Seth Sampson: TAFE Program

So I came on board here at TAMIU in the spring of 2019. I was able to do some adjunct work in the counseling program school counseling program. And over the summer. And then they offered me a tenure track position at TAMIU in the fall 2019. So that’s when I was able to start really as a full tenured track professor here. And in that timeframe, in between then and now, obviously with the pandemic happening, we had to do a lot of nontraditional type of online remote learning and that was probably my second semester. We’re going into that. So we went to spring break and then we came back and we were starting to do that. And coincidentally, we were already transitioning to a full, fully online program. So we were already learning how to do that. And now we’re writing the curriculum for that program and we’re continuing to do that and building that program up because we had to teach the students from that traditional program out. So now we’re starting a new program all online, so our first cohorts scheduled to graduate in 2023. So we’re super excited about that. But when I came on board at TAM, you had a good relationship and continue to have a good relationship with the dean. And he was approached by some individuals in turn to teach in class about the TAFE chapters that they had in high school. And they were wondering Is there a tacky chapter here at TAMIU? And he said, No, there’s not. So there is the opportunity right there to start something very special that had never been done before on this campus and really in the system. And you had the drive of the individual students that were wanting to do that. They’re passionate about one the educational field and then had the leadership capabilities to really grow this from the ground up, which we would need the student voice to be the catalyst for this growth of this program. That’s going to be hopefully in place long after these individuals have graduated. So it’s something that has started to grow in the year or so of existence, and they’re slowly but surely growing. So much so that they’re providing all these different resources to the community and services to the community and really making the names for the university, but also for their own personal and professional growth to help prepare them for life in general and then going out into the field and the younger generations of future educators are are seeing their leadership capabilities, and they’re modeling those for those younger generations. And that’s one of the whole purposes of TAFE is to mold. Future educators and then have these individuals reach back to where they came from and serve as a guide through the pathway or a pipeline of their educational journey to kind of get through obstacles or trip wires that they may have experienced. So future generations of educators don’t have to go through some of those hardships. I’ve had many conversations with students, some of which are the TAFE officers that they’re already starting to pass down knowledge that they wish they would have known prior to them, making that transition from high school to college. And they’re realizing the importance of doing that, just that to pass that knowledge on.

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