On-Campus Vocational Training Program

STEP-Up’s On-Campus Vocational Training Program is designed for adults who are able to work independently, but may need extra supports such as visual or written schedules, prompts to stay on-task throughout the day, training for appropriate self-advocacy skills, or simply exposure to a larger variety of job skills.  Interns in STEP-Up’s On-Campus Vocational Training should be able to work independently for at least 1 hour and should be able to work in 1:5 ratios.  Interns in STEP-Up’s On-Campus Vocational Training Program will be placed in a job (e.g. cleaning crew, landscaping crew, retail crew, etc.), but may also have exposure to a variety of outside tasks.  Interns in STEP-Up’s On-Campus Vocational Training Program will be focused solely on job-skills and will work to gain the skills needed to transition to community placement.

STEP-Up On-Campus Vocational Training Program

Application: Prior to applying, the applicant should review requirements for the On-Campus Vocational Training Program with family or caregiver to ensure that the applicant meets all necessary requirements.  The applicant will complete an application with information about his or her own daily living skills, behavioral needs, community skills, and job skills. CLICK HERE FOR THE APPLICATION

Applicants should demonstrate the following skills:

1. The ability to follow a series of 3-4 step directions (vocal, written, or picture schedule)
2. The ability to work independently (without instructor proximity) for at least one hour
3. No serious behavioral issues (aggression, self-injury, property destruction, elopement, etc.) for at least 3 months
4. Ability to transition from a break to a work session independently (use of timer is OK)
5. Ability to independently complete at least 10 different vocational tasks


Assessment Period:  The first two months in the on-campus vocational program will be spent conducting assessments with the intern to evaluate community and job skills.  These assessments will include a vocational preference assessment, to determine areas of interest for the intern. From these assessments, the STEP-Up Program director will create a series of 3-5 goals for each intern to increase independence in both community and job skills.

Community and Job Skills:  The STEP-Up Program Director will create a daily schedule for each intern to focus on learning the goals and improving upon their vocational skills. Examples of goals may be to accept feedback from a supervisor appropriately, to learn to drive a lawn mower, or to stay on task in the presence of distractions.  Goals will be individualized based on the intern’s needs and will target skills to prepare the intern for a job in the community.  A job coach will be available in a 1:3 to 1:5 ratio to assist interns in furthering skills towards their goals.

Day-to-Day Programming:  Each intern will be focusing on 1-2 areas of improvement for vocational skills.  For example, one intern may be focusing on learning skills to become a landscaper while another intern focuses on skills to work in a clothing store.  Each intern will spend at least once each day working in the community. Areas of vocational focus will be determined through initial assessments. Examples of a typical day for an intern are included:







Landscaping Focus Office Work Focus Cleaning Focus
9:00-10:00 Waters and weeds flowers Data Entry Clean bathrooms
10:00-11:00 Mows Data Entry Dust hallways, baseboards, and bookshelves
11:00-12:00 Mows Filing Paperwork Clean kitchen
12:00-1:00 Lunch Break Lunch Break Lunch Break
1:00-2:00 Community Mowing Community Office Work Cleaning community gym
2:00-3:00 Waters and weeds vegetable garden Material Preparation Clean desks, take out trash




When to transition: To transition to STEP-Up’s Community Vocational Supports Program, an intern should demonstrate the following skills:

  1. Displays socially appropriate behavior in community settings
  2. Ability to complete an application and interview with limited supports
  3. Ability to work independently for over 2 hours
  4. Ability to re-direct oneself back to work after a break
  5. Able to accept feedback appropriately and make changes accordingly

When an intern has met the above criteria, a transition plan will be created to systematically transition from a STEP-Up intern to an employee in the community through STEP-Up’s Off- Campus Vocational Supports Program