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Every day she walks into the classroom at Columbia Park Elementary, Åsa Kenyon is looking for ways to support students with diverse learning needs.
“My job is to find the strength in each individual I work with. I work as a key part of a team to strive towards success for all students in the classroom,” says Kenyon.
Kenyon is a graduate of the Education Assistant Certificate program at Okanagan College. “I took the program because I enjoy working with children and youth. The training offered me an opportunity for work I find both meaningful and rewarding,” says Kenyon.
Education assistants have an important role in the successful education and inclusion of students with diverse learning needs. They work in elementary and secondary school systems, as well as other community organizations.
It is an in-demand skill with job opportunities across the province. Recent labour market data predicts there will be need for nearly 6,000 new education assistants and early childhood educators in B.C. over the next eight years.
Graduates of the education assistant program at Okanagan College have high levels of employment in their field, with 97-per-cent working in the labour force according to the statistics from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
“We know that providing education for children and youth with diverse learning needs is integral to the overall wellbeing of the community,” says Dennis Silvestrone, Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Training at Okanagan College. “This program will offer training opportunities for education assistants at the Revelstoke campus. It is a key step in building this critical skill within the community.”
The program is offered in a part-time format and is eligible for student grants. “The part-time nature of the training worked for my schedule as a working parent, as did the practicum component,” says Kenyon.
The Education Assistant certificate training program will be offered at the Revelstoke Centre of Okanagan College and begins in January.