TCP Phase 1 (Community Based Instruction) - When younger students transition from middle school to our Transitional Career Program, they are often too young to legally begin job shadowing in the community, yet they still need to start enhancing their social, life, and vocational skills. We like to use these younger years to get a sense of each student’s unique skill set, individual interests, and goals for the future. We focus on developing the academic skills that are needed to be successful in the real world, and work through social and behavioral challenges. These younger students utilize the vocational labs running on campus, so that they are able to apply these skills in a job setting when they come of age. During this phase, students gain their experience in the community through Community Based Instruction. Community Based Instruction is educational instruction naturally occurring within community environments. These outings offer our students the opportunity to practice their social skills, while also having experiences that will help them gain independence.
TCP Phase 2 (Job Shadowing)- When students in the TCP turn 16, they become eligible for job shadowing. During this phase, students are able to start applying the vocational skills they have learned on campus to an actual working environment. Students in this phase are given lots of support from our job coaches and instructional assistants as they are learning to complete the tasks each site requires. Our job coaches are able to see what our students excel in, what they need to practice, and what sparks their interest. Job shadowing in our program takes place at Mullica Hill Chiropractor, The Arc of Salem County, and Friendly’s.
TCP Phase 3 (Internships)- As our students grow older and progress through high school, they enter phase 3 of our program. At this time, our job coaches have identified our students’ main interests and specific skill sets, and these students have had ample experience working in the community. At the locations where our internships take place, they rely on our students to perform tasks that are essential to their business. In this phase our job coaches supervise our students and step back to allow the students to be as independent as possible. Internships take place at WaWa, Shoprite, Inspira Medical Center, and Holiday Inn Express.
We are currently working at two different Shoprite locations. Our students intern throughout several locations of the store. The locations include bakery, deli, floral and returns. Shoprite offers great opportunities to interact with store employees and enhance communication skills. We are so impressed by the hard work our students exhibit at this location, and are so excited to see how they continue to grow in this environment.
Inspira hospital has offered our students excellent experiences. The process starts with a volunteer orientation. The volunteers then receive a vest and badge, and proper dress code is required. As volunteers, our students help with tasks in the dietary, laundry and housekeeping departments. Inspira includes our students in many events throughout the year. Inspira is a wonderful example of a professional work environment, and our students are proud to work in this setting.
We are having a great time learning how to prepare a hotel room for new customers at the Holiday Inn Express. This includes stripping the beds, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting, and restocking the room. The opportunities have continued to grow at this location. We are now getting experience in the laundry department. This location provides us with the perfect opportunity for our students to apply the skills they learn in our apartment vocational lab on campus, to an actual job setting.
This is a wonderful location to teach the student how to sort items. Many of the items are being sorted according to seasons and holidays. The items that the students sort are then sold in the Thrift Store. This location provides an excellent opportunity for the students to see all the steps taken to make a business run effectively. At this location, students can apply the skills they acquired through completing task boxes.
This office is a great place for our students that need more time to adapt to social outings while incorporating job training. We arrive when the office is closed to clients. During our time here we do house keeping tasks. They include, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, sweeping and taking out the trash. This location provides us with the perfect opportunity for our students to apply the skills they learn in our apartment and custodial vocational labs on campus, to an actual job setting.
The staff and environment at our Friendly’s location are more than welcoming to our students. We have been job shadowing at this location for about two years, and it has been a wonderful learning opportunity for our students. Many of the tasks at this location include cleaning menus, table caddies, windows and tables. The students also blow up balloons, wrap silverware, and fold kids menus. Our students have had the opportunity to shadow the cook and do many food prep tasks. They are also learning to order from the menu, pay for their order, and figure out the tip. This location offers great job shadowing and social experiences.
This location a great place to intern with our students. There is great opportunity in many locations for the students to get jobs in the future. The skills learned here can be applied in many other job experiences such as organizing, stocking shelves, cleaning and check dates of food items. This is a very busy environment and teaches many social skills.