Ladder to Masters

Ladder to Masters

This pathway will be discontinued in Summer 2021. Only Teacher Candidates graduating before Spring 2021 are eligible.

Bachelor of Education graduates have the opportunity to use their Specialty courses to gain advanced standing in our Master of Professional Education (MPEd). The MPEd is a professionally-focused, course-based Master’s degree delivered completely online, allowing students to work full-time while completing the program.

laddering diagram

click to enlarge

What's an MPEd?

What is a Master of Professional Education (MPEd)?

Western Education’s Master of Professional Education (MPEd) is a professionally-focused, course-based Master’s degree designed to address problems of practice in teaching and related industries. We offer many different fields of study within the MPEd, and most are delivered online over a two-year period of study. Courses are delivered sequentially, enabling students to work full-time while completing the program.

How are courses delivered?

MPEd courses are delivered online using OWL. The exact format will depend on the instructor and the time zones of the students, but courses typically include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. For example, the instructor may provide weekly electronic readings, a monthly class meeting (with students joining via webcam), weekly discussion boards, student-led forum discussions and periodic student presentations via webcam.

Who will I study with?

Students in our MPEd programs come from a wide array of backgrounds. Many are professional teachers, though they also come from other industries such as higher education, policy, government, nursing, policing and business. Their professional experience ranges from one year to three decades.

We group our students into cohorts of 20-25 people who progress through the program together. This allows for strong relationships and networks to develop, and gives students the opportunity to really get to know each other.

Can I work or travel while I complete the MPEd?

Absolutely! Our MPEd is an online degree structured to enable (and encourage) students to work while completing the program. Courses are sequential, meaning students complete one course at a time.

Why complete a Master of Professional Education (MPEd)?

Graduate school is an excellent opportunity to explore a topic that interests you more thoroughly. A Master’s Degree carries a lot of weight in the teaching job market and those who have a Master’s Degree are regarded as experts in their field. In addition, a Master’s Degree is the basic requirement for teaching at the college or university level.

Obtaining an MPEd can also help make you a better teacher, as the degree has a strong emphasis on pedagogy, teaching methods, philosophy of education and educational technology. This skill set will enrich your teaching career and demonstrate your readiness for leadership positions.

As well, obtaining a graduate degree has been shown to provide many personal and professional benefits. The Council of Ontario Universities’ 2015 report on Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey reveals that Master's and Doctoral graduates have:

Higher annual earnings:

Diagram showing salary earnings

How does laddering work?

What is Laddering?

Laddering is the opportunity to apply specific Western University Bachelor of Education Specialization courses towards advanced standing in our MPEd. Bachelor of Education graduates who ladder into an MPEd will be able to complete the MPEd in 14-16 months, instead of the regular 24-month period of study.

How long will it take to complete the MPEd with laddering?

Students in the MPEd take one course at a time, enabling them to continue working full-time while pursuing their degree. While the MPEd is typically 6 terms in length, BEd students who ladder into the program are able to skip 2 terms:

Diagram showing how the BEd ladders to the MPEd

Which MPEd can I ladder into?

MPEd laddering opportunities are based on the specialty area or teaching subjects you complete in Western's Bachelor of Education. Currently, the following partnerships exist:

BEd Specialty Area MPEd Field of Study Start Date
Advanced Studies in the Psychology of Achievement, Inclusion and Mental Health Teaching Students with Exceptionalities Summer - June
Early Childhood Education Early Childhood Education Intersession - May
Mathematics Through the Arts Mathematics Education Intersession - May
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Curriculum and Pedagogy Intersession - May
Urban Education Equity, Diversity and Social Justice Intersession - May
BEd Teaching Subjects MPEd Field of Study Start Date
I/S Mathematics Mathematics Education Summer - June

Note that these partnerships are subject to change

How much does the MPEd cost?

The MPEd degree is a full-time program. Tuition fees are charged per course and there are eight courses within each MPEd. BEd graduates who ladder into the MPEd will receive advanced standing for one or two courses and pay for six or seven courses instead of eight.

Note: Tuition is assessed by course. Fees are set annually by the Board of Governors and are published on the Office of the Registrar's website.

Will the MPEd allow me to move to A4 pay scale status with the Ontario teaching unions?

Possibly. There are several routes to reach A4 pay status, and the completion of an eight-credit Master’s Degree is one possible route. The recognition of advanced standing (or laddering credits) will depend on each union’s assessment. We recommend all students review the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) and Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario (QECO) membership requirements.

How many credits is the MPEd?

Western Education's MPEd degree is an eight-credit degree, however, if you ladder into the degree from Western's BEd you need only complete six-credits to obtain the degree (the only case for five-credits is for MPEd Teaching Students with Exceptionalities).

If you decide that you wish to take additional elective courses to have a complete eight-credit Master's Degree, we suggest that you take the additional courses over the Fall and Winter terms. You have the option of completing the additional courses through the Faculty of Education graduate programs or through the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student program which is a consortium of Ontario universities that allow students to take courses through their institution. Additional fees will apply. Further information regarding these options will be shared with you during the summer time before such decisions need to be made.

Applying to ladder

How do I apply to ladder into an MPEd?

During the second year of their BEd, students can apply to ladder into an MPEd. Applications for 2021 start are due January 31, 2021.  Please ensure the intention to ladder is clearly indicated on your statement of intent.

What are the admissions criteria?

Admission is based on competition and is not guaranteed. The Admissions Committee will consider a student's undergraduate average, a letter of intent, three references and a resume. These are not weighted and are considered in no particular order.

Learn more

Prospective Bachelor of Education students - contact your Student Recruitment Coordinator

Current Bachelor of Education students - contact Jennifer Davila, Graduate Office Manager at 519-661-2111 ext. 82784

Please note: MPEd programs that are available for laddering are assessed on a yearly basis and options may change each year.