Did you know that Joya Child & Family Development is helping to educate a future generation of pediatric therapists, teachers and nurses?
Throughout the years, Joya has opened its doors to students from area and out of state universities so they can fulfill educational requirements and get a better understanding of early intervention practices that are effective with young children.
“We depend on Joya Child & Family Development to provide our students with practicum and student teaching experiences. At Joya they get a specific perspective that is very different from what they would get from other schools.”
—Kimberly Weber, professor and chair of the Special Education Department at Gonzaga University.
In any given year, Joya staff oversees more than 50 students who come for practicum experience, which is an introduction, and the more in-depth internships or student teaching. Additional students come for tours or spending a few hours job shadowing professionals.
This collaboration allows students from Eastern Washington University, Washington State University, University of Washington, University of Idaho, University of Montana and private schools that include Gonzaga University, Whitworth University and University of Puget Sound to get hands-on experience in pediatric nursing, special education and physical, occupational and speech therapies.
Weber said that per Gonzaga’s requirements, students participating in practicum spend about 30 hours spread out in smaller increments and student teachers put in fulltime hours over 9-to-12 weeks. About 30 percent of the Gonzaga students graduating with special education teaching certificates add early childhood education as an endorsement.
Like many other Joya staff members, Susie Scarborough regularly works with college students, who are fulfilling various requirements while determining if pediatrics is a good fit for them personally.
Scarborough, a Joya special education teacher for the past 15 years, said there is no program in the area that is exactly like Joya and that provides a unique experience for students.
“This age group is very individualized in each area of their development, so it is fun to work with them,” Scarborough said.
In addition to the team-oriented approach to working with children, Scarborough said the college students quickly learn that an essential part of working with young children is engaging with the children’s families.
“You’ve got to be able to work with families if you want to be a success with the kids.”