Student Transition Employment Program-STEP
Supported by State and Federal mandates, the Student Transition Employment Program (STEP) provides students with Individual Education Plans (IEP), opportunities to develop skills and prepare for the world that awaits them after high school. The activities in this program are specifically addressed in the Transition Plan, a specific section included in the IEP.
During the first year(s) of high school, students are introduced to the STEP by enrolling in the SLE Prep course. The course's curriculum includes inventories of interest, skills and career interest. The course also provides opportunities for job exploration and learning about self-advocacy, communication, and other important employability skills. Students will engage in Community Based Instruction (CBI) where they can experience diverse job sites, gain exposure to different work environments, and become more familiar with and confident in an independent future in the community in which they live. Students are encouraged to identify skills needed to perform the specific jobs they are observing on these outings and determine whether they would be interested and/or able to acquire said skills.
In the years that follow, various work-based learning experiences are scheduled for individual students based on their career interests and the results of the inventories. These experiences may include job shadowing, unpaid internships, volunteering, or employment. As juniors and seniors, students are able to employ and practice their learned career readiness skills in placements both inside the school building and in the community. While working in these placements, students may be assisted by job coaches or worksite mentors with the goal of independence based upon the individual student’s profile and ability. These experiences take place several days a week for a few hours each day. The students are observed regularly by the Transition Coordinator and evaluated in collaboration with the job coaches, worksite mentor, and employer when applicable.
An important component of the program is the STEP Center in rooms 130 and 133 at PTHS. The center houses an “apartment”, fully outfitted with a kitchen, washer and dryer, and realistic living spaces. Not only is this a space where students can practice life skills, but it is the hub of one of our school-based enterprises, The Hornets Breakfast Club. The Breakfast Club is a student-run business that provides coffee and breakfast for its staff members in the building. The STEP Center is also the home of our PTHS School Store. The School Store provides our students with in-house employment opportunities in the retail industry. All of these areas are used to teach and hone job skills. In addition to the skills and abilities students acquire through this program, they also increase their self-esteem and pride. Students have the opportunity to transition into community-based placements.
The Special Services Department recognizes some students may need additional reinforcement and preparation to prepare for life after high school. Pemberton Township High School offers a Transition Program for students who are 18-21 years old based on their individual needs and as determined by the IEP Team. The tenets of the Transition Program include:
- Career awareness and development of employment skills
- Self awareness and self advocacy
- Independent living skills
- Lifelong personal health and wellness
- Planning for post-secondary placement, education and training
The mission of the Student Transition Employment Program--in partnership with the families and the community (where we place students to observe, learn, practice and work)--is to create independent, responsible, productive citizens. As with every other graduate of Pemberton Township High School, each student who participates in STEP will possess the skills and knowledge necessary to:
- Develop and maintain personal and employment goals.
- Demonstrate the ability to retain meaningful work.
- Communicate effectively with coworkers.
- Understand how or where to go to solve workplace problems.
- Understand the value of paid employment.
- Acquire new skills in a real world setting.
- Develop and maintain self-confidence, a positive attitude about the future, and a healthy self-image through meaningful employment.