VTS Launches the Family Science Department

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Creating New Educational Opportunities and Ways for Graduates to Impact the Community

In September, Victory Trade School (VTS) launched the Family Science Department, a new educational track for women. Thus, VTS has expanded as a trade school to now offer two diverse programs for education and employment—Culinary Arts and Family Science. Since 2006, VTS has operated the New Life Program (NLP), a one-year Biblical studies and life skills program focused on helping women become spiritually, socially, mentally and emotionally healthy, while encouraging children to live with their mothers during their studies. The school also provided in-house childcare training and services to teach women how to manage family and job responsibilities. However, NLP graduates were not necessarily finding sustainable employment after graduation. Therefore, the school began to investigate possible solutions to this employment challenge.

Becca Brotherton, Director of Family Science, says the VTS administration discovered a niche at the intersection of two community needs—a need for healthier parenting skills and a lack of qualified people in the child-development field. The staff began to research how to fine-tune VTS’ educational offerings in order to meet both needs while equipping women with the skills necessary for a viable trade. This research resulted in the Family Science Department, which replaced the New Life Program when it launched.

The Family Science educational track is a 48-week program designed for female VTS students to take courses in child development, literacy, curriculum development, ethics, play development and professional administration, while maintaining the strong life skills and discipleship elements that made the NLP successful. Students gain experience in classroom settings by participating in a variety of lab rotations in a fully functioning childcare facility that correlates with childcare material. The year is comprised of six modules where students focus on different aspects of child and family development, create professional portfolios and prepare for the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ process. The CDA is a nationally recognized credential that serves as a standard for all Head Start programs, as well as most childcare facilities—and it greatly increases graduates’ employment options.

A core component of the VTS education is the hands-on learning laboratory experience. Therefore, Family Science students will complete their lab rotations at the WABC Neighborhood Hub, a new collaborative childcare facility to provide quality, affordable childcare and kindergarten readiness within the Weller School District. This new laboratory also expands opportunities for the Culinary Arts (CA) department, as there will be two CA lab rotations that will provide additional employment training in federal standards and requirements for school nutrition and meal planning. The program launched with two students. Since VTS accepts new students every other month, the Family Science Program hopes to continue to grow with the potential to increase bed space in its residence halls. VTS is excited about the Family Science educational track and looks forward to seeing more lives transformed to make an impact. Stay tuned!

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