CINCINNATI, Ohio— Students in Greg Tabar’s special education classroom at Deer Park Jr./Sr. High School are part of a collaborative effort with the University of Cincinnati to help special needs students not only develop communication skills necessary for social interactions, but also to improve employment skills necessary for community work.
The Collaboration for Education and Employment Synergy (CEES) program was implemented by UC in 2016 and offers 12-week individualized transition curriculum to “help young adults with intellectual disabilities determine how their interest and abilities can be applied to the workplace,” according to the CEES Handbook.
Deer Park's McKenzie Stratton (pictured above) and other students in Mr. Tabar’s class visit the main campus at UC each week and use various facilities throughout campus, as well as off-site organizations to access resources in nearby neighborhoods.
Following the completion of the program, students develop a poster board presentation reflecting their experience during their time at CEES. Students present their board at UC where families, school-based teams and friends are welcome to come see the students’ presentations and enjoy a catered luncheon.
The poster board presentation services as a capstone project, much like high school or college seniors would participate in at the conclusion of their education.
During the program, the students gain hands on experience in a variety of vocational settings, while developing an understanding of appropriate work habits and attitudes, workplace responsibilities, as well as workplace realities.
There are many ways in which the students practice targeted appropriate work habits inside of the curriculum including clocking in and out of work, following written and verbal instruction and responding appropriately to feedback or corrections.
The CEES program is one of many ways in which Deer Park Schools continues to partner with outside local resources in order to best serve the needs of all students throughout the district.