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BTI Celebrates NZQA Approval to Deliver Postgraduate Qualifications

2014 is a year that BTI will remember for quite some time to come. Not only is it their coming of age – 21 this year; it isBTI Postgrad also the year in which NQZA gave approval for BTI to deliver two new qualifications: the Postgraduate Diploma of Professional Practice and the Master of Professional Practice.

The added significance of this approval is that this BTI's first step into postgraduate programme delivery and 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 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 providing an innovative approach to postgraduate study.

BTI was the first teachers college to be established in the Bay of Plenty region, gaining NZQA and Teacher Registration Board approval for its initial Diploma of Teaching in 1993.

The new postgraduate 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.

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