Volume 93, Issue 89

Friday, March 17, 2000


Politically correct prof leads the way

Althouse College enrollment up

Drug tackles nicotine addiction

Province to hammer out teacher testing by June

Second-hand smoke linked to breast cancer

To stay healthy, don't get sick

Bass Ackwards

Caught on campus

Althouse College enrollment up

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

An increase in jobs has caused the number of applicants to teachers' college to rise by 35 per cent at Western, said Allen Pearson, dean of the faculty of education.

"I'm not surprised because of the increased opportunity in the teaching field," Pearson said of the rise in enrollment. "I'd attribute it to the increasing media publicity about openings in teaching."

Pearson said a lot of the openings have come about through the rising amount of retirements among teachers. Along with the baby-boomer generation reaching the end of their careers, the 85-factor retirement incentive now available, has resulted in more available jobs, Pearson said.

He explained teachers whose age and years of experience add to 85 are allowed to retire with full benefits. Close to half of Ontario's teachers are expected to retire within the next 10 years, he added.

The 35 per cent rise in applicants was similar to last year, as additional funding by the Ministries of Education and Training, Colleges and Universities allowed the faculty to increase its enrollment by 68 students, to a total of more that 800.

Dave Ross, spokesperson for the Ministry, said the number of applicants to bachelor programs in teaching has increased across the province. Combined, they rose 48.3 per cent over last year, from 10,738 hopefuls to 15,388, he said.

London's Thames Valley District School Board has also seen an increase of those seeking teaching employment within in the area, according to manager of human resources John Cuddie. But while there were more employment opportunities, he said the rate was not rising as fast as in other areas of the province.

"Most of our openings have been because of retirements," Cuddie said. "We haven't increased to the extent of school boards such as Durham, York and Peel (located in the Greater Toronto Area) because of their huge increases in enrollment."

Most of the openings have occurred at the elementary school level, Cuddie said. He added he was skeptical many openings would occur at the secondary school level because of a possible increased work load for teachers. "If a teacher is teaching seven courses a year, instead of the current six, we won't have the need for as many teachers," he said.

Cuddie said the subject area within Thames Valley with the most staff shortages was French, while Ross pointed to the sciences as an area of need across the province.

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