PROFESSIONAL LINKING PROGRAM

Frequently Asked Questions

Preservice Professional Studies (PPS) is following the latest information and recommendations about COVID-19 from regional and provincial medical health officers. For more information, visit the SFU return to campus website. 

Our office is open and supporting students, faculty and staff remotely. We will respond to you during normal business hours. 

Current Applicants

1. What position am I on the waitlist?

We cannot give you a specific number as this could change at any time. Please see question 2 (below) and continue to check your emails, including your spam/junk folder, for further updates. 

2. When will I receive a decision if I have been waitlisted?

If you are on the waitlist, a decision about your application has not yet been made. This means, you haven't been accepted or denied but you are still in the competition for a seat.

If another student withdraws their application or declines an offer of admission, you will move up the waitlist. The process will continue until the fall semester starts in September (PDP) or January (PLP) and all seats are filled. 

If a seat becomes available, you will be notified by email. 

3. I have requested an appointment to review my application (unsuccessful and waitlisted applicants only) and have not received an appointment date or time. When will I be given an appointment?

Our offices have received a high volume of requests and we are working through them as quickly as possible. You can expect a response within 10-12 business days, but please be patient as it may take longer. We will send you an email with an appointment date and time as soon as one becomes available. 

4. How can I submit my final grades if your offices are closed?

PDP Admissions:

  • Please arrange to have your final, official transcript mailed to the PPS Admissions office at the Burnaby campus once your final grades are available. We will add it to your application once the university is open again. If you are completing your degree requirements this spring, please make sure that this transcript will show “proof of degree” once it is conferred.
  • If your institution cannot send an official transcript by mail to our office, please email an unofficial transcript to pps_transcripts@sfu.ca in the interim.

PLP Admissions:

  • Please submit an unofficial transcript via email to pps_transcripts@sfu.ca once your final grades are available.
  • Arrange to also have your final, official transcript mailed to the PPS Admissions office at the Surrey campus once your final grades are available. We will add it to your file and update our records once we are able to process mailed documents again. 

5. I have questions regarding my SFU Undergraduate Admissions application.

Please contact SFU Undergraduate Admissions directly at: https://community.sfu.ca/futurestudents/s/ask-a-question

6. What happens if my final exam has been cancelled/moved to a later date?

For PDP applicants:

  • Due to COVID-19, we are being flexible with the course exam dates. Please let us know if and when your exam has been rescheduled to by the post-secondary institution.
  • If your exams have not been rescheduled for the Spring semester, our offices expect the coursework to be completed by the original deadline.

For PLP applicants who must complete courses by end of August:

  • If the current pandemic affects the PLP’s prerequisite deadline, we will notify PLP candidates, but at this time, the deadline of August 31, 2020 stands. 
  • PLP candidates who encounter extenuating circumstances regarding prerequisite completion should contact the PPS Admissions office at pps_admissions@sfu.ca as these will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

7. I am not sure if I should take a P in my course or not this term?

Course prerequisites: A grade of P will be sufficient in order to meet the “course prerequisite” course mark/grade for admission to the PDP.

Failed courses: Should you fail the course, then it would not meet the requirement as per normal.

Future Applicants

1. What if schools do not re-open and I am unable to gain volunteer experience in the classroom?

There will be a number of people in the same situation as you. Our offices are closely monitoring the situation and how this may impact our future applicants. We will update our website when we have more information.

2. My classes are now being graded on a Pass/Fail basis. How may this impact my future application?

Our teacher education programs will be accepting P grades for meeting the pre-requisites. SFU P Grades will not be used in the calculation of your GPA for admission.

3. I have questions about my academic history and if I’ll be eligible for the SFU's teacher education programs. Is there someone in the office that I can call or make a virtual appointment with?

Although our campuses are closed, the university is open virtually.  At this time, we please email our office if you have any questions. There may be a delay in responding to your emails due to the high volume that we receive.

Other FAQs 

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 pps_admissions@sfu.ca or fax 778.782.8119 your documents to the 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 or currently enrolled in 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.

Official transcript(s) showing enrolment in outstanding prerequisites must be submitted by April 1. We strongly recommend this be submitted by January 31.

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 PPS 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 prerequisite courses?

Yes, if the course is listed on our Chart of Acceptable Courses. If you took a course not listed on the chart, please contact our office to inquire.

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.

  • major is approximately 12-18 units of lower division coursework (100 and 200 level courses), plus approximately 28-30 units of upper division coursework (300 and 400 level courses), all in one subject;
  • minor is approximately 12-15 units of lower division coursework, plus approximately 14-18 units of upper division coursework all 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 15, 2021 for the next PLP intake starting in January 2022.

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 170-200 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

15. What is the deadline to receive transcripts?

Transcripts must be received in the PPS Admissions office by January 31.

16. Do you accept electronic transcripts?

Transcripts sent to the PPS Admissions office must be original, sealed, paper copies. They can be sent to our office directly from the institution, or hand-delivered by yourself provided that the transcripts stay in their original, sealed envelopes.

17. Do I need to submit my high school transcripts?

We do not require transcripts from your high school. If you completed IB or AP courses in high school and received post-secondary transfer credit for them, we will need your IB diploma transcript or a transcript of your AP Exam Scores.

18. 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 PPS Admissions office. Unfortunately, we cannot share documents with SFU Undergraduate Admissions.

19. 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.

20. Do I need to submit transcripts of the courses I am currently enrolled in at the time of application?

Yes, you must submit official transcript(s) showing courses you are currently enrolled in at the time of application. If you are enrolled in English and/or elementary prerequisite courses for completion by the end of August, official transcript(s) showing your enrolment in those courses must be submitted by April 1. We strongly recommend this be submitted by January 31.

21. 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.

22. When can I expect to hear back?

Decisions on PLP applications are sent via email by the end of April before the program start.

23. How are applications evaluated?

Please refer to our Application Evaluation Process page for more information regarding the rating of applications.

I have been admitted

24. Do I have to apply to both SFU and the PLP?

If you have been accepted to the PLP, you must also apply for admission OR reactivation with SFU Undergraduate Admissions.

If you are accepted to the PLP but did not apply to SFU Undergraduate Admissions by the application deadline, you will not be able to enroll in the PLP.

25. What is the cost of PLP?

The approximate cost of the PLP is currently $12,000 plus books for the 16-month program. Approximately one quarter of the program fee is due at the beginning of each semester.

26. Can I get student loan funding for the PLP?

No; unfortunately, the PLP is an ineligible program for student loan funding.

27. 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.

28. 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 Certification Branch of the Ministry of Education (formerly the BC College of Teachers) for clarification of their status before undertaking a teacher education program.

29. 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 Teacher Certification Branch (TCB) 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 TCB.

30. 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.

QUESTIONS?