By Juanita Hernandez
Eastfield’s Pleasant Grove campus is moving students from its classrooms into K-12 classrooms with a 48-hour Teaching Assistant Preparation Program.
Administrators say the certificate program, in its fourth semester, is in high demand.
“All classes have been filled,” said Rosana Martinez, continuing education program coordinator. There is a waiting list for the next session, which begins in January.
Classes meet two or three times per week for eight weeks. The instruction prepares students to work with children, manage a classroom, understand the expectations of a school principal, write a resume and meet deadlines.
Adviser Dora Pacheco said participation helps students evaluate whether careers in education might suit them, possibly encouraging them to pursue associate’s, bachelor’s and even a master’s degrees.
It doesn’t replace an associate’s degree, Martinez said, but “it is a starting point for the students to get their foot in the door.”
Starting salaries range from $17,180 to $36,680, depending on factors such as district, location and experience, Martinez said. Growth in the job field is expected to grow by 9 percent through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Martinez said many graduates have found jobs in the Dallas Independent School District, and others, such as Mesquite and Forney, are starting to look to the program for applicants.
“Eighty-five percent of the students have obtained a job during or right after the course,” she said.
Giovani Delgado, who finished the course in August, said he has received multiple job offers.
“Skyline (High School) offered me a job as a monitor,” he said. “Samuell (High School) offered me a special education position.”
He hasn’t decided which job to take, but he said he wants to continue his education and one day work as a school principal.
Registration is open for two eight-week sessions, which start Jan. 26, and another two sessions, one starting March 30 and the other April 6. Students must be at least 18, have high school diplomas or GEDs and speak English.
Tuition costs $475 and includes course material. Financial aid is available. For information, call 972-860-5307 or visit www.eastfieldcollege.edu/ced/teachingassistant.asp