With funds no longer being granted, the PACT (Preparing for a Career in Teaching) program at the Saddleback College Transfer Center urges students to take advantage of the tools they provide.
According to Support Staffer Jeri Magnetta, the program is a unique opportunity for Saddleback students that not many other California community college students have.
“There are 112 community colleges in California and only 10 of them received state grants for this program,” Magnetta said. “The state will no longer be granting funds to the PACT Program after May of this year.”
With funding cut off, it is hard to say if PACT will be able to continue to help students.
“The future of the program is uncertain,” said Transfer Center Coordinator Orlantha Nin.
PACT provides academic counseling, workshops and university representative appointments to aspiring teachers.
“To be a teacher, there are very specialized classes you need to take, and we offer some of them here at Saddleback,” said Transfer Center Counselor Jennifer Golden.
The program encourages taking courses like Education 115-Secondary School Teaching.
“The course requires 40 hours to be spent with a high school teacher as your mentor,” Magnetta said. “You’re not a student teacher, but we suggest you take this course so you have an idea of what it’s like to be in the classroom as a teacher.”
Another similar course would include Education 90-Intro to Elementary Teaching. In this three-unit course, students gain teaching experience by spending 45 hours in K-8 classrooms.
PACT is closely associated with the Student California Teacher Association Club (SCTA), where students meet at Kinoshita Elementary School in San Juan Capistrano every Friday from 10 a.m. to noon to volunteer in instructing elementary students.
“It’s an underserved school and the teachers rely on student volunteers for help,” Nin said. “It’s a great way for students to do community service and universities really value that.”
They then have a meeting from 1-2 p.m. at Saddleback in the Student Services Committee Building, Room 211.
For additional help, Students can speak to a PACT counselor on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during an online chat called Teacher Talk from 4-5 p.m. at www.saddleback.edu/transfer/TeacherTalk.html.
“During Teacher Talk, students have access to a live counselor in a chat environment,” Nin said.
For more information about the PACT Program, schedule an appointment with a Transfer Center Counselor at (949) 582-4328. The Transfer Center is located in the Student Services Committee Building, Room 225B.