Graduation and Certification

Graduation

As soon as you have registered in your final degree requirements on Bear Tracks, submit a Graduation Check to Undergraduate Student Services (USS) to confirm that you are on track to graduate.

A Student Advisor will check your entire program including the courses you completed since admitted, transfer credit (if applicable), and the courses that you are registered in but have not yet completed to determine if you are on track to graduate.

In response to your Graduation Check, you will receive an email from a Student Advisor letting you know the status of your Graduation Check. You can expect one of the following responses:

  1. You are on track to graduate. This means your course selections are accurate and no changes to your registration are required as you are on track to fulfilling all degree requirements. In this case, your Degree Status in Bear Tracks will be updated to “Needs to Finish Pending Work”.
  2. You are on track to graduate and registered in courses that are extra to your degree. This means that you are registered in more courses than what you actually need to graduate. As a result these extra courses will be noted on your transcript as ‘Extra to Degree’. Since you are on track to graduate, your Degree Status in Bear Tracks will be updated to “Needs to Finish Pending Work”. /li>
  3. We are not able to approve your Graduation Check as there is a problem with your registration. In this case, we will let you know what the problem is and how to address it. 

All students must apply for graduation in Bear Tracks. You can do this by selecting ‘Graduation’ which is found under ‘My Academics’ in Bear Tracks.

The graduation application in Bear Tracks is available during the following dates:

  • March 15th to September 1st for Fall (November) Convocation
  • October 1st to February 1st for Spring (June) Convocation

If you are not able to apply for graduation in Bear Tracks a Student Advisor will apply on your behalf when you submit a Graduation Check provided you are on track to graduate.

Degree Status: Needs to Finish Pending Work

If you submitted a Graduation Check and are on track to graduate, your Degree Status in Bear Tracks will be updated to say “Needs to Finish Pending Work”.

This means that a Student Advisor has reviewed your entire program which includes the courses you completed since admitted, any transfer credit (if applicable), and the courses that you are currently registered in, and determined that you are on track to graduate pending successful completion of your final degree requirements.

Why does my Degree Status still say “Needs to Finish Pending Work” even though I completed my final degree requirements? This is completely normal and not a sign that you are not eligible to graduate. For more information about when your Degree Status will change please read through the section on “Expected”.

Degree Status: Expected

Once you have successfully completed your final degree requirements and your grades have been posted on Bear Tracks, a Student Advisor will complete a final review of your program to confirm you are eligible to graduate. This final review includes a check of your entire program to ensure that you have fulfilled all of the requirements of your degree and that you have the total number of credits required for your program. It also includes a calculation of your GPA for graduation purposes.

There is usually a delay of approximately six weeks from the time you write final exams or complete your Advanced Field Experience to when a Student Advisor completes a final review of your program. The reason for the delay is because we have to wait for final grades to be posted to Bear Tracks for all students graduating from the faculty as this final review of programs is done in one batch.

During this six week period, before we begin the final review of programs, your graduation status will remain at “Needs to Finish Pending Work”. As soon as our final review is complete, a Student Advisor will update your Degree Status to “Expected” provided you have fulfilled your degree requirements and are eligible for graduation.

The University of Alberta convocation ceremonies, coordinated by the Office of the Registrar, are held twice a year in June and November. Students who complete their degree requirements in the Fall/Winter attend the spring convocation ceremonies in June and students who complete their degree requirements in the Spring/Summer attend the fall convocation ceremonies in November.

You must indicate in Bear Tracks whether or not you plan on attending your convocation ceremony. This information can be found in the ‘My Academics’ section of Bear Tracks by selecting ‘Graduation’ and then ‘Graduation Status’.

For more information about convocation, including information about ceremony times and dates and academic apparel, visit the Office of the Registrar’s website and search for “Graduation/Convocation”.

Interested in graduation photos? The Education Students’ Association (ESA) has an agreement with SUB Photo where Education students can receive a discounted rate for sit-in photographs. Book your session online on Sub Photo's website. For more information please contact SUB Photo or the ESA

Teacher Certification

If you plan on teaching in Alberta upon graduating from the program then you must apply to Alberta Education for teacher certification. We recommend that you apply approximately two to three months prior to the end of your program.

Alberta Education will not issue a teaching certificate until the Dean of the Faculty of Education has recommended you for teacher certification.

At the end of each term, Undergraduate Student Services (USS) sends a list, signed off by the Dean, of all graduating students to Alberta Education and Teacher Qualifications Service (TQS). This is commonly referred to as the “Dean’s recommendation”.

The list is typically sent 6-8 weeks after the end of the term once final grades have been posted on Bear Tracks and Student Advisors have completed a final review of programs for graduating students. Alberta Education will issue teaching certificates to applicants upon receipt of the Dean’s recommendation.

You will be recommended for teacher certification if you:

  1. Applied for graduation on Bear Tracks by the appropriate deadline.
  2. Fulfilled degree and convocation requirements.
  3. Are eligible for teacher certification in Alberta.

Please contact Alberta Education directly if you have questions about the application process or about teacher certification.

Contact Information:
Alberta Education
Phone: 780-427-2045
Website: www.education.alberta.ca (search “teacher certification”)

The Teacher Qualifications Service (TQS) is responsible for evaluating a teacher’s education for salary purposes. If you plan on teaching in Alberta upon graduation, we recommend that you apply to TQS for an evaluation approximately two to three months prior to the end of your program. To complete an evaluation, TQS requires a copy of your Official Transcript with final grades.

There are at least two ways to order an Official Transcript from the U of A:

  1. Submit a request on Bear Tracks (in the Academics section of Bear Tracks select ‘Transcript’ and then ‘Request Official Transcript’).
  2. Submit a request to the Office of the Registrar through Student Connect.

Please contact TQS directly if you have questions about the application process or your evaluation.

Contact Information:
Teacher Qualification Services
Phone: 780-453-2411
Email: tqs@teachers.ab.ca
Website: www.teachers.ab.ca (search “Teacher Qualifications Service”)

If you want to start teaching upon completion of your program and prior to the issuance of your degree parchment and teaching certificate, you can obtain temporary teaching authority (valid in Alberta only).

To obtain temporary teaching authority, you must provide Undergraduate Student Services (USS) with the following information:

  1. A letter from Alberta Education stating that your application for teacher certification is complete and that your Interim Professional Certificate will be issued upon receipt of the Dean’s recommendation.
  2. A letter from a school board or district stating that you have been offered employment.

This information can be dropped off in person to Undergraduate Student Services, sent via email to educ.info@ualberta.ca or faxed to 780-492-7533.

Upon receipt of these letters, a Student Advisor will complete a final review of your program to determine if you are eligible to graduate.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A final review of your program can only be completed once all degree requirements have been fulfilled and, depending on your last term in the program, one of two things has occurred:

  1. Final grades have been posted on Bear Tracks, or
  2. A copy of your APT final evaluation indicating credit granted has been received by Undergraduate Student Services.

Once our final review is complete and we have determined that you are eligible to graduate, a Student Advisor will send a letter, signed by the Associate Dean, to your @ualberta email verifying degree completion. To be eligible to teach, present this letter from the Associate Dean along with your letter from Alberta Education to the school board or district that has offered you employment.

Careers

We recommend that you contact the school board you are interested in applying to for the most up-to-date information regarding their application process. Most school boards have teacher application information in the careers or job opportunities section of their website.

For a list of all schools in Alberta, visit the Alberta Education website and search “school choice”. There you will find a list of all schools and school boards in Alberta divided into public, separate, Francophone and charter.

The University of Alberta’s Career Centre is an excellent source of career and employment information for students in the Faculty of Education.

They offer many seminars and workshops, geared towards students in Education, that cover all stages of the job search process from writing resumes, cover letters and autobiographical statements to applying for teaching positions and preparing for interviews.

They also host an annual Education Career Fair that provides current Education students with the opportunity to connect with potential employers.

If you are looking for a job related to Education, you can search the job postings section of their website by area of study.

For more information about what services they have to offer visit their website or visit them in person on the 2nd Floor of the Student’s Union Building (SUB).

Please contact the respective organizations for more information or inquiries about volunteer opportunities. Check back for other volunteer opportunities.

University of Alberta U School
The University of Alberta’s U School program is looking for volunteers from the Faculty of Education. U School brings marginalized students from grades 4 through 9 to campus for a week of interactive and inquiry based learning. The aim of the program is to plant the seed of possibility for students from socially vulnerable backgrounds. U School classrooms are located right in the Education building! U School is excited to offer four U School volunteer opportunities: classroom mentor, interviewee, presenter, and photography volunteers. To read more about what the roles entail, take a look at the volunteer page here. To inquire further about the program, or any of these positions, please contact Melania, the U School Program lead, at melania@ualberta.ca. -SEPT 2017

T.A.N.G. Youth Program
Interested in furthering your leadership skills? Want to use your personal knowledge and skills for a good cause? Come and be a part of the educational and activity-based T.A.N.G. Youth ProgramTake part in the Youth Program and become a mentor for multicultural youths in the community! The program aims to help youth make healthy and safe choices through workshops and recreational activities. Some of the activities include: sports, crafts, interesting workshops on current youth issues, volunteering in the community, teambuilding activities, and an overnight camp during the summer and much, much more! If you would like to be a part of this team, please contact Adoria Kwan, youth program coordinator, at adoria.kwan@assistcsc.org or call her at (780) 429-3119 ext. 115.  -SEPT 2017

Golden Mentors High-school Program
The Golden Mentors Program at the University of Alberta is looking for mentors in all faculties to provide comprehensive academic guidance to high school students. Currently recruiting mentors to run study sessions at Strathcona High School and Eastglen High School. At both schools the mentors will work in groups of three and transportation will be provided to and from Eastglen School. If interested, please fill out an application at http://goldenmentors.com/sign-up, or email goldenmentors@gmail.com. -SEPT 2017

Graduation FAQs

How do I apply for Graduation?
Applying for graduation in the Faculty of Education is a two part process. You must Apply for Graduation under the Academics menu in Bear Tracks and also submit a Graduation Check form to Undergraduate Student Services. This form can be found on the forms page or in the Undergraduate Student Services office. 

When can I start applying for Graduation?
We recommend that you request a Graduation Check as soon as you have registered in the final coursework for your degree program. The Bear Tracks Application for Graduation will not open until October 1 for those finishing in the Fall or Winter Term, and April 1 for those finishing in the Spring or Summer Term.

If you submit the paper Graduation Check form before these dates, your advisor will complete your Bear Tracks application for degree for you.  Graduation Check form can be found on the forms page or in the Undergraduate Student Services office.

What is the deadline to apply for Graduation?
When completing course work in the Fall Term (end of December) - December 1. 

When completing course work in the Winter Term (end of April) - February 1. 

When completing course work in the Spring Term (end of June) - June 1.

When completing course work in the Summer Term (end of August) - August 1.

Again, it is strongly recommended that you apply for your degree as soon as you are registered in your final coursework for your degree.

How do I apply for teacher certification?
Teacher Certification application information from Alberta Education is available on thier website. This application should be submitted just prior to completing the last courses of your Bachelor of Education program, but can be submitted to Alberta Education any time.  For more information, please contact Alberta Education.

How do I apply for Teacher Qualification Services?
Teacher Qualification Services (TQS) is Alberta's agency for evaluating teacher's years of education for salary purposes. Forms for TQS can be obtained online on the Teacher Qualification Services Website.  TQS recommends that you submit the application once your have received your teacher Certification number. Students must send final transcripts to TQS.  Requests for official transcripts can be made from the Registrar’s Office or online at through Bear Tracks. For more information, please contact TQS.

When will I be able to be certified?
You must apply for Teacher Certification with Alberta Education (see How do I apply for teacher certification?). Approximately one month after grades are finalized, a list of all students who have completed degree requirements in that term will automatically be sent to Alberta Education. This is the Dean's recommendation for teacher certification. Once Alberta Education receives this, they will issue certification.  

Can I teach in other provinces?
The BEd degree at the U of A will fulfill the requirements for teacher certification in Alberta. If you wish to teach outside of Alberta, you must contact the provinces in which you are interested in teaching to find out what their requirements are.

See Provincial Government Education Departments and Teacher Certification contact information at the front desk of Undergraduate Student Services.

How can I get Graduation photos?
For more information about graduation photos please contact the Education Students Association at:

B-28 Education South
Phone: (780) 492-3650
Email: esa@ualberta.ca  

How can I find out about Convocation ceremonies?
Convocation information can be found on the Registrar's website at http://www.registrar.ualberta.ca. About a month before the ceremony, the Convocation Office will mail an information brochure to all graduating students. For further clarification or questions you can contact the Convocation office at (780) 492-1875.

What if I am offered a teaching job and I haven't been recommended for certification yet?
A school board who wishes to hire you can request a Letter of Authority from Alberta Education. Once the Faculty of Education verifies with Alberta Education that you have completed all of the BEd requirements, you can be given temporary certification in order to start teaching. This request must be initiated by the school board.  You must ensure that you have applied for graduation and teacher certification.  Final grades or the APT Final Evaluation must be submitted before we can verify certification requirements with Alberta Education.

Why does my Graduation Status on Bear Tracks say "Needs to Finish Pending Work"?
Once your Graduation Check form has been processed, your Graduation Status on Bear Tracks will change to "Needs to finish pending work" until the grades for final coursework have been finalized and your graduation has been processed. This will occur approximately one month after the term ends. This status means that as long as you successfully complete your last courses or field experience, you will have met degree requirements and be eligible for graduation.  At this point your Graduation Status will change to "Expected"; this means that you are now eligible for graduation.

How can I receive a notation of "With Distinction" on my parchment?
You must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher on your last *60 credits in the BEd 1+3 program, *45 credits if in the BEd After Degree, to receive a notation of "With Distinction". This will be calculated and noted automatically.

To receive "First Class Standing" a student must earn a GPA of 3.5 or higher on *30 credits taken in any Fall/Winter year. This is noted on the transcript for every year for which it is achieved. 

How do I get a Letter of Expected Degree Completion?
If you need a Letter of Expected Degree Completion for non-teaching employment or a vehicle rebate, you student advisor can assist you.  Contact information for your student advisor can be found here.

Where do I get more information about graduate programs?
For information on Graduate programs at the U of A you will need to contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Please visit the FGSR website.

For information on Graduate programs specifically in Education you will need to contact the teaching department in the Education Faculty.