Saturday 13th May 2017 is a milestone graduation event for BTI. Three disciplined students who, whilst working in their chosen fields of practice, are the first cohort to graduate with BTI's Master of Professional Practice degree. "They should be very proud indeed", says BTI's Dean, Dr Andrew Smith.
One of the graduating Master's students is Sue Baker. Commencing her life-long learning journey with Bethlehem Tertiary Institute (BTI) almost two decades ago, Sue's passion was, and has remained, transforming and enriching the lives of the children in her care.
After finishing her Diploma of Teaching (Primary) with BTI in the late 1990's, Sue's love of teaching found her upskilling and graduating with the Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree in 2012. "I've been teaching in the classroom for sixteen years. Right from the start, I knew that I had found my place and then sixteen years on I started to ask myself again, "Why am I here?" BTI's Master of Professional Practice couldn't have been a better fit. As a Christian professional, I just knew from my previous study experience that, not only was this qualification right for me, it was also the right place to study!"
The Master of Professional Practice degree is accredited by NZQA and their approval to teach this qualification has been given to just five tertiary providers nationally. As one of those five accredited providers, BTI offers the only faith-informed option for Christian professionals who include teachers, social workers, counsellors, principals, managers, leaders and lawyers as well as other professionals in people-helping roles. Christian professionals, who wish to focus on human flourishing and both strategically and intentionally align their current practice with the biblical narrative, should contact BTI about the Master of Professional Practice degree.
Dr Bev Norsworthy, the Postgraduate Programme Coordinator and BTI's Head of Teaching & Learning explains, "So many Christians find themselves living a life where their Christian lives are vibrant but where their professional practice is 'added on' or 'on the side'. One of the most important things that happens for students in BTI's Master of Professional Practice programme is that they get a much deeper understanding of who they are, how God has made them and how He has equipped them with the passion, skills and personality that are perfect for His work here on earth".
Study is by distance and available throughout New Zealand. Whilst attendance at half yearly 'intensives' is strongly recommended in order to build relationships with others in the programme, only one 3-day onsite 'intensive' is compulsory.
More information about the Master of Professional Practice degree and other BTI qualifications is available at www.bti.ac.nz
Downtown Tauranga shoppers paused to acknowledge a procession of 96 Bethlehem Tertiary Institute (BTI) graduates on Saturday as they made their celebratory march from Red Square up to Holy Trinity Church for their graduation ceremony.
Onlookers may have spotted five graduates wearing green academic regalia amongst a sea of blue and gold. Those graduating from BTI’s teaching and counselling degree and diploma programmes wear blue and gold regalia. The new colour represents the very first cohort of students to graduate from BTI’s Bachelor of Social Work degree programme, which began in 2012.
The Ministry of Immigration includes social work on the long-term skills shortage list for New Zealand, so social work graduates are in a good position to find employment in a variety of social work roles nationally.
Each of the five BTI social work graduates found employment as a social worker immediately after completing their study, most of them with the organisations they did their practicum placements with. Tauranga local, Maylene Jennings, has been employed as a Care and Protection Social Worker at the Open Home Foundation in Tauranga and says she finds the work rewarding. “I had set a goal of one day working for a statutory agency that works with the most at-risk families,” says Maylene. “It is such an awesome privilege to be working alongside families, especially those who may have never felt heard before.”
The BTI social work degree programme is unique in New Zealand in that it includes a spiritual dimension, and encourages students to deeply consider how their own beliefs and values impact on their practice as a social worker.
Programme Co-ordinator, Heidi Crawford, says that many people come into social work thinking that they are going to learn how to tell people what to do. “At BTI we continually say that it must start with self,” she says. “Many of our students talk about not only a journey of becoming a social worker, but a journey of personal transformation.”
Maylene Jennings agrees. “I really believe that the social work journey has changed me to be a better version of myself from four years ago,” she says. “I am more empathetic, non-judgmental and inclusive. BTI allows you to be yourself, challenges you and provides a safe place to be honest about your values and beliefs.”
Congratulations to the BTI - Bethlehem College Scholarship recipients for 2016.
BTI Dean, Dr Andrew Smith, presented four awards at last night's Senior Prize Giving ceremony:
Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary scholarship awarded to:
Jasmine Marie Turnbull
Emma Joy Lee
Bachelor of Education (Teaching) ECE scholarship awarded to:
Kaya Van de Meer
Each scholarship covers the recipients full student fees for their 3-year undergraduate programme. We wish them all well with their study and look forward to welcoming them on to campus early in 2016.
In this issue of Christian Life, BTI shares some exciting trends and developments ...
Meet another one of the BTI students who received a TeachNZ KUPE scholarship this year. Former Southland rugby star, Richard Apanui, is in the final stages of completing his Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) qualification with BTI... read more
Thirty 2015 TeachNZ Kupe Scholarships have been announced and BTI students were awarded two of them!
One of the recipients, Nikola Patrik, who is studying the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary programme at BTI shares her story with Sunlive.
Photo: Bruce Barnard, Sun Media
On Thursday and Friday last week BTI hosted our inaugural Research Symposium. The symposium was dedicated to fostering collegial sharing and discussion about the nature and place of research within Christian higher education and by Christian educators. There were a total of 21 presentations and the feedback from those present has been very positive, certainly meeting our hopes of providing an inspiring time together, in which we appreciated one another’s research and scholarship, gained new and helpful insights relative to our work, and developed partnerships for undertaking collaborative research together in the future.
Our own Bev Norsworthy and Andrew Smith presented the keynote addresses, complimented by other presenters from: Christian Heritage College (Brisbane), Laidlaw College (Auckland), the Māori Synod of the Presbyterian Church, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, St Johns Presbyterian Church, and other members of BTI staff. Broadly speaking, the topics covered were: the rationale for research within Christian Higher Education, Māori church history, second generation leadership in Christian schools, utilising Appreciative Inquiry for research development and organisational reflection, supporting and enabling Pasifika students and families, Christian discipleship within tertiary education, digital confidence within teacher education, maximising teacher education practicum, narrative research and practice as evoking of Biblical priorities, spiritual formation within pastoral care and teaching practice, power and ethics within research. The presentations were all of a very high quality and of value to those who attended, which for the most part was those working in higher education but not exclusively so, school teachers, board members, ministers, and tertiary students were also among those who attended.
"Her plan is to do the bachelor and go back to Vanuatu and teach, but more importantly help support the teachers over there to improve the quality of teaching," Mrs Tilby-Price said. (read more)
HANDS FULL: Courtney Tilby-Price (left) and mum Kerri with supplies donated for the cyclone-ravaged island of Vanuatu. Article & Image: Bay of Plenty Times
If you are thinking about 2016 study and finding it hard to choose where to study, look outside of the Universities and Polytechs at the sector known as PTEs; Private Training Establishments. Whilst it’s not the easiest of sector names to remember, it is worth noting that with over 500 providers, 195 of which offer diplomas and degrees, it offers a huge range of choice. Whilst these private providers are not wholly government funded like Universities and Polytechs, there is still a rigorous accountability model that these providers have to adhere to; NZQA and the Tertiary Education Commission oversee and audit the delivery and funding of qualifications in the same way as they do for the Universities and Polytechnics.
One such private provider is BTI. Located in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, Bethlehem Tertiary Institute is known for its caring and supporting, relational learning community where students, studying to become ECE educators, teachers, counsellors and social workers, quickly learn that ‘we practice who we are’. From this foundational knowledge of self, students are enabled to develop the skills required to become professionals whose practice is relational, responsive and transformative. BTI staff support the students in this journey by walking alongside them and really getting to know them. As one recent graduate put it, “I had such a great time studying at BTI, the tutors are very helpful and understanding and sincerely care about you as a person. I would highly recommend you to study there.”
How does BTI stack up against other sectors in the Bay of Plenty area? Well, two of the most effective key performance indicators used by the government to assess this is ‘successful completion of courses’ and ‘completion of qualifications’ (1). Benchmarking puts BTI on a par with and, in some situations ahead of, comparable local providers. So, if you’re thinking of becoming an ECE educator, primary or secondary teacher, counsellor or social worker, check out what BTI has to offer for 2016. Courses are available on-site and by distance, and for those already in these professions there is the Master of Professional Practice qualification to consider.
To find out more visit www.bti.ac.nz or call us on 0800 BETHLEHEM
BTI will be at the Careers & Business Expo at the ASB Arena, Tauranga on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th August 2015. Come and visit our stand!
BTI Alumus, Anna Roughton, who graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary degree is interviewed by Tearaway ...
Showering kids with blue icing, getting hit with rocks and reliving Frozen over and over are all part of the job for primary school teacher Anna Roughton. Fortunately, the focus on “the person you bring to teaching” that was emphasised at Bethlehem Tertiary Institute has thrown Anna into her biggest adventure yet. By CAITLIN SMART.
Today was a day of celebration for 114 BTI – Bethlehem Tertiary Institute students, as they came together from across New Zealand to celebrate the completion of their studies.
The occasion was marked by graduands parading up Devonport Road, Tauranga behind a piped band, before attending the graduation ceremony at Holy Trinity Church, The graduates were cheered along by family and whanau waving balloons.
For one household, this was a double celebration. Mother and daughter, Sandy and Kristy Hitchens, graduated today with a Bachelor of Counselling degree and a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Primary degree respectively. The occasion is even more special for this family because both of them graduated with a distinction!
“We called each other a lot and swapped study tips, which of course was helped along by lots of laughing, phone calls, coffee and chocolate when mum came to Tauranga,” explains Kristy.
Sandy, who studied at a distance, came back to Tauranga for her intensive onsite blocks and offers this advice for all new students, “Enjoy every moment, appreciate being a student at BTI - this is only the very beginning of learning, you will probably end up studying and learning in this field for the rest of your life - so relax and make the most of it!!"
Here's the latest news from Graeme and Kendal who are teaching on the Thai/Burmese border ....
Each year, BTI staff start the year with two retreat days - it's a fabulous way of reconnecting and team building. This year, the team served Homes of Hope, in Greerton, Tauranga by carrying out a "working bee" to help clean up and refresh their gardens.
See if you recognise anyone!
G ~ Grow the ability to notice
I ~ Invest in the lives of others
V ~ Venture into unknown territory
E ~ Envelope others in love
Be a rock by standing on THE ROCK
YOUR firm foundation allows you to become an anchor for others
I know you’re not perfect
You have blemishes and will sometimes crack
Be even in your brokenness
Remember all God gives you and GIVE
Ezra Schuster from the Ministry of Education gave a keynote speech at this year's Learning Conference, at BTI. In his speech, Ezra highlighted:
• The importance of knowing one’s self as it is from this knowledge that we teach, and connect with others.
• Making connections with your learners is critical and to do that means you need to take the time to know them, their family, community and culture. Here, he unpacked ‘talanoa’ as his own personal framework for making connections with others. Talanoa is understood as communication without restriction (going back and forward until we come to consensus) and includes talking to each other a) with love, b) with warmth in an inclusive way, c) with humour, rhythm and flow; d) with respect
• The importance of keeping a balance between one’s role as husband, father, brother (wife, mother, sister, daughter) and your work role.
• ‘Doing good to others’ and ‘Servant leadership’ are key motivating themes for how he likes to work. The common idea here is “It is not about me!”
• “Good leadership must be able to feel and listen to the winds of change and chart a new course accordingly.”
• Each of us is where we are today because of the goodness and investment of others in our lives. Be grateful and committed to investing in others.
• He made an interesting delineation between ‘service’ and ‘serving’ by likening service to a transaction and serving to a lifestyle choice, or way of living.
• When life is hard – remember two things: First, know it will get better, and Secondly, know it will SHAPE you.
Also visiting BTI as a speaker was Colleen Fryett, who owns several ECE centres in Tauranga called Above & Beyond.
For BTI, delivering a qualification is about preparing the student for life as a graduate in their chosen profession so that they will be successful at gaining employment and transforming lives. To this end, we work with industry stakeholders to ensure that our programmes are fit for purpose; that our graduates are sought after.
Our 2014 graduation survey shows that 86.77% of BTI students are employed in a job that is linked to their qualification at the time of graduation.
Bachelor of Counselling graduates reported that 83% of them were employed, an increase of 7% on 2013 outcomes.
90.2% of Teacher Education graduates were employed in schools, with 83% of students graduating with a degree in primary teaching having secured a job. This is an increase of 18% on 2013.
88% of students who graduated with BTI’s Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) degree in 2014 were employed by the time that they graduated, and it is further encouraging to note that our research shows that of those graduating in 2014, 44% were offered a job in either their ‘Host school’ or a school at which they carried out a practicum experience. This shows that BTI is teaching the skills required in the programme to meet the needs of industry.
Our graduate job outcomes for 2014 are particularly encouraging as the current national trend for those graduating with a degree in Primary and Secondary teaching is significantly lower. Our evidence, based on student and stakeholder feedback, shows us that BTI’s commitment to growing students both holistically and academically, stretching them towards excellence, is outworked by students whilst on practicum and witnessed by employers.
The skills that graduates learn at BTI are not just focussed on the specific practice skills required, ie “teaching”, “counselling”, “social work”, they also learn transferrable skills such as working in teams, problem solving, communication and accountably. We believe that this is imperative if we are to ensure that our graduates are educated for roles that may not yet be available to them in NZ. This approach helps to ‘future-proof’ our graduates and makes them highly attractive to stakeholders, many of whom recognise these skills at the time of practicum or ‘Host school’ experience.
2014 is a year that BTI will remember for quite some time to come; not only is it our coming of age, it is also the year in which NQZA gave approval for BTI to deliver two new qualifications:
* Postgraduate Diploma of Professional Practice
* Master of Professional Practice
The added significance of this approval is that, not only is this BTI's first step into postgraduate programme delivery, but that the whole approval process from submission to approval took just over 12 weeks!
In responding to the submission, the NZQA approval panel commended BTI on the following:
* The integration of research throughout the whole programme, incorporating a broad range of research methodologies.
* The level of staff qualification and research experience.
* The example provided by senior staff in combining programme development, teaching and research involvement with the leadership roles.
* The comprehensive consultation process, which was iterative, broad and meaningful, and which clearly influenced development.
* The well designed integrated approach to research supported by committee structure, strategic plan and professional development.
* The inclusion of an exegesis option for the thesis.
* The successful integration of the faith-based special character of BTI with the academic rigour required at
post-graduate level without compromising either.
BTI Dean, Dr Andrew Smith, says the qualification is specifically faith-based and is for any professional working in people-helping roles such as teaching, counselling, social work or occupational therapy and who wants to look at integrating faith and work, “This doesn’t mean postgraduate students will be working in a
Christian school or church. It just means they want to think about what it means to bring their faith to work.”
The qualification consists of 18 months’ equivalent full time study, but will be completed on a part time basis across three years allowing students to integrate study with their professional practice.
“We are going to be provoking students to look at themselves and think about who they are as professionals. They will then look at some of the principles that they bring to the workplace. Often people get involved in these sorts of roles without necessarily clearly articulating the principles that we work from.”
BTI has also woven research aspects throughout the whole qualification which is an innovative approach to postgraduate study.
The programme, which is expected to fill quickly due to a waiting list of eager would-be students, will be delivered for the first time in early 2015.
On Saturday 5th April 2014, as the glorious hot sunshine beat down on Tauranga, shoppers paused to acknowledge 125 graduands decked out in the gold and blue colours that represent BTI's Teacher Education and Counsellor Education programmes. The celebratory processsion, which commenced at the waterfront at 1.15pm, was led by a piped band and cheered on by friends, family and whanau lining Devonport Road.
Deputy Major, Kelvin Clout, joined an impressive crowd of almost 800 to celebrate BTI's 2014 Graduation ceremony at Holy Trinity Church. As always, there was a strong sense of community spirit evident, and a number of the graduands were publicly honoured with tributes from whanau and family.
This graduation was especially important for BTI, as it marked the largest number of Secondary Teaching students to graduate in one group in BTI's 21 year history. 25 students, who had studied the Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) programme by distance, from all around New Zealand, came together in celebration with 76% of this cohort already having secured jobs; 40% of which are in their 'Host School'. The national average for Secondary graduates gaining employment after graduation is closer to 30%!
Al Ronberg, pictured centre in this main photo, says of the Secondary programme, "When you study at BTI, you become a part of a family - you get the feeling that YOUR OWN personal success is something that EVERYONE on staff is working towards. They give you a long leash and continually personalise the course to your individual subject requirements and personality. The jewel in the crown is their ingenious Host-School model in Secondary Teacher training."
These photos show some of the 'behind the scenes' moments that were captured on the day.
What does ‘success’ look like to a BTI student? Is it the ability to support family, start a dream career in teaching, counselling or social work, or the ability to serve and transform the lives of others? It is; but for some it’s also about raising one’s own confidence after being out of study for many years, building new connections when children fly the nest or the challenge of gaining a new or first qualification at tertiary level.
With 69%* of BTI students enjoying the lifestyle balance of studying from where they live or work, coming onsite to Tauranga for ‘intensive blocks’, it’s critical that we really get to know them as people and walk alongside them as they study. We want our students to achieve success and believe that the key to this success is encouraging a relational learning culture. As BTI Dean, Dr Andrew Smith says, “Positive relationships are the soil in which transformation grows.”
To learn more about the ‘DNA of BTI’s Relational Learning Culture’
BTI is developing a Master of Professional Practice (M Prof Prac) - an 18-month, full time equivalent, qualification designed for Christian professionals working in fields such as education sectors (ECE, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary) and social service, including Counselling.
We are delighted to confirm that the proposal has now been finalised and submitted to NZQA for approval. This can be a reasonably long process, but we hope to have approval by Term 4 of this year so that we can welcome the first cohort in 2015!
To find our more about our proposed Masters qualification, or to register your interest, CLICK HERE.
Clement joined BTI in January 2014 as an Educator in the Social Work programme. Prior to this, he worked as a Care & Protection Social Worker in Child Youth & Family (CYF) within South Auckland District.
Originally from Zimbabwe, Clement has travelled a geographical and professional diverse journey: a Teacher, Teacher Trainer and Lecturer in Applied Linguistics (in Zimbabwe) and as a Lecturer in Postgraduate Development (at the University of Cape Town in South Africa).
Clement is interested in the relationship between Critical Discourse Analysis in Social and Community Work practice. Inspired by the view that creative writing has a place in intellectual production, Clement has previously published a collection of poems (Before the Next Song) and several short stories (most included the Zimbabwean anthology, No More Plastic Ball).*
We are delighted to have Clement as part of the BTI team!
* If you're interested in reading some of Clement's writing, review "Where to Now? Short Stories from Zimbabwe"