Adult Special Education Department

Adult Special Education student grins at his support worker

Adult Special Education programs at Okanagan College provide the support students need to reach their full potential. Our programs are part of a life progression – integrated where possible – teaching independence and encouraging interest in a lifetime of learning and working within the community.  

Writing Your Life

Read poems by Adult Special Education students in the creative writing course, "Writing Your Life."

Meet Wanda

Wanda Radies makes space for students to discover themselves and "shine up their personal star."

Meet Anton

The support Anton Evans receives from the SAME program is allowing him to pursue a career in audio engineering.

Explore our programs

Advanced Skills Certificate

  Vernon, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Kelowna
  Certificate

Basic Skills A

  Vernon, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Kelowna
  Certificate

Basic Skills B

  Vernon, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Kelowna
  Certificate

PACE (Preparing for Access to Careers and Education)

  Vernon, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Kelowna
  Certificate

SAME Program

  Vernon, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Kelowna
  Certificate

Set up an intake interview

The first step in applying to any Adult Special Education program is to set up an intake interview with Okanagan College staff. Submit your information in the form below to get started.

Have questions? Contact the department closest to you

Kelowna

Contact name and phone #

Penticton

Contact name and #

Vernon

Contact name and #

Salmon Arm

Contact name and #

Instructors

Beverley Smith

Adult Special Education - Chair
Office: Sunoka Building A06B
Campus: Penticton
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 3278
Headshot of Bev Smith

I returned to post-secondary education at the age of 47 (Univerisity of Alberta) and achieved a Bachelor of Education degree in 2006. I began my teaching career at Okanagan College in the Adult Special Education Dept. in February of 2009 and quickly realized that I had found my "home". I have taught on the Kelowna campus since 2012 and became chair of the Department in 2014. Those of us who are fortunate enough to work in the ASE Department believe it to be the best job we've ever had!

Credentials:
BEd, University of Alberta


Joyce Carruthers

Adult Special Education
Office: Health Building 106B
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4336
Headshot of Joyce Carruthers

I have currently been working at Okanagan College for 6 years as an Individual Support Worker in the Adult Special Education Department.
For the past 30 years, I have had the pleasure of working in different capacities with individuals and their diversabilities. Some of those roles have been Community Support Worker; Residential Care Worker; Respite Care Provider.
I have completed the Intermediate Level of American Sign Language. I was involved in creating Deaf Okanagan Society (DOS) with a grant received from the City of Kelowna. DOS created opportunities for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Non-Verbal individuals to complete courses in Food Safe and 1st Aid to assist with obtaining employment.
 

Credentials:
American Sign Language Intermediate Certificate, Okanagan College
Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Certificate Training, Community Living BC Training
Certification in First Aid and Food Safe, Okanagan College


Val Catton

Adult Special Education
Office: Health Building 106B
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4336
Headshot of Valerie Catton

I came to Okanagan College in Sept 2014. I have had the opportunity of working with several students over the past 5 years. I bring my experience in working with diversabilities from twenty-three years as a Special Education Teaching Assistant for School District #54 in northern BC. I continue to learn every day from the students I work with and hope in some way I make a difference to the students I support here at Okanagan College. I also provide respite services to families with loved ones who have diversabilites and have done so for twenty-five years. In addition, I work for an agency in Kelowna providing community services to individuals requiring support during their day.

Credentials:
Education Assistant, Northwest Community College


Michelle Cornish

Adult Special Education
Office: Salmon Arm Building 147
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-762-5445
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Poe Liberado da Costa

Adult Special Education
Office: Sunoka Building 001
Campus: Penticton
Phone: 250-762-5445
Headshot of Poe Liberado

Lori Ducharme

Adult Special Education
Office: Salmon Arm Building 108
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-762-5445
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Tanya Fleck

Adult Special Education
Office: Main Building C328
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-762-5445
Headshot of Tanya Fleck

I am an educator working in various departments at Okanagan College. I began my career in education as a classroom teacher, focusing on special education, literacy and assessment while working with at risk students. As a public school Vice Principal I provided professional development and attended a number of courses myself. My experience also includes working overseas as a Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator, a Principal, and a Director of International Education. I'm focused on teaching students at their level, using current methods, technology, and assessment. I have a genuine love for learning and helping others!

Credentials:
Chartered Professional of Human Resources
M.Ed, Multidisciplinary Leadership, University of Northern BC
B.Ed, Elementary, University of Northern BC
BA, History, University of Northern BC


Robert Ford

Adult Special Education
Office: Sunoka Building 001
Campus: Penticton
Phone: 250-762-5445
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Debra Giles

Adult Special Education
Office: Salmon Arm Building 147
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-762-5445
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Rachel Jenkins

Adult Special Education
Office: Main Building C341
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 2331
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LaVonne Kober

Adult Special Education
Office: Main Building C301
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-545-7291 ext. 2229
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Karen Lutz

Adult Special Education
Office: Health Building 106B
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4619
Headshot of Karen Lutz

I am an Individual Support Worker at Okanagan College. I have worked with students in Adult Special Education for 20+ years. I support students in regular ASE classes as well as students in the SAME Program.

Credentials:
Human Service Worker, Okanagan College


Irene MacAulay

Contract/Event Activity P1-AFP
Office: Main Building D363
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-545-7291 ext. 2331
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Gillian Meyer

Adult Special Education
Office: Main Building A300
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-762-5445
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Michele Pacholka

Adult Special Education
Office: Health Building 104
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4459
Headshot of Michele Pacholka

For the past 30 years, I have had the privilege of teaching others important life skills that prepare them for a more fulfilling life! I have been teaching in Adult Special Education at the Kelowna Campus since 2014. If I am not teaching Math or Applied Skills within the PACE program, I am working with a SAME student to ensure all supports are in place for successful completion of an Okanagan College program. My other passions include teaching powerskating, watching hockey, being surrounded by animals and practicing positive physical and mental health.

 

Credentials:
BA, Majoring in Psychology and Sociology, Brandon University
BSW, Social Work, University of Calgary


Wanda Radies

Adult Special Education
Office: Salmon Arm Building 147
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-832-2126 ext. 8226
Headshot of Wanda Radies

I began my career as an instructor at Okanagan College in 1987. My intention with my teaching is to provide a safe, respectful environment so students can shine through opportunites for self-discovery, leadership and through creative writing. When I am way from the college, I enjoy being on the trails in the forests and mountains.
 

Credentials:
B.Ed, Education, Brandon University


Catherine Roussel

Adult Special Education
Office: Salmon Arm Building 151
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-832-2126 ext. 8230
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Jorie Soames

Adult Special Education
Office: Health Building 104
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4237
Headshot of Jorie Soames

I began my post-secondary education in 2010 at Okanagan College as a mature student, where I studied English and Communications, and fell deeply in love... with fiction in all of its forms. There was no looking back.
As a teacher, it is my belief that literacy takes place naturally when we become immersed in reading, writing, listening, speaking and creative expression; it is a joy to walk with OC students along this path.
Current project: writing a novel about some funny, sad and heroic people who live on an island somewhere on BC's west coast.

Credentials:
MA, Creative and Critical Writing, University of Gloucestershire

LinkedIn Profile


Cathy Udala

Adult Academic Career Preparation
Office: Lab Building 104E
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4555
AACP instructor Cathy Udala

I attended Okanagan College in the late 1970’s before transferring to UBC. I taught in SD #23 for 38 years, retiring in June, 2019. Now I have a part time dream job with two pieces, ASE and AACP, here at OC. My spare time is spent with family, reading, baking, knitting and walking.

Credentials:
B.Ed, Special Education and Psychology, University of British Columbia


Cathy Vaasjo-Riches

Adult Special Education
Office: Sunoka Building 008
Campus: Penticton
Phone: 250-492-4305 ext. 3278
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