HCC VAST Academy
Vocational Advancement and Skills Training
VAST Academy provides post-secondary transition programs and comprehensive support services, which lead to meaningful credentials, employment and independence for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Opportunities include vocational certificates, pre-college and freshman success bridge courses, career readiness credentials, internships and employment assistance offered through an inclusive, relevant and affordable avenue.
Houston Community College’s Academy for Vocational Advancement and Skill Training (VAST) has been transforming the lives of students by giving them a chance to receive affordable college career-readiness training leading to meaningful credentials, employment, and independence, since 1990.
VAST Academy Advisory Board Members:
Dr. Adria Baker, Rice University/Parent advocate
Kristen Davis, Texas Workforce Solutions/Vocational Rehabilitation
Ana Esparza, Partners Resource Network Region 4
Winston Chambers, Houston Independent School District
Dr. David Cross, HCC Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity
Dr. Jaishree Ellie, Greater Houston Disability Chamber of Commerce
Tiffany Grady, HCC and VAST Academy Alumni
Cheryl Guido, Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation
Andrew Hardwick, Social Security Administration
Charles Kerlegon, The Harris Center
Claudia Magallan, Baker Ripley House
Janniece Sleigh, The Arc of Harris County
Jan Stailey, The Rise School of Houston
Shelley Townsend, University of Houston-Parent Project-Families CAN
Community, Employer Partners and Donors:
Arena Energy, Donor
Assistance League of Houston, Scholarship Donor
Catholic Daughters, Scholarship Donor
Easter Seals, Community Partner and Scholarship Donor
Hampton Inn, Employer Partner
Houston ISD, Community Partner
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Employer Partner
MD Anderson, Employer Partner
Shriner's Hospital, Employer Partner
Spring-Branch ISD, Community and Employer Partner
Texas Children's Hospital, Employer Partner
Texas Workforce Commission-Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Community Partner
The Rise School of Houston, Employer Partner
T.I.R.R., Employer Partner
Trustee Glaser Family Foundation Endowment, Scholarship Donor
The Center, Community Partner
Memorial Assistance Ministry (MAM), Community Employer Partner
UT Health LEND Program, Community Partner
The VAST Academy Eagles Club remains one of the most active student organizations on campus, hosting numerous campus-wide events and community service projects each year.
Student leaders are recognized each year at annual college award ceremonies. Some have received "Student Leader of the Year," awards/scholarships and Eagles Club has been awarded "Student Organization oft he Year," numerous times.
Houston Community College’s VAST Academy would like to partner with your company to expand employment and internship opportunities for our students. The VAST Academy provides comprehensive certificate programs in Office Skills and Occupational Skills to individuals that prefer or benefit from a personalized training format. Our students are trained on software programs that are in demand in the business sector such as: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. In addition to training in Microsoft Office, our students are trained in Customer Service, Records Management, Business Etiquette and Business Communication.
At the VAST Academy we value partnerships with the business community and community based organizations. Contact us at 713-718-2524 to discuss partnership opportunities or complete the VAST_Job_Posting_form.
VAST Academy provides post-secondary transition programs and comprehensive support services, which lead to meaningful credentials, employment and independence for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Opportunities include vocational certificates, precollege and freshman success bridge courses, career readiness credentials, internships and employment assistance offered through an inclusive, relevant and affordable avenue.
VAST Academy will be:
A post-secondary, “affordable” program of choice, for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities seeking workforce certificates and academic advancement, leading to professional careers, employment and independence.
Known for its innovative and “cutting-edge” programs, certificates and technology.
An integral part of the economic and educational life of the community through its collaborative partnerships.
A technical resource model, sharing best practices with community colleges and institutions seeking to develop similar model programs
VAST Academy affirms these Values:
- Mutual Respect
Occupational Skills/Career Readiness Certificate
The Occupational Skills Certificate Program is a two-year career readiness workforce credential, offering courses that enhance functional reading, math and writing. Students develop basic computer/financial literacy and
human relations skills for the workplace.
Students receive assistance through a “person centered planning” approach with identifying realistic career goals by developing a vocational degree plan and participating in an internship following the completion of required coursework. Job placement assistance is offered upon successful completion The program’s successful supportive strategies include:
- Peer mentoring and Tutoring
- Career counseling and advising
- Self-Advocacy Training
- Transition and Employment Services