PROFESSIONAL LINKING PROGRAM (PLP)
PLP Frequently Asked Questions
I have not yet applied
1. I don't have 2 years of experience working with children/youth as a paraprofessional – can I still apply?
The PLP is designed specifically for working paraprofessionals with extensive experience working with children in school settings. The PLP differs from PDP (the standard teacher education program) in that some of the more introductory aspects, especially those that pertain to orienting the student teacher to the public school system, are eliminated or tailored to the paraprofessional’s work activity in the school. In addition, PLP students are expected to apply their on-campus learning to their school-based employment, and visa versa.
For these reasons, applicants must be working a minimum of 3 days per week and have at least 2 years of experience at the time of application in a school setting as a paraprofessional, working with students in the age range they wish to teach and at the level to which they will be applying, at the time of application. It is also a requirement that all PLP students be employed in a school setting working with students in the age range they wish to teach and at the level for which they have been accepted when the program starts.
2. I am casual or on-call. Can I still apply to the PLP?
You are eligible to apply to the PLP if you have worked at least 3 days per week (60%) over the past 2 years and will continue to work at least 3 days per week (60%) while in the program.
3. I am unsure if I meet the academic preparation requirements to apply to the PLP. What should I do?
If you need an evaluation of your transcripts, you can email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (778.782.8119) your documents to the PLP Advisor. Be sure to include a cover letter stating whether you are interested in applying at the Elementary or Secondary level, any questions you may have, and your email address.
4. I understand I need a gradepoint average of 2.0 or better. How is this calculated?
The gradepoint average is based on your most recent 2 years (approximately 60 credits) of undergraduate coursework. Applications below a gradepoint of 2.0 (on a 4 point scale) will not be considered. Please contact the PLP office if you are unsure whether you meet this requirement.
5. I have not completed all of the English and/or Elementary prerequisite courses. How will this affect my application?
If you are missing any prerequisite courses, you may still apply to the PLP with the understanding that all prerequisite courses must be completed by August 31 prior to the program start (i.e., at least one full semester before starting the PLP), if accepted.
You can apply to the PLP with prerequisite course(s) in progress. In this case, you can submit proof of enrolment to the PLP Admissions office via email. Unofficial or student copies of transcripts are acceptable for this purpose.
If you had applied to the PLP with prerequisite course(s) in progress and receive an offer of admission to the PLP, you must submit updated official transcript(s) to the PLP Admissions office by mail, showing the course(s) complete by August 31.
6. Will the PLP accept any courses I took at another institution towards the Elementary prerquisite courses?
7. I have completed an SEA/EA program. Can this program be used for credit towards a degree?
If you completed your program at a private college (Stenberg College, Sprott Shaw College) or through the continuing education department of a school district (Surrey College, DTAC) it is unlikely that your program can be used for credit towards a degree program. If you completed your program at one of the local public institutions then you may be able to receive credit towards a degree.
You should inquire with both the institution you completed your program and with the institution you are considering completing your degree to see if your program credits will be transferable into a degree.
8. What are the major/minor requirements for Secondary?
To meet our Secondary level requirements, you must have completed one major OR two minors in teachable subjects.
A major is approximately 15 to 18 credits of lower level coursework (100 & 200 level courses), plus approximately 30 credits of upper level coursework (300 & 400 level courses), all in one subject area.
A minor is approximately 12 to 15 credits of lower level coursework, plus approximately 18 credits of upper level coursework in one subject.
Please refer to the Simon Fraser University Calendar for specific major/minor requirements of a particular faculty or department: search the Calendar online at students.sfu.ca/calendar.
9. Where is the PLP offered?
We offer one PLP Surrey campus program and one PLP Burnaby campus program, both starting in January of each year.
10. I am anxious to start. When will the next PLP intake be offered?
The application deadline is January 31, 2020 for the next PLP intake starting in January 2021.
11. I had an SFU student number given to me a few years ago. Will I be given a new number?
No, once you are given a student number from SFU it is your number for life.
12. What are the University's English language requirements?
English is the language of instruction and communication at the University. According to University regulations, an applicant whose primary language is not English must demonstrate a command of English sufficient to meet the demands of classroom instruction and written assignments. Such applicants are required to have satisfactory results on standardized English tests before applying. See the SFU English Language Requirements for more information.
13. How competitive is the PLP?
Competition for a seat in the PLP depends on the number of seats available and the number of applications received for each intake. We receive between 130-150 applications for 32 available seats in the PLP each year.
14. Is the PLP available via distance education?
No. The PLP is inherently a campus-based, face-to-face program, and as such, requires regular travel to either the SFU Burnaby or SFU Surrey campus for classes. Please see the PLP program structure page for more information regarding the on-campus commitment required of PLP students.
I have applied or am in the process of applying
14. What is the deadline to receive transcripts?
Transcripts must be received in the Special Programs office by January 31.
15. Do you accept electronic transcripts?
Transcripts sent to the Special Programs office must be original, sealed, paper copies. They can be sent to the Special Programs office directly from the institution, or hand-delivered by yourself provided that the transcripts stay in their original, sealed envelopes.
16. Do I need to submit my high school transcripts?
17. If I attended SFU in the past and transferred credits from another institution(s) to SFU, do I still need to submit transcripts from those institutions for my PLP application?
If you transferred credits from another institution prior to attending SFU, you will need to submit original, sealed, paper transcripts from those institutions to the Special Programs office. Unfortunately, we cannot share documents with SFU Undergraduate Admissions.
18. Do I need to submit reference letters?
We no longer require reference letters. During the online application process, you will be asked to input the email addresses of three individuals who are willing to complete a recommendation form as part of your application to PLP. One recommendation must come from a school administrator supporting your PLP application. The system will then send these individuals an email requesting that they fill out an online recommendation form.
You can review the Recommendation Form Questions ahead of time to review the questions your recommendation writers will be asked.
19. Do I need to submit transcripts of the courses I am currently enrolled in at the time of application?
You do not need to submit official transcripts for the courses you are currently enrolled in (unless you previously completed courses at that institution). Please submit proof of enrolment for any courses you are currently enrolled in via email to email@example.com. Unofficial copies of transcripts will suffice.
20. If I applied before, do I need to re-submit all of my supporting documents?
Yes, you will need to submit a new online application form, upload a new resume, a new essay, and input the email addresses of 3 individuals who are willing to provide you with a recommendation via the online system. You will also need to pay the application fee. If it has not been more than 2 years since your last application, we will have your transcripts on file; however, if you have taken any courses since the date printed on the transcripts in our office, you should order (a) new transcript(s) to be sent directly to our office.
21. When can I expect to hear back?
Decisions on PLP applications are sent via email by mid-April before the program start.
22. How are applications evaluated?
Please refer to our Application Evaluation Process page for more information regarding the rating of applications.
I have been admitted
23. Do I have to apply to both SFU and the PLP?
24. What is the cost of PLP?
The approximate cost of the PLP is currently $10 000 plus books for the 16-month program. Approximately one quarter of the program fee is due at the beginning of each semester.
25. Can I get student loan funding for the PLP?
No; unfortunately, the PLP is an ineligible program for student loan funding.
26. Where will my practicum placement be?
Students accepted to the PLP will be placed by the University Placement Coordinator in local schools in the Lower Mainland or Fraser Valley. Students must be prepared to travel a distance to attend their school placements.
27. Do I need to undergo a Criminal Record Check?
If you are offered admission to the PLP, you will be required to undergo a Criminal Records Check (CRC) through SFU. If the CRC indicates you have a criminal record, it may preclude continuation in the PLP. Persons convicted of a criminal offence and considering a teaching career should write to the Teacher Regulation Branch of the Ministry of Education (formerly the BC College of Teachers) for clarification of their status before undertaking a teacher education program.
28. Do I need to complete a degree if I begin the program with 76 credits? (Elementary stream only)
Yes. If you enter the PLP Elementary stream without a degree, upon successful completion of the PLP you will be recommended to the TRB to receive a Conditional Certificate. You will then have 5 years to complete your degree. Upon completion of your degree you should apply to be upgraded to a Professional Certificate by the TRB.
29. Can I complete a Bachelor of Education as a Second Degree?
This option is available to PLP students who have completed a degree prior to entry to the program.
With careful course and minor selection during the Professional Coursework semester (EDUC 404), student teachers have the option of completing a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) as a Second Degree. The B.Ed. can be completed during the program at no additional time or cost.