JOBS² Transition ProgramBremen High School District 228Journeys and Opportunities with Bremen/South Suburban
Bremen High School District 228 began operation of its new transition program in partnership with South Suburban Community College during the 2008-2009 school year. The program is designed to address transition needs of students who would normally not access district special education services after their high school requirements were met. The program focuses its efforts in addressing student’s needs in a junior college environment. The JOBS² program will provide academic support and encouragement, work experience opportunities, and job acquisition skills in a classroom setting, which will be helpful in later unsupported employment environments. The South Suburban College administration has provided the JOBS² program with work sites in the various departments of the college. Some of the works sites include Custodial Services, Ace Food Service, College of Nursing Office, Child Development Center, the college fitness center, the Maintenance Department, and the college Library.
We are recruiting more departments in order to increase student enrollment in future year. In addition, the college has given the JOBS² program working space to conduct academic and administrative tasks. With all of the positive support from the South Suburban College community and the Bremen High School District, the JOBS² program has hit the ground running and has already began seeing signs of success in our students. Students face both challenging and exciting times with the added responsibility of college course requirements and competition for employment in a volatile economy. Therefore, the JOBS² students will benefit in the long-term from the academic/vocational experience gained in this program for later occupational success.
As students show success in the training sites at South Suburban College, i.e., monthly evaluations and classroom curriculum completion, students will be placed in the community for further training. The final phase for a student working in the JOBS² Transition program is to train in the community, which will lead to unsupported paid employment. Currently, the JOBS² program is placing students with Sodexo Services with the assistance of Ms. Beth Pynn. Ms. Pynn is the Sodexo Services manager for Bremen High School District 228's food service. She has found placements in four local grade schools for students ready to work in paid positions.
The ultimate goal of the JOBS² program is to help students develop a solid foundation in the area of academic, social, and vocational self confidence in a college environment. The hope is that this program will help students become more independent and self-reliant after experiencing and eventually doing “the things that college-bound adults do.” The JOBS² staff and Bremen High School District 228 is currently in the process of presenting the program to qualified students and their families to consider as a viable option after their high school experience has concluded.
An added dimension to the JOBS² Transition Program at South Suburban College is the new course offerings through South Suburban College in partnership with Bremen High School District 228. During the 2012-2013 school year JOBS² will offer a Vocational Skills class during both semesters and will offer Civics first semester and Horticulture second semester. All first year JOBS² students will be required to take Vocational Skills the first semester in the program. JOBS² students will continue to be encouraged to take college level courses while attending the JOBS² Transition Program.