Spots Still Available For St. Clair Program In A Field With Shortages

Tuesday July 15th, 2014

Posted at 3:11pm

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With such a wide range of disabilities and a small amount of trained workers to deal with them, St. Clair College offers a program which encompasses and covers the wide-rage of disabilities and how to care for them in specific ways.

The two-year diploma program, Developmental Services Worker, at the Thames Campus in Chatham looks at all the disabilities, their impacts on the individual as well as the family, and reviews the needs of the individual with such disability. Students in the program learn how to support individuals with disabilities and help them to participate in activities in their community with as much independence as possible.

“One of the reasons that I so enjoy teaching in the developmental services worker program is that developmental services workers are by and large genuine, kind and eager to help,” said Connie Marion, professor of the program. “These are the core personality traits that help the promotion of excellent developmental services worker graduates who go out and support individuals in our community to the best of their ability.”

Marion said the program explores a variety of classes which explore the different learning opportunities and give students a real-life taste of what they will experience in their field. Students also complete two placements in their field during the second year of the program.

“We have strong relationships with those agencies and associations, which means that the students have a realistic and positive experience working alongside trained developmental services workers in the field,” said Marion. “Students have a wide range of employment opportunities upon graduation.”

After two years, when the students graduate from the program, they are able to obtain jobs working in a variety of fields such as jobs where they may work in schools, associations or agencies. They may help students integrate into and work in a school-based environment, or take individuals with disabilities out into the public and participate in community-based activities such as going to the movies, or even shopping.

“There is currently a shortage of trained developmental service workers in the province of Ontario,” said Marion. “We attract a wide range of students to the developmental services worker program. The ideal student and future developmental service worker is one who enjoys working with people, cares about the well being of others, enjoys being active and is self-motivated. Developmental services workers perform a wide range of tasks and skills and should be open to the possibility of doing different things from one day to the next.”

For more information on what a developmental services worker can do, visit ontariodevelopmentalservices.ca, and for further information on St. Clair College’s two-year diploma program, which is still open for application, visit stclaircollege.ca/programs/postsec/dsw/.

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