Several years ago Elim Christian Services and Trinity Christian College created a partnership by establishing the Center for Special Education at Trinity Christian College, recently renamed the Alexander De Jong Center for Special Education at Trinity Christian College. The mission of the Center is to prepare current and future teachers with the highest quality instruction and training to develop fully the God-given potential of individuals with special needs.
The Center has several goals but the first goal is to address the acute shortage of special education educators. To meet this goal, the Center recruits students to consider special education as their eventual career. The Center does this in part by encouraging students to discover and explore the intricacies of special education as a potential profession.
How have we done this? We implemented our first and second Summer Institutes of Discovery during the 2004 and 2005 summers. High school sophomores and juniors from Timothy Christian High School, Chicago Christian High School and Illiana Christian High School spent six weeks at Elim Christian School in Palos Heights, Illinois, exploring special education as a potential calling and career. Students chosen for this program had the opportunity to work in Elim classrooms and observe occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and assistive technology.
The past several summers have been directed at college students interested in exploring the field of special education as a potential career. College students chosen for this summer program work as teacher assistants in Elim's summer school program. They are paid for their work during the day and have the opportunity to participate in outings to Chicago and extracurricular activities with Elim students in the evenings and on weekends.
Might God be calling you to the field of special education? Do you want to explore this exciting career with students with special needs? Then take this opportunity to apply for one of the Summer Institute of Discovery placements. I look forward to what God is going to do in the lives of college students as they participate in the Summer Institute of Discovery.