FAQ – Practicum, OCT, & AQs

Our weekly series of Frequently Asked Questions will be posted to TheTeacherCandidate every Wednesday. Subscribe to be notified of new posts.

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This week’s Expert Contributors

Dr. Margaret McNay, Associate Dean

Anna Zuber, Teacher Education Manager

Carolyn Wilson, Practicum Manager

Can I start my Practicum placement early instead of taking a Reading Break? When will I find out my practicum placement?

Wilson: No, Practicum must take place during the scheduled period. The Teacher Education Office coordinates placements for all teacher candidates with representatives from each school board. Your Associate Teacher and the principal at the school may not be prepared to welcome you into the class earlier than expected. We know you want to know your practicum placements as early as possible. Our goal is to have your placements ready approximately 1-2 weeks before practicum starts.


When do school board applications open? Can I apply to jobs without having my OCT certification?

Zuber: Each school board opens applications on their own timelines and based on their local needs. However, you can register an account through ApplyToEducation to receive notifications by email when your preferred boards are hiring. Be sure to look for “Occasional Teacher Lists” or “Supply Lists” postings. School boards may choose to continue their hiring process pending OCT certification. You can also refer to our OCT Certification page on TheTeacherCandidate blog for a helpful guide to the process!



When can I start taking AQ courses?

McNay: You may begin taking AQ courses as soon as you have completed your B.Ed. program. Western is one of many many AQ providers in the province. At Western, AQ courses are offered through the ASPIRE – Advanced Studies in Professional Education – Office, which is located in the Faculty of Education building.


Why does Western not offer discounts on AQ courses for recent B.Ed. graduates?

McNay: This is a question you would have to ask Western’s Continuing Studies Department. The Faculty of Education develops and teaches AQ courses as well as a STEM Certificate Program, but the administration of those courses—including fees and other administrative matters—is the responsibility of Western Continuing Studies.

One Comment on “FAQ – Practicum, OCT, & AQs

  1. Pingback: FAQ – Where can I find information about Practicum? | theteachercandidate

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