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07 January 2016

$150,000 Grant Allows HACC to Launch Program for Students with Developmental Disabilities

HARRISBURG, Pa. - In an effort to connect students with a developmental disability to a career, HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, is launching Career Bridges, a two-year pilot program for students with developmental disabilities to earn a certificate in one of two career paths at HACC.

The new initiative in South Central Pennsylvania is supported by a $150,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council. Career Bridges will allow nondegree-seeking students with developmental disabilities to:
  • Earn a culinary specialist certificate or nurse aide training certificate
  • Participate in existing culinary or nurse aide training courses  alongside peers without disabilities at HACC’s Harrisburg Campus
  • Go to college
  • Experience campus life
  • Network with peers and employers in an industry of interest
  • Prepare to sit for industry-recognized exams
  • Gain skills for future employment

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one recent study of vocational rehabilitation outcomes showed that youth with intellectual disabilities who participated in postsecondary education were 26 percent more likely than students with no postsecondary education experience to leave vocational rehabilitation services with a paid job and earn a 73 percent higher weekly income.

To earn a culinary specialist certificate, students will complete two years of study, which includes:
  • five culinary courses
  • two general education courses focused on essential employability skills and basic computer skills
  • job shadowing
  • an internship

To earn a nurse aide training certificate within the Career Bridges program, students will complete one year of studies, which includes:
  • eight weeks of nurse aide training to prepare for the state certification exam
  • two general education courses focused on essential employability skills and basic computer skills
  • job shadowing
  • clinical training

“The key to student success is providing the tools and opportunities for these students to learn the necessary skills in actual work environments and consistent attendance in an instructional support class that will be required four days a week. The instructional support class will be a two-hour class for students to review and reinforce concepts learned in the other courses they’re taking within the program,” said Linda Leavens, coordinator of Career Bridges at HACC.

The number of students accepted in to the fall 2016 program is limited. Applications will be accepted Jan. 3-March 15, 2016. Please visit hacc.edu/CareerBridges for the application process and criteria for enrollment.

About HACC
 
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, offers more than 150 career and transfer associate degree, certificate and diploma programs to over 25,000 students. HACC serves students at its Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York campuses, through virtual learning and the Workforce Development and Continuing Education Division. For more information on how HACC is uniquely YOURS, visit hacc.edu. Also, follow us on Twitter (@HACC_info), like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/HACC64) and use #HACCNews.



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