Students looking to stay in school may have another option on their desks. A new scholarship has become available to help transform the taught into the teacher.
Pathway to Teacher Education will be available for B.C. Grade 12 students who are thinking about entering the teaching profession as a career after they graduate.
“I think that anything that we can do to encourage the brightest and the best to go into teaching is a good thing … hopefully, it will encourage people to enter the field,” said Larry Espe, superintendent for School District 60.
Applications are now available for students who would like to apply for the scholarship, which will be given out for the first time to students who are graduating in the 2012/2013 school year.
“These new scholarships will help attract a new generation of students into the teaching profession. As a teacher myself, I am confident that they will find teaching a challenging and rewarding career,” said Don McRae, education minister.
Students who wish to be considered must maintain a B average in all Grade 11 and Grade 12 final courses. The scholarships are geared towards encouraging exceptional students to consider teacher as a career, “especially in subjects that are currently underrepresented such as math and science,” explained a spokesperson for the ministry of education.
Those students who apply for the scholarship must be planning on teaching as a career but are able to redeem their $5,000 upon entering one of B.C.’s faculty of education programs.
The scholarship will mesh well with a local teacher training program offered by the college.
“We actually offer a teacher training program at Northern Lights College. It’s called the Alaska Highway Consortium on Teacher Education (AHCOTE),” said Brad Lyon, executive director of communications and community relations for Northern Lights College.
The AHCOTE program, which is offered in Fort St. John, has been part of Northern Lights of almost 25 years and is in conjunction with Simon Fraser University according to Lyon.
“They study up here, but we work in conjunction with Simon Fraser when it comes to making sure that the courses that we offer are the appropriate ones for teaching training. You do everything up here, but we’ve got the partnership in place with Simon Fraser University to make sure for certification and credentialing,” said Lyon.
While Northern Lights College has not yet been able to confirm from the Province how the criteria might apply to NLC, overall, the scholarships are seen as a positive thing for students within the Peace Region who might consider a teaching career and may chose Northern Lights College to complete their education.
“Generally, this type of announcement is certainly very positive because it gives incentive for people who are looking to get into the field of education a little bit of a kick start to be able to do it with some additional finances,” said Lyon.
“From our perspective, if it can help a couple of or a few students who are in the north and looking to get into teaching to enroll in Northern Lights college and get started in the AHCOTE program, then that’s great.”