Understanding the transition program for special needs students

Finding the Right Transition Program for Special Needs Students

Any way you look at it, the transition from school to work can be a challenging experience for students, especially for students with special needs. From the bittersweet goodbyes to classroom peers and mentors, the apprehension of closing the door to a familiar life and opening the door into a new chapter can be difficult. That’s why it’s important for families to find the right transition program for special needs students as they venture through this often stressful phase.

What Are Challenges Associated With Transitions For Students With Disabilities?

A federal study that tracked youths with disabilities eight years after they left school found that sixty percent had enrolled in college and were much more likely to be enrolled in a community college or vocational school. But about 30 percent of those who started college did not graduate or complete their programs.

For the 6 million students diagnosed with disabilities in the United States, their support system shifts when they graduate high school. Even though federal special education law requires school districts to address transition needs for students with disabilities beginning at age 16*, too many students are faced with a degree of self-advocacy in college or within the workforce that they may not be properly prepared for after graduation.
*Note: In New Jersey this planning begins at age 14.?

Transition For Students With Disabilities From High School

Unfortunately, too many families feel their child is stuck in an education system that isn’t designed for their unique intellectual, communicative and/or physical needs. And because some of these systems lack the proper transition program to prepare special needs students for life after graduation, a majority of adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities end up unemployed or underemployed.

According to a survey with disabled adults by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common barrier to employment aside from the disabilities themselves is largely because of a lack of training and education. 

Finding the Right Transition Program for Special Needs Students

A key ingredient to successfully prepare students for the workforce is a comprehensive school-to-work transition program. A transition program for special needs students should include skills to enable them to live independently, find employment and become actively involved in their communities. It’s crucial for programs to include training such as: life skills (socially interacting with coworkers, accepting instructions/corrections), resume writing, job application process, interviewing skills, displaying appropriate workplace behavior and etiquette, problem solving, etc.

Harbor School’s Transition Program for Special Needs Students

Harbor school is designed for students ages five to 21 with an essential “school-to-work” transition program for students 14 to 21-year-old. Our transition program for special needs students provides each student with unique on-the-job training. Through the support of a dedicated Structured Learning Experience Coordinator, the Harbor School staff works closely with the personnel of local participating businesses to accompany each student to their job, guide them with interactions and assist them with performance on required tasks.

harbor school students in transition work program in monmouth county nj

We also support adults with special needs through PrimeTime Center, an approved 21 and over program that promotes integration into the larger community. PrimeTime Center is an organization that enables adults with learning and developmental disabilities to achieve their full potential and lead independent lives.

About RKS Associates and Harbor School

Since 1980, RKS Associates has been a leader in providing the needs of special education students and helping children grow to their fullest potential. Our school seeks to empower each student with skills for life, work and recreation; we believe that every individual possesses the dignity and potential to contribute to a better world.

Located in Eatontown, NJ, Harbor School provides services for students with special needs throughout Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean, and Mercer counties. Contact us at our main office at 732.544.9394 with any questions or schedule a private tour of Harbor School today.

Our mission at Harbor School:
Provide a safe and nurturing educational environment dedicated to the vision that individuals with disabling conditions are entitled to a full and meaningful life.