MO Project SEARCH High School Transition Program


State Policies & Initiatives: 

~~“Project SEARCH serves young people with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities. Typically, these are high school students who are on  an Individual Education Program (IEP) and in their last year of high school eligibility. The program can also be adapted to serve out-of-school youth and young adults who are beyond school age. The most important criterion for acceptance into Project SEARCH is a desire to achieve competitive employment. “

Program Overview

Program participants (interns) attend the program for a full school year in the host business/hospital. The host business provides access to an on-site training room that can accommodate up to 12 interns. The site is staffed by a special education teacher and one to three skills trainers to meet the educational and training needs of the interns.
•Once the program year begins, the first few weeks are focused on intern orientation, hands-on skill assessment, and familiarization with the business environment. Interns develop a career plan, which guides the internship selection process and individualized job search.
•Employment Skills Curriculum: Throughout the program year, the interns work on employability and functional skills for approximately one hour of their day. Training room activities are designed around these focus areas: Team Building, Workplace Safety, Technology, Maintaining Employment, Self-Advocacy, Financial Literacy, Health and Wellness, and Preparing for Employment.
•Internships: Through a series of three targeted internships the interns acquire competitive, marketable and transferable skills to enable them to apply for a related position. Interns also build communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills which is important to their overall development as a young worker. These are unpaid work experiences-analogous to the clinical rotations that are part of every medical school or business internship program. Potential internship sites are identified through a continuous collaborative process involving the instructor, skills trainers, and business liaison. These internship rotations begin a few weeks after the start of the program. Interns are required to interact with their supervisors via telephone and written communications to arrange a job interview to secure each rotation.”

  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Other
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
Date Enacted: