Faculty of Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there really job opportunities for new teachers?

The teaching profession will always need, and be able to use, good teachers, although right now in southwestern Ontario the job market is weak. Newly qualified teachers who are willing and able to relocate to rural and northern communities, other parts of Canada, or to international settings will have a definite advantage right now in finding full-time employment. Be aware, too, that many job opportunities are available outside the public school system. The B.Ed. degree and Dip.Ed. are highly desirable qualifications for a variety of jobs in community colleges, independent and private schools, tutoring companies, the justice system, cultural and community centres, museums and galleries, tour companies, health care facilities, private businesses and so on.

Are some teaching subjects more popular than others?

Certain teaching subjects at both the Junior-Intermediate and Intermediate-Senior levels are typically under-subscribed when we look each year at our applicant pool. Others teaching subjects, such as English, History, Geography, Health & Physical Education, and Social Studies, are traditionally popular.

The popularity of a teaching subject does not necessarily reflect the number of teaching positions that may be available in the province. Remember that most academic subjects, such as English and Mathematics, are taught in every school. The important issue is to choose a teaching subject you are excited about teaching and then make sure that you have the proper academic requirements on your transcript. It also helps to gain experiences that will make you a better teacher, such as volunteering in schools and with youth groups, coaching, getting involved with student government, travelling, and working in various settings.

How do I know which program stream or teaching subjects to choose?

Consider where your interests lie and what subject you most like thinking about or discussing. Probably, the undergraduate degree program you have chosen reflects this. Usually, then, the teaching subject option will become obvious.

What grade range or age group do you like best? This will indicate which program stream is the best match for you. For example, have you enjoyed working with small children at summer camp? The Primary-Junior program covers Junior-Kindergarten to Grade Six and might be an excellent choice for you. Or do you like the challenges of upper-level Chemistry or Biology? Then the high school program stream, Intermediate-Senior, might be the best program to consider, especially because these teaching subjects only exist at this level.

If you are still having trouble deciding which direction to take, you may find that your university's career services unit can offer you career counselling to help you further define your interests and strengths. You may also find resource material about teaching in the career services' libraries.

Every fall, a representative from Western's Faculty of Education visits many universities throughout the province. Join us for an information session or visit us at your university's Professional Schools Day.

One last idea is to volunteer in a school: it will help you to test the water in this new career and build your own portfolio of experiences in preparation for your application to the B.Ed. program.

How long is the program and is it offered on a part-time basis?

The Bachelor of Education/Diploma in Education program is a full-time program that runs from September until mid-May. Classes are held anytime from 8:30 am until 6:30 pm, Monday to Friday. Approximately 12 weeks of the program consist of student teaching in the classroom. The program also includes professional development days and career search support, and a two-week "Transition to Professional Practice" at the end of the academic year.

Do you have mature student or special needs admission?

Without exception, all applicants must meet the minimum admissions requirements.

The Special Consideration Profile provides an opportunity for applicants to report extenuating circumstances that may have adversely affected their academic record. If you meet the minimum requirement of a 70% average on your best 10 full undergraduate courses (and 70% in your teaching subjects, if applicable) but believe your average may not be competitive with that of other applicants, this form enables you to tell the Admissions Committee about the circumstances you believe may have prevented you from performing as well as you might otherwise have done.

Applicants of aboriginal ancestry who wish to declare so in the admissions process will receive an offer based on meeting the minimum admissions requirements.

Can I apply to more than one program?

You may choose up to two program streams when applying to our program. It is recommended that you choose the programs for which you best meet the program requirements. You may not change program streams or teaching subjects after the application deadline.

Do I have to have a major or a minor in the teaching subject I'm planning to choose?

As long as you have the appropriate credits to support your teaching subject or program stream, it does not matter in which area you complete your undergraduate degree.

Can my experience be used as a substitute for required courses or grades?

We cannot accept work experience as a substitute for minimum course requirements. Competition for a place in our program is very strong and our preference is for applicants who have fulfilled the program stream requirements to which they are applying.

How are applications evaluated?

All applications go through three stages, and the first two stages are devoted entirely to a review of your academic background. All university graduates are considered equally, and no preference is given to graduates of one university over another. First, we calculate the overall average of the top 10 full or equivalent university credits on your transcript. Without exception, this average must be 70% or more. If it is, then the application is qualified to move to stage two.

During stage two, we confirm that you have completed (or are in the process of completing) the required number of courses towards your teaching subjects and that your teaching subject averages are at least 70%.  As well, we check the total number of background credits completed for those applying to the Primary-Junior and Junior-Intermediate programs. As an elementary teacher, you will teach a diverse curriculum, and we look for applicants who have completed at least a half credit in four, five or six of the elementary curriculum areas: English, Fine Arts (Dance, Drama, Music, Visual Arts), Health & Physical Education, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies/Humanities. We will also check your total number of credits, as preference is given to those applicants who have completed the equivalent of a four-year degree (20 full credits).

If the application is still qualified at this second step, then it progresses to stage three. It is at stage three that we look at your background by evaluating your Experience Profile. Special attention is paid to applicants' communication skills and use of good grammar and spelling.

A team of qualified staff, faculty, and teachers review each application.

What is considered a full credit?

At Western one full credit is designated with a weight of 1.0. Designations vary across universities, but typically a full credit represents a course that has taken place across both the fall and winter terms.

Can I use high school or college courses to satisfy the program requirements?

Only university courses can support a program stream or teaching subject. You must have completed 10 full or equivalent university credits when applying to our program.

How do you calculate my overall and teaching subject average?

The best 10 full or equivalent undergraduate credits on your university transcripts are used in calculating your overall average. All transcripts that show averages in grades other than percentages will be converted to percentages. We will use a combination of full and half credits, if applicable, to give you the best advantage. An overall average of 70% in these credits is required. Please submit all copies of your transcripts if you have attended more than one university. Western graduates need not order or send Western transcripts when applying to Western's Faculty of Education, but they must order transcripts for institutions attended prior to or after Western..

Graduate credits are not considered when calculating your overall average, but can be used to support your teaching subject. Only credits supporting your teaching subject will be used in calculating the teaching subject average. An overall average of 70% in these credits is required.

Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

Why will the courses I am currently taking this fall not be included in the calculation of the overall average or teaching subject average of this year's application?

Transcripts must be submitted by the application deadline when applying to our B.Ed program. Courses that are currently being taking in the fall will not appear officially on your transcript with grades until January, and these grades will therefore not be used in calculating averages.

If you are taking or will be taking courses to complete a program stream or teaching subject requirements, please include these courses in the TEAS application for consideration.

How do I know which of my courses meet the teaching subject requirements?

Core courses are those courses that are offered in a department directly related to your teaching subject (e.g., English 1020 in the English Department). Related courses must have substantial content that relates to your teaching subject (e.g., Political Science for History). If you have courses on your undergraduate or graduate degree transcripts related to teaching subjects or elementary school general academic areas, then you must submit course descriptions to the Office of the Registrar at Western by the application deadline for the courses to be considered. Course descriptions must be copied directly from the granting institution's academic calendar. Western reserves the right to accept or deny the appropriateness of any courses submitted for consideration.

For more information on related credits, please visit the Related Subject Chart (PDF).

I still have more questions. How do I reach you?

Please contact us at eduwo@uwo.ca or 519-661-2093. Due to the very large number of inquiries we receive during the application period, we may not be able to respond to further requests for information before the application deadline. Information Sessions about applying to the Faculty are being offered until the end of November, and you are encouraged to attend and to ask questions there. Please consider carefully the guidelines provided on our web site, and submit your application by the deadline. Our evaluators will in due course review all the information you provide and do everything they can to view your application in the most favourable light possible. For information on applying and application deadlines, please visit our How to Apply web page.