Program Information

Program Information

Career Studies Inclusive Post-Secondary Education Program

In 2015, with the support of the D.R.E.A.M. Partnership, Penn State Harrisburg developed the inclusive post-secondary education program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Individuals with intellectual disabilities, ages 18-25, are eligible to apply to the program. Applicants who have not yet graduated from high school may enroll through their school district, charter school or cyber charter school. Applicants who have graduated from high school are also eligible to apply.

The program follows Penn State’s academic calendar. Students enroll in Customer Relations and Life Transitions coursework, academic courses, and engage in campus activities and vocational experiences 20 – 30 hours per week. Full-time undergraduate or graduate students provide academic and social support. A job coach/employment specialist provides vocational support and supports the individual planning model. The semester sequence of the program is below.

 

 

Customer Relations Introduction BE SC 6000 (semester 1)

Students will:

  • Participate in introductory Customer Relations Curriculum from the National Retail Foundation,
  • Participate in individual person centered planning, vocational planning, and goal setting process,
  • Evaluate job categories via participation in group career field trip experiences and job shadowing experiences,
  • Audit a maximum of one credit course that matches personal and vocational interest,
  • Define self-determination and discuss the principles of self-determination in relation to themselves,
  • Attend at least one official freshman seminar activity and one other campus enrichment event.

Customer Relations Intermediate BE SC 6008 (semester 2)

Students will:

  • Participate in intermediate Customer Relations Curriculum from the National Retail Foundation,
  • Practice Goal Setting;
  • Identify behaviors required to attain goals;
  • Continue to focus on self-determination and personal decision making,
  • Take Customer Service and Sales Certificate practice exams;
  • Audit a maximum of one credit course that matches personal and vocational interest;
  • List personal attributes and vocational interests;
  • Identify work environments compatible with personal attributes and vocational interests;
  • Practice job skills in individualized career exploration; and
  •  Attend at least one official Freshman seminar activity and one other campus enrichment event.

Customer Relations Advanced BE SC 6009 (semester 3)

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Recall Customer Service principles from BE SC 6000 and BE SC 6008;
  • Audit a minimum of one credit course that matches personal and vocational interest;
  • Attend a minimum of two campus seminars, or campus enrichment activities;
  • Take NRF Customer Service and Sales exam; and
  • Practice job skills in individualized career exploration.

Customer Relations Practicum BE SC 6007 (semester 4)

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Practice job skills (minimum of 12 hours a week)in a capstone practicum experience that matches students vocational interests;
  • Audit a minimum of one credit course that matches personal and vocational interests;
  • Prepare a capstone project related to the student’s career goals.

Educational Support Services

Peer Mentor And Academic Support

Peer mentors and academic supports are available to students who enroll in the program. Full-time Penn State Harrisburg undergraduate students or graduate students fill these positions. Applicants undergo background checks as required by state law and Penn State University policy. They receive training in their role prior to the beginning of the semester and throughout the school year.

Job Coaching Support

The program also includes the services of a job coach/employment specialist to assist in identifying employment skills and preferences. A job coach will also accompany the students to job sites and offer assistance in identifying jobs that match the students’ skills and interests.

Student Orientation

An orientation for students and their families takes place prior to the beginning of the semester. Students and families are notified well in advance of the date. The orientation addresses coursework expectations, planned career exploration, volunteer opportunities, peer mentor support, and support services available to students on campus. In addition, students are invited to general student orientation activities that occur at various dates throughout the semester.

Person-Centered Planning

Penn State Harrisburg has adopted a person-centered planning process for the Career Studies program that is based on a successful model designed by the University of South Florida.  The Lion Tracks person-centered planning process recognizes and supports the student’s individual personal plans, hopes, and dreams for life and work.  This planning process begins with the student’s interview and orientation and continues throughout the program.

Program Information - Fall 2017 and Spring 2018

Tuition and Fees Per Semester

Program fee:  $6,595.00
Includes:

  • Customer Relations and Life Transitions Coursework
  • Career Exploration and Employment Specialist Support
  • Peer Mentor Support of 14 hours per week
  • Program Coordination

Tuition and fees for enrollment in an academic course:  $1,891.00
Includes:        

  • Tuition per 3 credit academic course:  $1,734* (approximate)
  • Instructional Technology Fee:  $86
  • Student Activity Fee:  $31
  • Facilities Fee - $39

*Total Tuition and Fees Per Semester = $8,486.00

*fall 2017 and spring 2018 exact tuition rates are not currently available.

Additional Support

Additional support, for example one-to-one assistance or additional peer mentor support may be available for an additional cost. Please discuss additional support needs during the interview and mention the need in the application.

Fall Semester Dates: August 21 – December 15, 2017

Spring Semester Dates: January 8 – May 4, 2018

Admission Requirements

New Students

  • Students are admitted to the program in the fall semester. New applicants should submit an application by May 15. After that date, applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling admissions basis.
  • Individuals who already have an application on file, should submit written confirmation to reactivate the application. Send request to Dr. Linda Rhen, Penn State Harrisburg, 777 W. Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057; lxr29@psu.edu.
  • An interview will be scheduled after the Career Studies program receives the completed application or the request to reactivate the application.
  • If an interview has been conducted previously, it may not be necessary to participate in another interview.  In that case, a meeting will be scheduled to confirm acceptance and provide information on the program prior to the beginning of the semester.
  • All prospective students must take a campus tour prior to being offered admission. Campus tours are given by the Office of Admissions, contact that office at 717-948-6250 or 948-6240 to schedule a tour.
  • Open houses for prospective students are held periodically each semester. Check the website for dates and times. If we add open house dates to the campus event calendar, how do we get it to show-up on the Career Studies webpage?

Currently Enrolled / Returning Students

  • Students who are currently enrolled in the program, should apply and register to continue in the program for the following semester.
  • Application and registration must be completed by the end of the current semester or as soon as possible once the registration materials are available.