(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Future child care providers, teaching assistants and paraprofessionals receive a uniquely hands-on education when enrolled in Texas State Technical College’s Education and Training program.
The program, which has adopted an online curriculum since March 2020, equips students to work in child care settings with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school students up until sixth grade.
“Our program is now 100 percent online as of March 2020,” Education and Training instructor Myriam Aguila said. “Thanks to the experience, knowledge and commitment we have to our students, our faculty has converted all of our courses so that the content and the learning outcomes are fully met through this new modality. Right now, technology is our best ally.”
Tony Desjardins, an instructor in the program, said that different approaches are used throughout a student’s studies to ensure their success.
“It is a hybrid technical education program incorporating a skills-based instructional approach, along with the coverage of relevant academic content,” he said. “Our students graduate with valuable classroom experience, which sets them apart from other traditional teacher-training program graduates.”
While the coronavirus pandemic has brought adjustments to many college curriculums, Aguila said that the TSTC Education and Training department is still greatly committed to student success.
“I am very proud to say that our program is unique, not only in our local area, but even at a larger scale,” she said. “We utilize a hands-on approach, which includes field-based experiences.”
Aguila added that the instructors in the program are part of what makes a tremendous difference.
“All of the instructors have been teaching between 10 and 44 years,” she said. “We provide our students with knowledge, skills, strategies, tips and experiences to succeed.”
Desjardins had some advice for future educators.
“Take advantage of the networking opportunities that may develop while completing elementary classroom observations and field experiences,” he said. “I would also recommend that students secure a position as a teacher assistant or co-teacher while working on their certificate or degree.”
To learn more about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.