YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima students are preparing for a new Teacher Education Program at Yakima Valley College that will lead them towards a Bachelor of Applied Science degree.
YVC hosted their opening session Wednesday for its brand-new Teacher Education program.
Rhonda Easter is one of the students in the program.
She is working as a Para educator in the Yakima School District right now and says being in this program is a great opportunity for her to grow in this field.
“I love being an encourager for students, helping them how to persevere, keep going when it gets tough you just keep on learning, keep on working very hard and to pursue and I want to continue to do that," said Easter.
According to YVC, this new program was created in response to requests from local school district leaders who said there was a demand for teachers in our community.
The BAS in Teacher Education program will allow teacher candidates to work in the field by going to local schools, working closely with mentor teachers and building staff.
Thirty-one students have signed up for this program, and Site Supervisor and Faculty Netty Hull says they have received a diverse group with people of all ages and backgrounds.
She says half of these students are currently employed in local school districts in para-professional or support staff positions.
“I look at the diversity and the richness that we have and I think that our students of our future classrooms that will be taught by our students from this program are going to benefit from what they bring with them," said Hull.
Director of the Teacher Education Program Melissa Matczak says their goal is to prepare these students to graduate, be certified and competent for Yakima Valley Schools.
“We really want them to hit you know when the rubber hits the road, they hit the ground running, that they know and they have the skills to be able to be effective first year teachers," said Matczak.
The students will begin the program by the end of this month.
Any new students that are interested in being part of the Teacher Education Program can apply in April of next year.