Ivits, Shantel


They/ Them/ Theirs

Job Title

Department Head, Basic Education


Vancouver Community College

EDST Degree/s and graduation year/s

MA, 2009


Society, Culture and Politics in Education (SCPE)


Vancouver, BC, Canada

I always dreamed that I would be an elementary school teacher. But after coming out as queer in the early aughts (and eventually trans), I left my teacher education program in Ontario and enrolled in Educational Studies at UBC. I took refuge in theories of anti-oppression and feminist poststructuralism. In these theories, I gained a firmer footing in who I wanted to be and what mattered to me. I then had the confidence to finish that teacher education program and enter a very fulfilling career in adult education.

I discovered my passion for adult education in 2011 while teaching in the Community Capacity Building program, followed by the Aboriginal Bridge Program at SFU. In 2014, I accepted a faculty position in the Basic Education Department at Vancouver Community College, where I am now the Department Head. Our program teaches beginner-level reading, writing, numeracy, and computer skills to adults. In 2015, I authored a series of six open education textbooks for adult literacy learners that are used in community colleges across Canada. From 2016-2018, I created and taught an adult upgrading class for Two Spirit, queer, and trans people. In 2019, I created a program at Coast Mental Health called Rabble Rousers for young adults recovering from mental illness who want to create positive change in mental health services. Throughout those ten years, I also volunteered as a lead organizer of the Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre, the first clinic in Canada run by and for Two Spirit, trans and gender diverse people.

Every day, I draw on what I learned in my graduate studies as I strive to show up in ways that are ethical, compassionate, and just.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shantel-ivits-43199b4a/

Email: sivits@vcc.ca