The BC Alternate Education Association (BCAEA) is a Provincial Specialist Association (PSA) of the BC Teachers Federation. It is a collection of teachers working in Alternate Education.
Alternate (or Alternative) Education programs exist in many varieties throughout the province. At its simplest, Alternate Education attempts to help at-risk youth, who, because of a variety of factors, are unsuccessful in the main stream school. Problems experienced by these students may include a wide range of social and emotional difficulties, substance use issues, trouble with the law, teenage parenthood, and a whole host of others. The one trait these students share is an inability to progress satisfactorily in the regular school system.
In response, districts have developed a variety of education models to help these students succeed. Most programs have strong links with community services, and various government ministries. Often, in addition to the teaching staff, a program will have one or more Youth Care Workers or CEA's, and other liaisons with the services its students need.
Programs may be small or large, attached to the main school, housed separately, or in some instances, even form their own entire high school. The thing they all have in common is a strong desire to help kids in need, and the flexibility to tailor the programs they offer their students to best help them succeed.