Education: Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP)

at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

This teacher education program addresses educational issues pertinent to public and First Nations schools settings where Aboriginal children attend school. You’ll develop the skills and academic knowledge expected of beginning educators, complete a specialization in Indigenous Education, and prepare to teach at the elementary, middle, or secondary school level.

Why this program?

  • For more than 40 years, NITEP has delivered a teacher education program in an environment that honours diverse Aboriginal traditions and philosophies.
  • Graduates (Elementary, Middle Years, or Secondary) are prepared to be effective educators for public, First Nations, and independent schools.
  • Professional learning and development is supported throughout the program, including professional learning sessions with special guest educators.
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Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Education
  • Degree: Bachelor of Education
  • Length 5 yrs
  • Co-op Yes
    You can combine your studies with full-time, paid work at top local and international organizations.
  • Honours No
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

NITEP is a Bachelor of Education program for Aboriginal students wishing to teach at the elementary, middle, or secondary school level that builds upon Aboriginal identity and cultural heritage while preparing persons of Aboriginal ancestry to be effective educators for public, band, and independent schools in BC.

NITEP teacher candidates take arts, science, and education courses in each year of their degree program. The first two to three years are offered through a regional field centre so that teacher candidates can remain near their home community to maintain their family and cultural connections. NITEP includes the same elementary or secondary teacher education program course requirements, but in a different sequence. Also, NITEP includes courses that focus on Aboriginal education theory, content, and pedagogy.

Teacher candidates who successfully complete the requirements for the BEd program are recommended to the BC Teacher Regulation Branch for a professional teaching certificate. Information about the BEd program at UBC is available at

Experiential learning


All UBC teacher candidates participate in an inquiry seminar in each of the three terms on campus, developing the habit of asking critical questions about their pedagogical decisions and practices.


The practicum includes a full day in schools each week starting in September or October, followed by a two-week school placement in November, which is also the setting for the 10-week extended practicum in the spring.

The teaching practicum is an exciting part of the Bachelor of Education program because it is the time when teacher candidates put theory into practice alongside an experienced teacher.

Community Field Experience (CFE)

Following successful completion of a school-based extended practicum, all teacher candidates participate in a three-week Community Field Experience.

Some field experiences take place in a school context that is very different from the extended practicum site, and others take place in non-school-based contexts such as museums, science centres, environmental ed camps, Indigenous communities, daycares, and more.

Campus features

Your future

NITEP alumni are part of a growing number of Indigenous leaders in education who are transforming schools, organizations, and communities through Indigenous ways of knowing. Many NITEP graduates go on to teach in local public and independent schools, while some decide to venture beyond BC’s Lower Mainland to teach in rural or international locations or pursue graduate degrees.

NITEP students and graduates are role models and agents of change and empowerment. For over four decades, 389 individuals have graduated and gone on to successful careers as teachers, administrators, provincial and federal government employees, and other highly valued positions in Aboriginal education.

UBC NITEP BEd alumni include Dr. Gwendolyn Point, chancellor, University of the Fraser Valley; DeDe DeRose, first superintendent of Aboriginal Achievement; and Perry Smith, director of instruction for curriculum, Abbotsford School District.

Program graduates

  • Teacher, Vancouver School Board

Program requirements

English-language requirements

English is the language of instruction at UBC. All prospective students must demonstrate English-language competency prior to admission. There are numerous ways to meet the English Language Admission Standard.

General admission requirements

IB Diploma Programme

  • Completed IB Diploma, including at least three Higher Level courses.

IB Certificate Courses

  • IB Certificate courses (Standard and Higher Level) may be used in an admissions average if you are graduating from a recognized high school curriculum that can be used as your basis of admission.
  • IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, do not satisfy the math requirement for admission to UBC’s science-based programs, the Faculty of Management, the UBC Sauder School of Business, or the Vancouver School of Economics.
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