Students attend the Project SEARCH Program for a full school year in the host business. The business provides access to an on-site classroom that can accommodate up to 12 students. The site is staffed by a special education teacher and one to three job coaches to meet the educational and training needs of the students.
- Once the school year begins, the first few weeks of the program are focused on new employee orientation, hands-on skill assessment, and familiarization within the business environment. Students develop a career plan which guides the internship selection process and individualized job search.
- Employment Skills Curriculum: Throughout the school year, the students work on employability and functional skills. Classroom activities are designed around these focus areas: Team Building, Getting Around your Workplace, Workplace Safety, Technology, Social Skills, Communication, Presentation Skills, Interviewing Skills, Money Management, Health and Wellness, Job Search Skills and Keeping a Job.
- Internships/Worksite Rotations: Through a series of three targeted 10-week internships the students acquire competitive, marketable and transferable skills to enable them to apply for a related position. Students also build communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills which is important to their overall development as a young worker.
Students must …
- Be at least 18 years of age and entering their last year in the Howard County Public School System (either after 12th grade or at age 21).
- Meet eligibility requirements for DORS (vocational rehabilitation).
- Meet eligibility requirements for the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).
- Have independent personal hygiene and grooming skills.
- Have independent daily living skills.
- Maintain appropriate behavior and social skills in the workplace or school setting.
- Take direction from supervisors.
- Be able to communicate effectively.
- Demonstrate good attendance.
- Be able to pass a drug screening, criminal background check and have up-to-date immunizations.
- Have the desire and plan to work competitively in the community at the conclusion of the Project SEARCH program.
Information and Application
Project SEARCH Howard information nights are held annually. The application package may be downloaded through the Howard County Public School System. For more information please contact Project SEARCH Howard Program Manager Natalie Dohner firstname.lastname@example.org or Director of Special Education for HCPSS Janice Yetter Janice_Yetter@hcpss.org.