Located in North America, Canada is comprised of ten provinces and three territories. It is the world's second largest country in geographic size, yet its population is over 32,805,000 - slightly less than that of California. In terms of its natural resources,
Canada is the world's second richest country on a per-capita basis, behind Australia.
Most of the population lives in the southern part of the country, and over 75 percent live in metropolitan areas. Among the largest cities are: Toronto, Ontario; Montréal, Québec; Vancouver, British Columbia; Ottawa, Ontario; Hull, Québec;
and Edmonton, Alberta.
Canada's indigenous population is referred to as the Indians or First Nations. In fact, Canada is an Iroquis word for "community." French and English are the country's official languages, reflecting the Canada's early colonial history. Since
the second half of the 18th century when the British ousted France from Canada, the country's main political and ethnic ties have been with the United Kingdom. Increased immigration from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries boosted Canada's
ethnic diversity, and since the 1970s, most immigrants have come from Asia.
Canada gained full independence in 1931, although it still is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. It is both a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. Canada's official head of state is Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom,
although its citizens directly elect legislatures at the federal, provincial and territorial levels.
Manufacturing and resource-related industries are the foundation of Canada's economy. Transportation equipment is the leading manufacturing industry. However, most Canadians work in service occupations.
Saskatchewan is located in the heart of North America, between Manitoba on the east and Alberta to the west. The population is almost 1,000,000, including people from every country in the world and an aboriginal group. Saskatchewan produces 54 percent
of the wheat grown in Canada. Besides agriculture, the largest sectors are service-based, including finance, insurance and real estate. The capital is Regina.
Canada's educational system, along with the language of instruction - English or French - varies according to each province. There is no centralized education ministry. Instead, provincial governments administer education, although church-run schools
exist throughout the provinces. In Saskatchewan, the language of instruction is English. The academic year lasts from September to June for elementary and secondary educational institutions, and while the academic year for most post-secondary institutions
lasts from September to May. Saskatchewan's Ministry of Education oversees secondary education while their Ministry of Advanced Education oversees higher education.
Primary and Secondary Eduaction
Elementary Education is five years (plus one year of kindergarten) in length, for those between the ages of five and 11 (grades one through five).
Middle School Education is four years in length, covering ages 11 to 15 (grades six through nine). Senior Secondary Education is three years in length, involving students between the ages of 15 and 18 (grades ten through twelve). The Record of Secondary
Level Standing (Secondary School Diploma) is awarded upon completion of Senior Secondary Education.
Higher education is provided by universities, regional colleges, private vocational schools, institutes of applied science and technology (SIAST) and other specialized institutions. The Department of Learning has responsibility for education at all levels.
Universities offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), and SIAST deliver a wide range of Certificate and Diploma skill training programs intended to lead directly to employment. They offer
one-year Certificate and two-year Diploma courses in the trades, technologies, service occupations, agriculture, health sciences (including nursing), business education, and natural resource extraction. SIAST delivers the technical component of apprenticeship
training as well as an academic upgrading and literacy programs. Regional colleges offer both university and SIIT/SIAST credit courses through contracts with the credit-granting institutions.
Most undergraduate study leads to a Bachelor's Degree (minimum three or four years) or an "Honours" Degree (minimum four years) with a major subject concentration. Degrees are normally labeled in broad descriptive groups such as Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.). The first stage also includes undergraduate Diplomas (one-three years of study) and short (up to one year) special Certificate programs, frequently in close cooperation with professional bodies. Undergraduate professional
programs that require no university-level pre-requisites, such as Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.), and Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.), require four years of study. Some first and second-year university courses are offered by the universities off-campus
through provincially supported regional colleges and SIAST.
The Master's Degree normally requires two years study after a Bachelor's Degree or equivalent. A thesis and course work are usually required. Examples are: Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.Sc.), Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Master of Business
Administration (M.B.A.). There are also graduate-level Diplomas (considered intermediate between the Bachelor's or first professional degree and the Master's Degree). Second-stage programs also include first professional degree programs requiring
one to two years of prerequisite university studies, followed by three to four years, such as Bachelor of Law (LL.B.), Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.).
The Doctorate is the highest academic qualification awarded by Canadian universities and in all provinces, except Quebec, comprises the third stage of university-level studies. This Degree normally requires at least three years of study after the Master's
Degree; the submission and defense of a major thesis (dissertation) are the principal requirements, and supplemental course work. "Doctor of Philosophy" (Ph.D.) is the generic title used to signify the Doctorate Degrees in most disciplines. (The Doctorate
should not be confused with titles attributed to certain first professional degrees in the Health Sciences, such as Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry.)
Primary school teacher education may be obtained on campus at either of the province's two universities or off-campus through either the Northern Teacher Education Program (NORTEP for Northerners) or the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program
(SUNTEP). Programs require at least four years of study (B.Ed.or B.A or equivalent degree) including at least 48 semester hours of professional education. Completion of an approved program will result in eligibility for a Professional "A" Certificate.
Training of secondary school teachers
Secondary school teacher education is offered on campus at either of the province's universities; off-campus through the Northern Teacher Education Program (NORTEP) or the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP). Programs require
at least four years of study (B.Ed. or B.A. or equivalent degree) including at least 48 semester hours of professional education. Completion of an approved program will result in eligibility for a Professional "A" Certificate. An off-campus program
for Indian Teacher Education is offered by the Universities of Saskatchewan and Regina. The objective is to provide an opportunity for Northern residents - primarily Aboriginal - to become certified teachers.
Some university teachers and some teachers within SIAST, the regional colleges and the private vocational schools may have completed a teacher training program. The University of Regina's Faculty of Education technical-vocational program provides teacher
training for individuals with work experience in a technical-vocational field. Many postsecondary teachers take advantage of professional development opportunities offered by both universities at centers to assist faculty members in improving their