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Entering the U.S. market

Continuing Teacher Education Office at Queen's University now offers courses for teachers in the United States.

A leader in online professional development for teachers in Ontario for more than 20 years, and more recently in British Columbia, the Continuing Teacher Education Office at Queen’s University is now expanding into the United States market.

With many states requiring teachers to complete Continuing Teacher and Leadership Education (CTLE) courses to maintain their licenses, the Continuing Teacher Education Office at Queen's University sees a great opportunity for growth. (Photo by neonbrand/Unsplash)

It is increasingly mandatory in many states for teachers to complete Continuing Teacher and Leadership Education (CTLE) courses to maintain their licenses. Seeing a massive opportunity for growth, the CTE Office created courses with the United States teacher in mind, based around what is known as Common Core Standards. The CTE Office is now an approved CTLE sponsor in New York state.

As with the Ontario and B.C. programming, these new courses make use of the Faculty of Education’s instructional strengths and leadership in research, while providing an online platform that allows users to develop new skills, collect valuable resources, share ideas, and collaborate with a community of learners. Many comparable programs utilize Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), says Nathan Cheney, Business Developer in the Professional Studies Office. These courses provide the required content and, once complete, a certificate is awarded. In contrast, all Queen’s courses are instructor-led. The courses are supported by current research but also based in practice, designed with the working teacher in mind.

“This offers an opportunity to be different from a lot of the other professional development courses. All of our courses have up-to-date research that is written by experts in the field,” Cheney says.  “Our courses are written by teachers for teachers. These aren’t courses that are designed to give you overarching theory only. They are designed to be directly applicable to something the teachers can use in the classroom, which is an important feature.”

The first courses – Teaching Mathematics in Elementary Schools and Teaching English Language Learners – started being offered Nov. 12.

Another important component is that the Queen’s courses also create a “community of learners,” through open discussions with instructors as well as fellow teachers.

“In my opinion, the best thing about these courses is the discussion component. We’ll have 15 or 20 teachers in a class and in doing so they must interact with each other, which means they are setting up a community of learners, they are setting up a resource group,” Cheney says. “The courses are designed so that participants are sharing their resources as part of the discussion board. So not only are you walking away with the resources you get from the expert instructor, you are walking away with resources from all these other instructors who are in the class with you.”

As seen in the Ontario and B.C. courses these networks can continue long after the course is complete. The interactive nature of the courses also allows variety of perspectives to be voiced, says Jessica Della-Latta, Executive Director of Professional and Non-Credit Programs at the Faculty of Education.

“What’s great about the courses being online is you can get so many perspectives. You can have a seasoned inner city teacher and a new rural teacher sharing their point of view and experiences,” she says. “You get the richness of all these perspectives which creates the opportunity for problem-solving, creativity and new outlooks to challenges. In the Ontario and B.C. courses professional friendships develop and the mutual support that is so important within the course continues long after the course ends. It’s not only setting up an expert level course that is written and designed for them, it’s setting up an opportunity for them to have colleagues from across the country that they can lean on throughout their careers.”

For more information or to register, visit the CTE website