I.S.T.T.C.P – Background information and Next Steps!

Historical Development of the

In-Service Teacher Training Certificate Program          



One of the most frequent questions asked is “Where did this program come from?” Let’s take a few minutes to answer this question. The concept for this program was born during the negotiation of the Academic Employees Collective Agreement (1987-1989). The Letter of Understanding, initiating the I.S.T.T.P. (the In-Service Teacher Training Program), can be found on page 91 of the Agreement. The subsequent collective agreements (1991-1994 and 1996-2001) reaffirm the parties’ commitment to the quality of teaching through such a program. * *The 1996-2001 Collective Agreement states that the In-Service Teacher Training Program Certificate entitles an employee to progress to the maximum step on the salary schedule. (14.03A4, p.27, also see p. 94)

Accessibility The Council of Regents and O.P.S.E.U. are committed to ensure quality teaching in the Ontario Community Colleges. The program must be accessible to all faculty members, counsellors, and librarians. When we discuss DISTANCE EDUCATION, you will see that this method of delivery is the most accessible to academic staff at all Ontario Community Colleges. Task Force All academic staff currently do not hold the credentials required to progress to the maximum step of the salary scale. This program opens a door for those academic staff at any Ontario C.A.A.T. interested in continuing their yearly advancement to the top of the salary scale.

A Task Force monitors this program. The original Task Force, appointed by the parties from members of the negotiating teams, has membership as follows:

four (4) O.P.S.E.U. representatives

four (4) Council of Regents representatives

This Task Force has selected St. Clair College to deliver this curriculum. The College is the third part to the Task Force. As you can see, the Task Force is involved in most aspects of the program.

From the beginning, the Task Force has maintained its commitment to insure that the ISTTCP is both high quality and advanced. The members of the Task Force recognize that a large number of the participants in the program have extensive experience in the college system.

The Program Policies booklet that is available with this module is one example of their hard work. Communication with Your Employer If you have been a full-time academic staff member in the Ontario community college system for more than 15 years, and are currently not at Max. Step, once you register into the program, you are entitled to an immediate (once only) step increment. For example, if you have 18 years service and are currently at Step 12, you will be entitled to move immediately to Step 13 from the date of registration into this program. It is your responsibility to inform your employer that you are participating in this program. You have received one (1) copy of your processed Registration Form from our Office. It is up to you to send a copy to your Human Resources Department to inform them of your registration in this Module. You should complete this process each time you register for a module until you successfully complete the program. Once you have completed or received credit for all six (6) modules in this program, you will be entitled to progress to the maximum step in the usual manner, one step per year. The Task Force policy is that participants will have up to three (3) years from the date of initial registration to complete the program. Participants have a maximum of three (3) months in between modules to maintain registration status. Again, it is your responsibility to provide your employer with any documentation requested. Task Force policy states that we are to communicate only with you, the registrant. Let’s return to the example used in the previous paragraph. The academic staff member, who progressed to Step 13 upon registration in the program, will continue at Step 13 until completion of the program. Upon satisfactory completion, he/she would then receive yearly step increments up to, and including the maximum step.

Overview of the Program All program participants must obtain credit for each of the six (6) modules. Modules 1 and 6 are compulsory. As for the remaining modules, you may obtain advanced credit standing for one or all of them by direct credit transfer of courses you have completed (see details in 6.2 of the Program Policies) or by completing the process for prior learning assessment. (See Advanced Standing document that accompanies this module).

Long service teachers (10 years post-probation) and teachers who are in receipt of “teachers of excellence” awards are only required to complete Module I, IS 150 and Module VI, IS 650. If they wish, they may register in other modules as well.

Our Distance Model and How It Will Work Most academic staff work in traditional settings in which the students/clients come to them. Probably the majority see their students/clients on a fairly regular basis, whether in a classroom, lab, shop, library, office, or in the field. Distance education is defined as learning that takes place outside a traditional classroom. The teacher is not present for most or all of the time spent in study. There is regular, formalized contact with the institution. The learner is free, within certain policy guidelines, to learn at a time and pace convenient for him/her. In this non-traditional setting, the teacher, using various materials and technologies such as print, video, and audio and the Internet, develops a “learning climate” or environment for the students. The teacher acts as a learning resource. The student acts as learning manager. Thus, the student must be self-directed and independent. He/she uses learning materials and supports in ways best for his/her learning. This does, however, free the student from worrying about attendance at scheduled classes in scheduled semesters. In this section, we will explain our learning climate. This includes resources such as the online interface or learning package, the peer/support group as well as technology such as e-mail, the Internet, on-line discussion groups and communication links.

The Learning Package For each module, participants will access a learning package which may contain a study guide.

For example the learning package for Module 1 consists of this study guide. In the study guides, we will always inform you of the best time to use each component of the learning package. As learning manager, you can work through the materials at your pace, just as you are doing now. Remember that your learning does not depend on an instructor being present and you are not obliged to attend regular classes. In each module you will complete exercises and submit assignments such as reports and essays following specific directions.

You control the pace. You will decide when you want to begin a module and the time it takes you to work through it within policy guidelines. Suggested schedules have been incorporated in each of Modules 2 through 5. As we have mentioned, this program is an advanced program for academic staff with varying levels of experience. As a teacher, you expect your students to study outside assigned classroom hours; so do we. For each of the hours assigned to the content, the average participant will spend a minimum of three (3) hours per week, usually reading and preparing reports and essays.


Peer / Support Group No one is alone in this program. There are many other academic staff members taking it at the same time. Your peers in the program are some of your best resources. Meeting them is a great opportunity to develop a network, but more importantly, it can reduce the feeling of isolation that learners enrolled in a correspondence course often experience. Throughout the modules, we will suggest a number of activities to do; some will be done independently, while others will be best completed in a group setting. How does one become a member of the peer/support group system? Ask the Program Support Officer for a list of names of other participants from your college. Please note that only those people who gave permission to list their name is included. If you would like your name added please let us know. Contact some of the people, and see if they want to get together for a group meeting. Many peer groups are pairs or small groups that have found it useful to meet to discuss the program. If you are in an online program, the discussion groups will include faculty from various colleges. During peer group meetings, you may do the group activities from the module, resolve any questions that result from your individual work, and discuss the module content. Assignments must exhibit individual effort. In our other distance education programs, we find that the majority of students go to group meetings regularly because they find they really benefit from these discussions. We would suggest that you make an effort to try out peer/support groups, and see if this resource is helpful to you. Remember that using the peer/support group system is entirely up to you.

E-mail If you are enrolled in the online version of this program, you will be part of a communications network of students, you will be able to e-mail your tutor/advisor. People enrolled in the “mail-in” program will also have access to a tutor/advisor by phone, e-mail or regular mail. Activities Throughout this program, there are many self-reflective activities. These activities do not need to be submitted to your tutor/advisor.

Tutor / Advisor The tutor/advisor serves as a role model for exemplary teaching practices and assists in the assessment of participant’s progress through interaction with them. These assessments will be for the exclusive use of I.S.T.T.P. participants. The tutor/advisor provides an information source regarding assignments and then acts as a marker providing valuable feedback to the participants. This person also assists in the evaluation, revision, and updating of modules by providing regular feedback to the host institution. The tutor/advisor profile, outlining duties and responsibilities as well as training experience and skill, is included in the Program Policies manual.

Evaluation of You, the Participant In each module, you will be given assignments to complete. You will be provided with specific instructions on how to submit your assignments and detailed guidelines on evaluation. If you are in a situation in which you have limited or no student contact, or you are in a non-teaching position, the assignments can be modified, allowing completion of the objectives for the module. Counsellors, librarians, co-ordinators, as well as teachers on educational leaves have completed the program with modified assignments. Contact the Program Office for assistance. You may submit assignments at your convenience within the time limits for completion of each module, outlined in the Program Policies manual. Submit the assignments as you complete them, or all together at the end of each module. Once you have received notification of satisfactory completion of assignments for one (1) module, you can register for the next module. Evaluation of assignments will be based on the grading policy set by the Task Force and outlined in the Program Policies manual.

Evaluation of the Program When we developed this curriculum, we focused on the learner’s needs. Throughout this program, we will be asking for your feedback. Your constructive criticism will be essential in assisting us to determine if our program is meeting your needs. You will be asked to complete an Online Evaluation Form as part of each module. We are asking you to be critical of yourself as an academic staff member by doing assessments, and we are also asking that you be critical of us by constantly giving us feedback as to whether or not we are meeting your needs.