After-degree Program - Elementary & Secondary Education

After-degree Program - Elementary & Secondary Education

A Reputation for Excellence

St. Mary’s University is proud of our sterling reputation for preparing excellent teachers who are ready to be effective from day one of their teaching careers. The quality of our graduates is  evident by the long list of district and regional winners of the Edwin Parr Teacher Award for outstanding first-year teachers who are graduates from our program. Our reputation for fostering the development of excellent teachers means that our graduates are sought after by Catholic and Public school districts and international organizations seeking teachers for overseas positions.

Bachelor of Education

The two-year Bachelor of Education (Elementary and Secondary Streams) After-Degree Program at St. Mary’s University is designed to prepare teachers for elementary (K-6) and secondary (7-12) levels in Alberta schools.

The degree is designed to provide an intensive orientation to, and mastery of the knowledge, skills and attributes essential for those who would teach in Alberta and beyond, with particular reference to the unique environment of the Alberta Catholic school system. Instruction is delivered by a combination of core education faculty members and experienced field practitioners who have attained advanced academic training in educational studies combined with extensive experience as teachers and leaders in Canadian schools. The innovative curriculum blends theory, practice and reflection, from highly qualified professors. A robust teaching practicum requirement in each semester of the program ensures graduates leave with highly practical and up-to-date teaching approaches and hands-on experience in the classroom.

Guiding our teacher preparation program is our signature pedagogy that values the dignity of human experience as a pillar of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. A three-pronged approach of academic coursework, practicum teaching and ongoing professionalization aims to foster communities of practice built on trust and high-quality educational dialogue. 

StMU’s program provides foundational learning for understanding the context of our First Nation communities and our histories as a process of reconciliation and healing dedicated to creating a welcoming environment for Indigenous students and a place of intentional and meaningful dialogue for all.

Bachelor of Education Mission Statement:

StMU’s Bachelor of Education program supports the development of new teachers as leaders in holistic education rooted in ethical and responsive praxis.

What is holistic education?

Holistic education refers to the idea that teachers are professionals responsible for more than just teaching content. Rather, teachers are stewards of the growth and development of children whose needs require us to support them mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Our program provides teachers with the knowledge, skills and aptitudes they need to provide their students with a robust, holistic education.

What is an ethical and responsive praxis?

Praxis refers to the process through which theory and practice interact, test each other and lead to meaningful changes in response to the evolving needs of the children and society we serve. We have an ethical responsibility to continue to seek ways to improve the quality of education we can provide. It is not ethical for teachers to continue using the practices of the past if they do not meet the needs of the students in front of them. Our dedication to praxis is a key reason that you will engage in innovative, evidence-based coursework as well as a practicum every semester while you are at StMU.

Full-Time Faculty
Dr. Laurie Carlson Berg (Dean)
Dr. Harrison Campbell
Dr. Trent Davis
Dr. Valerie McDougall
Dr. Paolina Seitz
Dr. Cory Wright-Maley

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Program Overview

Program Features and Opportunities: 

The Cohort Model:

Our cohort model is a signature feature of the Bachelor of Education program. When you enter the program, you are placed with a cohort of your peers and remain together throughout the entire program. Except for the two subject-specialization courses that secondary preservice teachers take, your and your cohort will attend all your classes together. This allows you to develop deep and trusting relationships, take productive risks and build supportive, collegial networks. Cohorts help to cultivate the conditions you need to learn most effectively while providing you with the skills you need to work well as part of a professional staff. We believe the cohort model is a key reason why our students are so in demand when they graduate.

Extensive Practicum Experience:

StMU collaborates with all of the school boards in and surrounding Calgary to offer practicum placements in each of the four semesters of the program. These practica span a total of 26 full-time weeks in which students are typically placed in three different schools. These experiences offer supervised hands-on training that supports your development as you progress through the program. In each practicum experience, you are supported by the mentorship of a classroom teacher and a university practicum advisor who provide feedback and guidance.

In addition to in-province practicum placements, St. Mary’s University offers you international and out-of-province experiences for your third practicum. These opportunities have taken place in Mexico, Taiwan and British Columbia (Catholic Independent Schools of Prince George).

Specialization Opportunities:

We offer two specialization programs that you may opt to participate in: The Teacher Leader Project and French Pedagogy specializations offer unique programming opportunities. Additionally, all graduates who specialized in these streams have been offered employment within a few weeks of applying to the districts of their choice.

What is the Teacher Leadership Specialization?

Our Teacher Leader Project specialization provides additional practicum time teaching hands-on in the classroom at the same school for the entirety of the program, where you will develop strong relationships and provide a service to the schools where you work.

Participating preservice teachers receive sustained mentorship from their practicum site, community and dedicated Practicum Advisor. At the same time, you will take on the role of researcher by investigating strategies to enhance and support the school experience. For this research, you and your mentors will pay careful attention to your school environments to better understand how fostering an intentional community of learners might inspire “bright spots” in teaching and learning.

The results so far have been incredible, with graduates from this program going on to win teaching awards, present their work at conferences, attend graduate school and feel confident that they are valuable members of their school communities.

What is the French Language Specialization?

Our French Language Pedagogy Specialization supports anyone who speaks French by providing you additional practicum time teaching hands-on in the classroom and student-led research in a designated immersion school. You will receive sustained mentorship from your practicum site, community, language instructor and dedicated Practicum Advisor.

By participating in this program, you are given enrichment opportunities to develop your French Language skills and your understanding of the pedagogy of teaching French in an immersion setting.

French Immersion schools in Alberta always look for bright new teachers, but this in-demand skill can often be hard to find. The Federal Government estimates that only 7% of Albertans are fluent in French. This means that students in our B.Ed. program with the gift of a second language possess a niche and critical skill and are highly sought after by schools with a bilingual focus.

Learn more about applying to StMU

Admission Requirements

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