”

Generous donors offer their time and financial support through scholarships and bursaries. This investment in our program is particularly evident on the evening of the Awards and Scholarship presentations where so many of our candidates receive scholarships and bursaries that help support them as they complete their studies. One donor said that “the Bachelor of Education program at St. Mary’s University has quickly become recognized for its teaching excellence and the student teachers that I have met demonstrate these qualities every time I visit the campus. I see this program as a gift for my grandchildren and hope for the future.”

Personally, I am thankful and grateful that we have an institution that is developing teachers specifically for the Catholic school system.

Children enter the classroom with not only their individual personalities and experiences and but also with their own spirituality and faith experiences. Our teachers recognize the importance of knowing who they are as individuals and leaders. Opportunities for reflection and deep discussions help teachers to understand themselves and develop leadership qualities before making the decision to be in front of children.

Bachelor of Education quote

St. Mary’s Bachelor of Education program will continue to experience significant growth and that will come with both challenges and successes. This program is more than just an education and our student teachers are at the heart of it. Together we overcome challenges and create a rich learning environment! We look forward to meeting you and welcome you to be a part of our community of learning!