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 (ASC) Program

  Vernon, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Kelowna
  Certificate

Basic Skills A

  Vernon, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Kelowna
  Certificate

Basic Skills B

  Vernon, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Kelowna
  Certificate

SAME Program

  Vernon, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Kelowna
  Certificate

Notice to students and families

The Preparing for Access to Careers and Education (PACE) program is being temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic health restrictions. The department is taking this opportunity to review the PACE program in consideration of potential modifications.  We envision that the program will be offered again as of September 2022 at all campuses. Please return to this page for updates.

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.

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Have questions? Contact the department closest to you

Kelowna

Kyla Ashman

Email: KAshman@okanagan.bc.ca

Phone: 250-762-5445, ext. 4237

Penticton

Brittany Houston

Email: BHouston@okanagan.bc.ca

Phone: 250-762-5445, ext. 3278

Vernon

LaVonne Kober

Email:  lkober@okanagan.bc.ca

Phone: 250-545-7291, ext. 2229

Salmon Arm

Wanda Radies

Email: wradies@okanagan.bc.ca

Phone: 250-832-2126, ext. 8226

Instructors and staff

Kyla Ashman

Adult Special Education
Office: Business Building 105
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4237
Adult Special Education instructor Kyla Ashman

I was excited to join OC’s amazing ASE program in 2020. I have been teaching in the public school system since 1993 in a variety of roles specializing in students with special needs. The last 14 years I was a Resource Teacher with SD23. I am very happy to now be teaching adult learners in a variety of subjects using my experiences and knowledge gained over the years. I believe in an interactive classroom with lots of discussion and use of individual creativity and thought. There are so many ways to learn and grow for all ages!

Credentials:
Bachelor of Education, Special Education

Joyce Carruthers

Adult Special Education
Office: Business Building 107
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

LaVonne Kober

Adult Special Education
Office: Main Building C301
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-545-7291 ext. 2229
LaVone-Kober 1

I have been working with students with learning and cognitive differences for 25 years.  With a MA in Interdisciplinary Studies, I have enjoyed teaching students life skills within the context of sociological, historical and indigenous perspectives.  It makes teaching fun and opens the door to interesting and enthusiastic discussions.  Away from the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my family, my grandkids, our family dog, Sadie, and relaxing on the shores of Kalamalka Lake in the summer.

Rachel Jenkins

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

Brittany Houston

Learning Centre | Adult Special Education
Office: Sunoka Building C13
Campus: Penticton
Phone: 250-492-4305 ext. 3302
Learning Centre - Brittany Houston

I completed my bachelor's degree in English literature at the University of Victoria in 2016. I worked as a learning coordinator for Okanagan College for almost four years before I found my current home in the Adult Special Education department. I feel very lucky to get to work with such a great group of students.

Karen Lutz

Adult Special Education
Office: Business Building 107
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

Katherine McCallum

Adult Special Education
Office: Salmon Arm Building 151
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-832-2126

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

Annick Parizeau

Adult Special Education
Office: Sunoka Building C09B
Campus: Penticton
Phone: 250-462-5445 ext. 3278
Annick - Parizeau photo

I come from the Kootenays with 20 years plus experience in the Human Service field within the school system and community.  I have a bachelors in Human Services with a post Certification in Special Education.  I have experience with various  government employment programs for adults with differences in empowering them to gain training, experience, and employment opportunities. I am happy to call the Okanagan my home and I am truly enjoying being part of the ASE program.  In my spare time I enjoying exploring the outdoors, traveling and spending time with my family.

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

Cathy Udala

Adult Academic Career Preparation
Office: Business Building 216A
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