MLA John Rustad visited the Northwest Community College (NWCC) in Houston on Dec. 2 and met with some of the students in the Special Education Assistant (SEA) program.
The SEA program began October 2016 because of federal and provincial governments funding $199,000 to help deliver the program to Houston.
“The SEA program teaches its students how to support teachers in a classroom environment with specific students who have disabilities or learning challenges,” commented Paul Brady, program coordinator and instructor of SEA at the Houston NWCC.
The program began in October 2016 and goes through until the end of June 2017.
“There is a huge demand for it. In the sense that all the SEAs are retiring, and the school districts are saying we want people that are qualified to take these positions over. The college is addressing that need,” said Brady.
“We have a real issue coming up in the future here. We are going to have a million jobs opening just from regular average growth and retirement, just over the next decade. And there’s only about 56,000 people, students, in the education system.So you can do the math. In the next decade there isn’t enough students coming out to fill these jobs. Which means we are going to have to up our game in terms of skills training, which is what this is apart of,” commented MLA John Rustad.
There are 13 and a half students registered in the program at the NWCC Houston campus, one of them is taking the course part time.
Rustad asked the students how they are fairing and what do they think of the content.
Many of the students replied that the content challenges their thinking and thoughts about all aspects of the community.
Students are also finding that the two week delayed start of the program, due to late confirmation of the program running,has made it challenging to absorb the content while meeting the deadline requirements for essay papers and exams.However, they are vigilant to do their best and not let that discourage them to meet their goals and complete the program.
The SEA program has become a huge opportunity for residents in Houston to better themselves, their lives, and the well-being of their families.
“The funding of this program here has had a massive impact. We don’t get a lot of academic programming here, so when we get something like this, it’s a huge opportunity for the community,” commented Mark West, Regional Educational Advisor for the Houston NWCC.