The Indian Teacher Education Program is nearing its 40th year of teacher preparation in 2012. The program has evolved to a four-year Elementary/Middle Years and Secondary Program leading to a Bachelor of Education degree and a teaching certificate. ITEP continues to meet the mandate of post-secondary education in Saskatchewan for First Nations educators. The ITEP program inspires students to be role models so that other First Nations students will realize their potential and recognize the contributions they can make to their community and society at large. Through education ITEP teachers ensure the survival of their culture as they are academically and culturally educating the youth in Saskatchewan. Participants of this program can choose to teach in an Elementary/Middle Years or Secondary setting. ITEP also offers Community-Based teacher education by delivering courses in Big River First Nations and Northwest Nations Education Council.
“Applying to the ITEP program was one of the best decisions I have made for my future. The staff and profs were very welcoming and approachable, they were like a big ITEP family; everyone is there is for support and encouragement. I have no regrets in choosing to go for my Bachelor of Education Degree. There are so many different opportunities to get you role playing and laughing.” – Jolene Jimmy, ITEP graduate
Cross-cultural education is incorporated into the course work through the utilization of Elders and resource people of Aboriginal ancestry. On-going tutorial, academic and personal counseling services are provided by the ITEP counseling and instructional staff ensuring success of teacher candidates who partake in the largest First Nations teacher education experience in the country.
Field experiences are an integral part of the education program at the University of Saskatchewan, and will enable teacher candidates to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge about teaching as they observe students and work with individuals and small groups as well as whole classes. The faculty team and field experience coordinators will engage with teacher candidates in practical field experiences, to provide opportunities for discussion about what is learned, and to understand in depth the role of schools and teaching in Canadian society.
The field experiences offered will not simply be a chance to practice ideas learned in university classes, but will support the developing understanding of what it means to be a teaching professional. Teacher candidates will learn from many teachers and support staff in school settings, from the members of a faculty team, and from peers. Teacher candidates will also be encouraged to undertake a range of teaching and learning activities in the field throughout the program, but especially in student teaching and the internship.
Student teaching will take a variety of forms from short school visits on a weekly basis to three week long teaching periods depending on the program chosen. Internship occurs in the final year of the program, is sixteen weeks in length and allows for deep exploration and involvement in classroom and school activities, under the mentorship and support of both an experienced teacher and college supervisor.
ITEP students participate in a two to three week student teaching experience in their second and third years. Students also have many opportunities for school and community experiences associated with their education courses. At the start of a teacher candidate’s fourth year they are completely submerged in an extensive field experience for a supervised 16 week period – full-time teaching for two of those weeks at either a First Nations or Provincial school. The Community-Based programs in ITEP focus on First Nations school placements in the respective bands.
Regular Admission is available to applicants with Grade 12 and a 70% average. Early (Conditional) Admission is available to applicants who will have completed secondary level standing in Saskatchewan (or its equivalent elsewhere). Mature Admission is available to applicants who are at least 21 years of age and have been permanent residents of Saskatchewan in the 12 months immediately prior to the fi rst day of classes for the session in which they wish to enroll.
Details about the application process are available at http://www.usask.ca/education/itep/.