April 26, 2022Print | PDF
Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma announced April 26 that Wilfrid Laurier University will receive funding from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to expand its sought-after Bachelor of Education (BEd) program to the Brantford campus, with preparation underway to offer programming in fall 2022.
Expanding the program to Brantford will help fill the significant need for teachers in Brant County and Haldimand-Norfolk communities, which have been experiencing labour shortages that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“Ontario is facing a teacher shortage from many factors, including burnout from the pandemic,” said Bouma during the announcement at Laurier’s Brantford campus. “This funding will provide more opportunities for students to study locally here in Brantford through Laurier’s world-class Bachelor of Education program and help relieve some of the pressures on Ontario’s education system.”
The new program offering continues Laurier’s strong partnerships with Brant area school boards, including the Grand Erie District School Board and the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board. Last year, the Faculty of Education successfully piloted a program offering additional qualification courses to local teachers during the summer months.
“The expansion of our BEd program to Brantford builds on Laurier’s reputation as a community-integrated university and grows our student presence in the local community,” said Deborah MacLatchy, president and vice-chancellor. “This presence contributes more than $16 million annually in direct spending into the local economy, and it will now grow to directly support children, families and teachers in the elementary and secondary school systems in Brantford-Brant and local communities.”
As the program in Brantford grows, Laurier will be working with local partners, including Six Nations Polytechnic and the Ontario College of Teachers, to increase the number of qualified teachers in local school boards.
“We are very excited to expand our Bachelor of Education program to the Brantford campus,” said Maria Cantalini Williams, dean of the Faculty of Education. “Through the BEd we will be filling a crucial need for teachers in the region and province, who will be inspiring the lives of our youth through innovative pedagogies and engaged learning.”
The BEd program expansion contributes to Laurier’s plans to grow the university’s presence in the downtown core.
“We are proud to strengthen our existing partnerships in Brantford with the local school boards. I look forward to seeing the future successes of our Faculty of Education students in the community,” said Heidi Northwood, senior executive officer, Brantford campus.