Graduate Student Resources

Resources and information for current Graduate students in the Okanagan School of Education.

Events and Announcements

You’re invited to join us for an evening of connecting and learning at our Graduate Social & Orientation on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Join us for light refreshments and to learn more about programs and services offered on campus for graduate students.

RSVP to Lindsay at by Sept. 12. We hope to see you there!

Meet your Grad Representatives!


Ivan Ho

Master of Education

Leslie Shayer

Master of Arts in Education

Congratulations to Andrew Pulvermacher, Master of Arts student, on receiving the SHHRC – Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s Program grant!

Andrew’s proposed research will be exploring how Canadian public post-secondary institutions can respond to the growing demographic of adults returning to school.

Learn more about Andrew and his research by reading his Graduate Student Spotlight.

Andrew Pulvermacher

Congratulations to our Graduate Award Recipients

Vicki Green Graduate Award

Serveh Naghshbandi

Stephen Daniel Pope Graduate Award

Kelly Hanson

Outstanding Master-Level Graduate Student Award

Leslie Shayer


Master of Education Outstanding Project Award

Erica Neilson-Mahoney

Doctoral Studies Outstanding Publication Award

Camille Rousseau

Doctoral Studies Outstanding Conference Presentation Award

Serveh Naghshbandi

Doctoral Studies Outstanding Dissertation Award

Donna Kozak

Course Selection & Registration

Course selection is made in consultation with your supervisor. If you don’t know who your supervisor is, you can refer back to your offer letter. It’s important that you connect with your supervisor as soon as possible.

You should also consult the Okanagan Academic Calendar for your program requirements  and course offerings.

You can contact the Director of Graduate Programs should you have additional questions.

Scheduled Graduate Courses

Please see the list below for scheduled courses for the current and upcoming terms. Detailed course scheduling can be found via the Student Service Centre. All courses are tentative and subject to change.

CUST 563 (3)
Conceptions of Curriculum Studies:  Theory and Research
Instructor: Philip Balcaen
Delivery method:  Online
Dates (Saturdays): Sept. 14, Oct. 19, Nov. 9, 16 & 23, Dec. 14
Time: 9am-3pm

EDUC 500 (3)
Research Methodology in Education Part 1
Instructor: John-Tyler Binfet
Delivery Method: On-campus
Dates (Saturdays): Sept. 21 & 28, Oct. 5, 12 & 26, Nov. 2
Time: 9am-4pm

EADM 582 (3) 
Leadership for Change:  Systems, Innovation, and Reform
Instructor: Willow Brown
Delivery Method: Online
Dates: Sept. 3 – Nov. 29
Time: No Scheduled Meeting


EDUC 598 (3) Sept. 3- Dec 17
EDUC 598 (3) Sept. 3- Apr. 29
EDUC 599 (3) Sept. 3- Dec 17
EDUC 599 (3) Sept. 3- Apr. 29

EDUC 521 (3)
Readings and Discourse in Education
Instructor:  Scott Douglas
Delivery Method: Online
Dates: Jan. 6 – Apr. 8

EADM 554 (3) 
Policy and Education
Instructor: Christopher Martin
Delivery Method: On-campus
Dates (Thursdays): Jan. 9 – Apr. 24
Time: 5pm – 8pm

EDUC 517D (3)
Contemporary Issues in Education: Theory and Practice in STEAM Education
Instructor: Robert Campbell
Delivery Method: On-campus
Dates (Saturdays): Jan. 11 & 25, Feb. 8, 22 & 29, Mar 7
Time: 9 am – 4 pm



EDUC 598 Jan. 6- Apr. 29
EDUC 599 Jan. 6- Apr. 29

The Summer Institute in Education (SIE) is a series of credited one, two, or three week-long seminars offered by the Okanagan School of Education during the summer months.  As a graduate student, you may take either three credits (if completing an MA) or six credits (if completing an MEd) of these courses during your studies. The topics are very diverse, and reflect the broad range of professional interests in the Okanagan valley.

Note: not all SIE courses can be used for graduate credit.  Please consult with your graduate supervisor concerning course selection.

Learn more


This is the Annual Progress Report (A) for thesis-based students. This form must be completed by both the student & supervisor and reviewed by the program coordinator by June 1st of each year. Please check with your program regarding submission deadlines.

Annual Progress report form (a)

This is the Annual Progress Report (B) for non-thesis-based students. This form must be completed by both the student (in the MA – English, MEd, MEng, MSN, or MSW programs) & supervisor/advisor (if applicable) and reviewed by the program coordinator by June 1st of each year. Please check with your program regarding submission deadlines.

Annual progress report form (b)

Fill out the Program Plan and submit it to the College of Graduate Studies no later than October 15 of your first term of study.

Program Plan

Form to be completed by the student in consultation with the graduate supervisor.

A course at the 400 or 500 level may stand as an elective or thematic area course with approval from the student’s supervisor and the Director of Graduate Programs within the Okanagan School of Education.

Graduate Course Approval Form


The Supervision Agreement is for new or changing of supervisors.

Supervision Agreement

Students can take a leave of absence for a period of four, eight, or twelve months. A leave will begin on the first day of the term. Once on-leave students cannot undertake any academic research work, or use any of the University’s faculties during the period of leave. More information including the Leave of Absence form can be found on the College of Graduate Studies website.

Note: You will be charged an on-leave fee per instalment. See the Fees section in the Academic Calendar.

Contact Grad studies

Program Information

Graduate courses are scheduled to work around the schedules of practicing teachers.  Most classes are held on Saturdays, weeknights and during the summer months, so you won’t need to take time off work to attend seminars.

Vicki Green Graduate Award: Endowed by Dr. Vicki Green, Professor Emeritus, this $2,550 award is offered to a graduate student studying issues in social, economic, ecological, environmental and/or political sustainability. Learn more about the Vicki Green Graduate Award.

UBC Awards: The College of Graduate Studies administers merit-based graduate awards at the Okanagan campus. The College manages a number of award competitions each year and administers payment of all internal awards and selected external awards.

External Awards: All prospective graduate students (Domestic and International) should explore and apply for external awards and fellowships, including awards offered by Canada’s three research councils: CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC.

Graduate scholarships and awards may also be available from foundations, private companies or foreign governments (check with your country’s education authority).

Graduate students are supported financially through a combination of internal and external funding sources, which might include: Scholarship and Fellowship Awards and Research Assistantships (RA).

It is best to speak with your potential supervisor about funding opportunities that are generally available to Education graduate students.

Students are expected to apply for relevant scholarships and fellowships if they are eligible, and to actively pursue financial opportunities at their discretion. These include principally, but are not limited to, Canadian Tri-Council scholarships, University Graduate Fellowships, and Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarships.

Note: Limited funding is available on a highly competitive basis for full-time MA students only.

We also offer a Graduate Student Internal Research Support Travel Grant to subsidize travel to conferences, if you are presenting your scholarly work.

Review the College of Graduate Studies Policy and Procedure Manual (section 24) for information on:

  • Candidacy
  • Comprehensive Examinations
  • Dissertation (including public release)
  • Composition of Dissertation Oral Examination Committee

Policy & Procedure Manual

All PhD students undergo a ‘candidacy’ process at the end of which they receive the designation Candidate on their transcripts indicating they have completed all the requirements for their doctoral degree except their dissertation.

There are three major requirements for advancing to candidacy:

1. Course Work

2. Comprehensive Exams

3. Dissertation Proposal

PhD students in the Faculty of Education are encouraged to see these three requirements as related and interdependent. Students must purposefully seek connections and invest their efforts toward building a strong foundation in preparation for their comprehensive exams and the development of their dissertation proposals. The Supervisory Committee provides guidance to the students, overseeing the path to candidacy.

As stated in the Academic Calendar, “It is required that a doctoral student will be admitted to candidacy within three years from the initial registration. A student who is not admitted to candidacy (by 36 months into the program) will be required to withdraw from the program. Extensions may be granted under exceptional circumstances and with the permission for the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.”

Download Format & Process

Usually a thesis proposal is developed during the latter half of course work in consultation with the advisor, and a proposal can be drafted as part of EDUC 521 Readings and Discourse in Education: Specialized Studies.  Once a problem or focus for inquiry is decided upon, a research committee is formed in consultation with the program advisor. The committee should consist of the research supervisor who chairs the committee and at least two other members.  The student is required to register in EDUC 599 (6 credits) at the start of the program and re-register each term in this course until the thesis is complete.  Once the proposal is fully developed, the supervisory committee reviews it, then, a meeting is scheduled for the oral presentation of the proposal.  The committee must approve the proposal before the research begins. The supervisory committee is responsible for guiding the student in planning the research and in the preparation of the thesis. Care should be taken to choose a thesis advisor and committee who have the expertise necessary to direct research in the chosen topic area.

A thesis is distinct from a graduating project in that it should:

  • be framed and situated within the scholarly literature related to the topic of inquiry
  • be of interest and relevance to scholars beyond the immediate or local context of the researcher
  • Provide new insights or understanding to the scholarship in the area of inquiry

Upon completion of a thesis, the student meets with her/his committee for an oral defense of the work. All research defence meetings are public and their occurrence is announced by the College of Graduate Studies. The student must file a copy of the thesis with the Graduate Secretary. Guidelines for thesis writing and preparation are available from the College of Graduate Studies office.

Any research or study conducted at UBC’s Okanagan campus facilities or undertaken by persons connected to the University involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the Behavioural Research Ethics Board.

Review the Tips for a Successful BREB Application to help you succeed.

Researchers will be able to access ethics applications through the Researcher Information Services (RISe) website.

The MEd Graduating Project (3 credits) is of personal use to the student and considered educationally valuable by an audience of professional peers.  It can take the form of:

  • A synthesis or critical analysis of some professionally relevant literature
  • An exploration of a curriculum-related problem that culminates in a proposal for addressing the problem
  • An application of theory to a specific curriculum context
  • A critical analysis of existing policies or programs, culminating in a proposal for an innovative program
  • A personally relevant creative project that also has educational application and relevance
  • The production of multi-media materials to be used in an educational context
  • Some other possibility to be discussed with your advisor

Although a formal written paper may be submitted, we also encourage the production of a variety of educational resource materials, exhibitions, journal and magazine articles, multi-media and oral presentations, performances, videos, etc. that can be shared with an audience of educators. A written document that identifies the need for the project, describes its content, and lists source materials, must accompany all non-print submissions. The student is required to register in EDUC 598 (3 credits) at the start of the program and re-register each term in this course until the project is complete.

Note:  The Faculty’s Graduate Programs Committee will resolve any concerns over what may or may not qualify as a Graduating Project.

Any research or study conducted at UBC’s Okanagan campus facilities or undertaken by persons connected to the University involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the Behavioural Research Ethics Board. Your project may or may not require you to apply, it is important that you speak with your Graduate Supervisor to see if it is necessary.

Review the Tips for a Successful BREB Application to help you succeed.

Researchers will be able to access ethics applications through the Researcher Information Services (RISe) website.

Students can choose to opt-out of the Health and Dental Plan and/or the U-Pass. All other student fees are mandatory.

Health and Dental Plan Opt Out

All students are automatically enrolled in the UBCSUO Extended Health and Dental Plan. However, if you are covered by a similar plan through work or family (MSP does not count!), you may choose to opt out.

To opt-out of the UBC Health and Dental plan, students must submit an online application.
Note: Select “UBC Okanagan” in the search field on the home page. When redirected you the UBCO plan, navigate on the menu to the right under the ‘Coverage’ section where you fill find details about the opt-out. Please ensure that you have proof of your other coverage.

For more information please contact:

Student Services Coordinator, UBCSUO
Office: University Centre, Room 133
Phone: 250.807.8842
Fax: 250.807.8079

U-Pass Opt-Out

To request a U-PASS opt-out form to be sent to you, or if you have any further questions about the U-PASS, please e-mail

Once you have completed your final project or thesis, the Okanagan School of Education will notify the College of Graduate Studies.  Graduate Studies verifies degree completion, reviews fees and advises the student.  They will also notify Enrolment Services and Teacher Qualification Service (TQS).

You will need to apply for graduation through the Student Service Centre.  You will also need to apply to TQS.

Apply to TQS

Research Assistantships (RA) are employment opportunities for qualified students offered by faculty members with research grants and contracts. As a paid research assistant, graduate students assist their supervisor or other researchers in conducting high-level research, which often contributes to the student’s thesis or dissertation.

Graduate students are encouraged to explore potential research assistantships with their graduate supervisor.

Note: RAs are not guaranteed because they follow the financial cycles of the supervisor’s external grants and contracts.

If you are looking to change your Teacher Qualification Service (TQS) category, you will need to submit an application to TQS so that they can evaluate your academic credentials.

Note that the College of Graduate Studies will inform TQS of your degree completion; however, you still need to apply and you are responsible for submitting your transcripts to TQS.

Application to Change Category

Review the College of Graduate Studies resources and forms for Preparation and Examination.

Review tuition and funding, including the Schedules.

Program Completion & Graduation

Every candidate for a degree must make a formal application to graduate via the Student Service Centre (SSC). An application is required regardless of whether you plan to participate in the scheduled ceremonies in June.

All degree program requirements must be completed by the degree completion deadlines set by the College of Graduate Studies.

Sabre Cherkowski is an associate professor and the Director of Graduate Programs at the Okanagan School of Education.

Professor Cherkowski has a background in teaching and coaching in Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Full Profile

Welcome to the Okanagan School of Education’s Graduate Program.

Graduate work at UBC Okanagan is an opportunity to design a personal learning journey that will help you further grow and define your professional identity as you build more knowledge and grow your capacities and confidence in your educational pursuit.

Alongside faculty and fellow students, your experience in our graduate program will be an intense and fulfilling one, offering you opportunities to engage in intellectually demanding as well as personally and professionally meaningful learning experiences. Much of the work our students undertake is aimed directly at improving educational practice, sometimes in students’ own institutions as well as in varied educative contexts around the world.

Your graduate learning journey can be experienced in many ways. I encourage you to explore our website and connect with faculty to learn about how you can become involved in the learning community we are constantly growing in our graduate program.


Perhaps you’d like to work with  faculty to assist them with research, or attend the Graduate Student Social events held three times throughout the year, where we gather to learn about topics and issues of relevance to research and practice, with good food and interesting conversations.

I am confident you will find what you need within our graduate program to challenge, engage, and fulfill your scholarly and practical interests, knowing that many of our graduates take what they learn with us to make substantial, positive impacts in their work and life.

There are many resources in the faculty, the campus, and beyond, to enable your efforts. I encourage you to explore the website, ask questions, and get to know faculty as ways to begin to initiate your graduate study experience.