New education graduates still awaiting certification

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Des new teaching graduates are still waiting for certification

Chelsey Brassard is still awaiting her full teaching certificate from the Ontario College of Teachers, despite graduating from the University of Ottawa Education program in April.

Some graduates of the teaching program say they face significant delays in receiving their certificates from the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). They are worried they will be able to land a permanent job in September, when the teacher shortage is “huge” according to an expert.

Chelsey Brassard, who graduated from the program of Education at the University of Ottawa in April, began applying for certification in May 2021, while still a student.

Almost a year later, the OCT issued him a temporary certificate valid until December, an emergency measure to deal with the shortage of teachers caused by COVID-19. 19. Ms. Brassard wants to find a permanent teaching position, but says she can't do it with a temporary certificate.

“Without this full certificate, it stops me from dreaming. This prevents my career from taking off. It only puts a damper on my future.

— Chelsey Brassard, University of Ottawa teaching graduate

She says she called several times to inquire about her candidacy, but each time she waited three or four hours before speaking to a representative.

When she received her temporary certificate in May, the graduate went in search of emergency substitute positions in schools and saw how high the demand for teachers was.

I was called every day in May and June, she says.

Taylor Harnden also recently graduated from the University of Ottawa Education program and began applying for certification in December 2021. She received a certificate temporary in May.

My process with OCT was very, very frustrating from the start and sometimes worrying, she points out.

Taylor Harnden (right) during his call from the University of Ottawa in June after completing his program in April.

The graduate explains that she had problems with her application when she was told that her degree, from a new program in partnership with the Algonquin College, was not recognized by OCT.

After calling multiple times and waiting hours to speak to a representative, she feels she received confusing and sometimes conflicting information.

It's just frustrating because ;they tell you not to call. But when you call, they have answers for you, but it's all discordant messages, she adds.

The delays have also been a financial concern for Ms. Harnden, who points out that the lack of a full certificate has hampered her job search.

The delays in applying for the x27;OCTs are increasingly common, said Joel Westheimer, professor of social foundations of education at the University of Ottawa and education columnist for CBC Radio.

Westheimer says he's heard the application process is incredibly frustrating for many aspiring teachers who spend hours on hold and can't get their emails answered.

Joel Westheimer teaches in the Department of Education at the University of Ottawa.

While the need for teachers is huge, according to the professor, he fears that new graduates will become discouraged by the whole process.

We have a shortage of teachers. We are coming out of the pandemic. We desperately need new, energetic and enthusiastic teachers. We are now using tons of temp teachers to fill positions that should be filled by certified teachers, he explains.

OCT spokesperson said to have received a much higher than normal volume of documents, calls and emails.

Between January 1 and June 1, 2022, OCT certified over 3,000 Ontario graduates, including temporary certificates.

The college adds that all certificate applications are processed within 30 business days of receipt of required documents, and expects that this year's spring graduates will be certified in the coming weeks.

Based on information from CBC's Safiyah Marhnouj

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