Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency

Celebrating 20 Years Online 1996-2016

Frequently Asked Questions
 
What is Project SEARCH?
Project SEARCH is a Postsecondary Transition Program, which is a one-year internship program for students with disabilities.  A student who will be selected will be entering into his/her last year of school and who has the goal of competitive employment.  Project SEARCH of Kalamazoo will take place at Bronson Methodist Hospital where students are totally immersed in the workplace and will facilitate the teaching and learning process as well as the acquisition of employability and marketable work skills.  Students participate in three internships during the school year to explore a variety of career paths.  The student will work with a team that includes his/her family, special education teacher, job coach, rehabilitation counselor, and staff from Bronson to create an employment goal and support him/her during this important transition from school to work.
 
What does the school calendar look like?
Students who participate in Project SEARCH will follow the Young Adult Program school calendar.  First day of school is September 3, 2013.
 
Why do students benefit from this experience?
Project SEARCH provides post-secondary training and internship experience. The students will develop transferrable and marketable skills for the workplace.  Project SEARCH creates opportunities to work in a high-status organization in the community. The transition program concentrates on developing the strength areas, not deficits of the individual.  Lastly, Project SEARCH works towards independence in many areas such as transportation, daily living skills, and more.
 
How many students from Kalamazoo County will participate each year?
Project SEARCH of Kalamazoo at Bronson Methodist Hospital had 8 students for the 2012-2013 school year. We will be accepting 8-12 students for the 2013-2014 school year. There is an application and interview process for student selection into Project SEARCH.
 
 
What type of work does the student intern perform at Bronson?
The work interns perform at Bronson Methodist Hospital is entry level.  These tasks are part of the job description in each department and are necessary to uphold the quality standards of Bronson and their values of an organization.  A student may be assigned to do the following: food preparation, linens, distribution, equipment tech, infection prevention, environmental services, customer services associate, and material tech.  We are always working to expand and create new internship rotations throughout the hospital.
 
Will the student get paid for this experience?
A student who participates in Project SEARCH will not get paid. This is an internship experience to develop skills that will market the student so he/she can attain a job and be competitively employed in the community.
 
How are students selected for this program?
Project SEARCH is a collaborative transition program between Kalamazoo RESA and its local school districts, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and Bronson Methodist Hospital.  Representatives from each organization will interview applicants that were recommended by the local school districts within Kalamazoo County.  The intern candidate must be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services and community mental health services in order to take part in this program. Please see the entrance criteria that is attached to further explain what students would be appropriate for this intense internship experience.
 
Would a student participate during a 5th year of high school?
Project SEARCH is for students who are on the path of earning a Certificate of Completion.  Students who have earned or will earn a Michigan Merit Diploma will not be able to participate in Project SEARCH.
 
Would a student participate in Project SEARCH before attending the Young Adult Program (YAP)? 
Project SEARCH is not a part of the Young Adult Program.  A student who has completed 4 years of high school and is in his/her last year of eligibility or anticipates it being his/her last year of schooling is eligible pending on if he/she meets the entrance criteria.  A student may come from a local school district or a Kalamazoo RESA program.
 
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