Last week, we recognized the 140 students who completed their practicum experience and graduated from our Bachelor of Education program. After two years of hard work, these graduates have earned their BEd and are now certified to teach with private and public school boards – in both Catholic and non-Catholic settings.
From this graduating class, we are thrilled to see that over half of our graduates had already received job offers during their last week of practicum, with many already starting both full-time and substitute work within a week of graduation.
“It is really exciting to see so many of our graduates finishing their last week of practicum with job offers from multiple school boards. It really validates how prepared they are after a successful practicum experience,” says Yvonne Hermann, Practicum Administrator.
In a practicum placement, St. Mary’s students who are enrolled in our Bachelor of Education program gain valuable, hands-on experience working in classrooms. This allows students to craft their teaching skills and apply the concepts and knowledge that they learn in their coursework to a real world environment.
As a result, graduates of our education program are recognized by our school board partners as being confident in classrooms and committed to the success of their students. But how do we compare to the education programs offered at other universities?
“Part of what makes the Bachelor of Education program at St. Mary’s stand out is that the number of weeks our students spend in classrooms gaining hands-on experience is slightly longer than most other programs,” explains Dr. Laurie Hill, Associate Professor, Education.
More time in the classroom means that students are gaining extra experience and confidence, setting them up for success upon graduation. And with 26 weeks of practicum experience in a two-year program, our students are ready to navigate teaching with confidence. Smaller class sizes also enhance the student experience, with more mentorship opportunities available to learn from experienced teachers who work with StMU as Practicum Advisors.
“Arguably the most important aspect of this education program is the relational quality that underpins all the processes that are part of organizing the practicum,” says Laurie. “The Practicum Advisors, who mentor our pre-service teachers in their field experience, are especially dedicated to supporting the pre-service teachers in their journey to develop and grow as emerging teachers.”
We keep class sizes small to maintain the student experience, despite the size of the program having doubled in the last 7 years – from 138 first and second-year students in 2015 to 276 first and second-year students in 2022.
Congratulations to these new teachers – we can’t wait to see what you achieve as you help shape the future of education!