Teacher Education Forum 2023, Watch it Here!
How to Become a Teacher Starting with your KPU Degree
KPU does not have its own Teacher Education programs, but we do help our students successfully prepare to enter elementary or secondary education programs at SFU, UBC, University of Victoria, University of the Fraser Valley, or other lower mainland institutions.
Step 1: Choose Elementary or Secondary Education:
Each program has different entry requirements, and can lead to different choices in your major(s) and/or minor(s) at KPU. Elementary education requires a certain group of courses for all applicants but no specific major or minor. Secondary education requires a student to have a teachable major or two teachable minors. Each school has its own list of what those subjects are; some common options are English, Social Studies (History, Geography, some other Arts disciplines), Math, or Biology.
More importantly, with what age of schoolchildren do you want to work? If you don’t know already, try setting up an informational interview with your favorite teacher from high school or elementary school and ask them what they love and hate about their chosen grade! Ask them how they prepare for each day/week and what a typical day/week is like.
Step 2: Determine what you like to study:
It’s good to know what subject of teacher is most in demand at a certain time – we all want job security! However, you still have to like what you’re going to teach, so find a subject you enjoy. Take courses in different disciplines in your first year to explore your options.
Step 3: Talk with an academic advisor!
At KPU, students can start their academic journeys with some assistance from Central Advising or International Advising. They can help you explore your major and minor options and discuss how our degrees are structured. Once you’ve declared into a bachelor’s degree, you would speak with a Degree Advisor (usually Arts but maybe Business or Science depending on your program).
Step 4: Around 60 credits, start checking the websites of education programs:
Entrance requirements for the education programs change and update, so as you head into the last 60 credits of your bachelor’s degree, check in on the websites of your desired schools. Attend an info session, either virtually or in person to look at their campuses.
Education programs are very competitive; you need above the minimum recommended GPA, as well as good reference letters and the required volunteering requirements. Check in with each school to determine what is a competitive GPA. They will be looking at your last 60 credits, so mistakes in your first year won’t count against you.
This would also be the time to start volunteering a few hours a week; part of every admissions requirement is time spent with your desired age group. Do some volunteering with a school, or a community centre, tutoring centre, summer camp, or other organization that works with your desired population. This helps make sure you know what you’re getting into!
Step 5: Start applying the fall before you want to start your education program:
No matter in which semester you finish your bachelor’s degree, you need to start the application process one full year ahead of the start of your education program. Some students finish in a fall semester and use the spring and summer to continue volunteering. Most students finish their degrees in a spring semester, and need a note from their Degree Advisor assuring the next school that they are finishing on time in order to be considered for their program. If you are graduating in a summer semester, you will definitely need to stay in touch with Degree Advising to support your application.