Academic Calendar

TAST – Special Needs Educational Asst

TAST 101
Child and Adolescent Development
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course provides a survey of the major theories of human development, principles, research findings, and concepts relating to child and adolescent development from a cognitive, social/emotional, and physical perspective. Course material explores several aspects influencing individual development from preschool to adolescence with a focus on application of this content to the educational setting.

TAST 102
Supporting Classroom Behaviour Management
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

Students develop the skills and knowledge to provide positive behavioural support to students within the context of the teacher’s classroom behaviour management system. Course content addresses the interrelationship of multiple factors within the classroom environment, strategies to foster positive student behaviour, methods of observing, documenting and reporting student behaviours to teachers, understanding of what influences behaviour and the communicative function of student behaviour, the development and implementation of appropriate intervention strategies for students who require complex behavioural services, and the critical need for positive classroom relationships.

TAST 103
Language Learning and Math Across the Curriculum
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

In this course, students examine the theory and practice of literacy within the Alberta Language Arts and Mathematics curricula. Students learn to support the implementation of these programs by adapting materials to meet the learning styles and needs of pupils. Learning a variety of practical strategies, students are able to transfer real skills to the classroom, including paired reading, spelling systems, and math manipulatives.

TAST 107
Students with Exceptionalities - Level I
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course examines the philosophy and educational concepts associated with educating students with special needs in Alberta. In addition, the course examines theoretical information related to attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD), learning disabilities, Down Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The role special needs educational assistants have in implementing the objectives identified in student's individual program plans is also examined. Students explore in-depth program modification strategies, documentation strategies and the effects of specific medications.

TAST 114
Specialized Skills and Practice
2 Credits          Weekly (2-0-0)

Students develop the skills necessary to support classroom teachers and students with specific special education needs. The course blends theory with effective practice to prepare assistants who must demonstrate ways to adapt learning activities and materials for students with a range of academic, emotional and physical challenges. The particular special education need studied varies from term to term.

TAST 117
Students With Exceptionalities- Level II
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course examines the philosophy and educational concepts associated with educating students with special needs in Alberta. In this course, students learn to implement strategies, as directed by the teacher, in order to realize a student's goals as outlined in the Individualized Program Plan (IPP). In addition, specific areas of study include: emotional/behaviour disorders, Tourette's Syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, anxiety or eating disorders, traumatic brain injury, oppositional defiant disorder, medication, depression, schizophrenia, and conduct disorder. Specific sessions will address transporting and lifting, medication administration in classrooms, learning styles, and how to best meet the needs of children with autism.

TAST 125
Collaborative Team Practice
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course introduces students to the foundational skills required to effectively contribute to classroom learning teams. Through mediated learning activities students have the opportunity to build on and expand their own communication skills and practice the interpersonal skills needed to work productively in a variety of educational contexts. The roles and responsibilities of learning team members are identified and compared as the dynamics among the roles of these team members are explored. A strong emphasis is placed on experiential learning and self-growth activities.

TAST 128
Assistive and Adaptive Technology
3 Credits          Weekly (3-0-0)

This course provides an introduction to assistive technology resources used to support children and adults with disabilities to achieve success in their learning and work throughout their lifespan. Students compare methods used to make decisions about appropriate assistive technology for specific needs and examine their role in the needs assessment and implementation processes.

TAST 129
Seminar
1 Credit          Weekly (0-0-1)

In this course, students reflect on their professional practice and link their classroom learning with field related experiences and workplace issues. The small group seminar format promotes the integration of theory and practice in a professional setting through facilitated group discussion and participation. The school board application process is examined in detail and students complete a professional portfolio to provide an overview of their skills, knowledge and experience.

Co-requisites: TAST 130.

TAST 130
Practicum
3 Credits          Total (0-0-180)

The practicum is designed to provide students experiential learning opportunities in the field to connect their knowledge, skills and attitudes to the content of program theoretical course work. Through practical, hands-on work at their school site, students experience the full range of responsibilities associated with the complex role of educational assistants. The supervised practice setting enables students to develop the confidence and knowledge required to be an effective practitioner in the field of education.

Co-requisites: TAST 129.