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Transition Services


The School-to-Work Transition Vocational Experience Program is designed to give students, between the ages of 16-26, the opportunity to learn and develop work skills and behaviors. Students will learn and develop these skills participating in organizational employment, at the Arnold Center, and in job shadowing at community worksites.

The Arnold Center provides students served with information and training so they may make informed choices and decisions regarding employment.

The services and supports meet the identified desire of each individual student that is served. Service designs address identified individual, family, socioeconomic, and cultural preferences.

The expected results from the services/supports include, but are not limited to:

  1. Helping each student improve their quality of life
  2. Helping students learn and develop skills and behaviors appropriate for work sites
  3. Increased knowledge of other agencies and the services available to students
  4. Increased self advocacy skills
  5. Increased independence
  6. Increased employment options
  7. Increased self-direction, self-determination, and self-esteem
  8. Understand the remunerative aspect of work

Needs for which Services are Provided:

Consistent with the fundamental purpose of the program, the School Transition Program contributes to the support of students with disabilities in two ways: students participate in organizational employment and job shadow at local businesses. The students and their families determine, through informed choice, if they want to participate in the Vocational Experience Program.

Due to the operations of the organization certain students cannot be served. Those are students that pose a physical threat to themselves or others.

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Students in the Vocational Experience Program, through informed choice, are given the following options: participate in organizational employment at the Arnold Center, job shadow local businesses, and participate in community employment.

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Hours of Service

The Arnold Center is open for business from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students in the Vocational Experience Program generally participate between the hours of 9:00 a. m. through 2:00 p.m. The students participate during the hours and days that school is opened, thus it is uncommon for students to participate during holidays, weekends, and weather related school closings.

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Payer Sources

Sponsorship is preapproved by Midland Public School and Midland County Educational Services Agency.

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Call (989) 631-9570 for current fee schedule.

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Referral Sources

Midland Public Schools and Midland County Educational Services Agency are the referral sources for the Vocational Experience Program. A referral form can be found in the online Service Manual located at www.arnoldcenter.org.

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Specific Services

The Arnold Center works in cooperation with area school districts to offer school-to-work transition services. These services are in the area of employment training for students with special needs. The vocational training services provide students the opportunity to explore a variety of work situations and job tasks while developing the skills needed to obtain and maintain successful employment.

Vocational Experience:

  • Is paid work
  • Provides support services tailored to each students needs
  • Provides follow up
  • Provides job shadowing opportunities

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Admission Criteria

School-to-Work Transition Services offers the opportunity for vocational training to students residing and attending schools in Midland County. Students served typically possess barriers to their pursuit of equal access and full participation in employment opportunities. The following descriptions are not all-inclusive representations of students served through the School-to-Work Department:

  • Students with disabilities (physical, mental, cognitive, emotional)
  • Students desiring to gain social skills.
  • Students desiring to acquire work skills.
  • Students wanting to develop the proper work ethic.
  • Students desiring to earn a paycheck while they develop their work, social, and behavior skills.

The student served:

  • Must be between the ages of 16-26 years old.
  • Must have a current medical exam as well as either an IEP or psychological exam documenting the student’s ability to attend the program.
  • Must be sponsored by either Midland Public School or Midland County Educational Services Agency.
  • Must have in their IEP that the student wants to participate in the Vocational Experience Program.
  • Must have basic self-care skills, i.e. dressing, grooming, and/or hygiene. If the student doesn’t have these skills they must have a 1:1 Para-Educator with them to assist them in meeting these needs.
  • Must not be physically dangerous to self or others.

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Transition Criteria

The decision to participate in the School-to-Work Transition department should be planned by the student and his/her support team at the Individualized Education Plan. In preparing for transition, for school to work, a plan should be developed which provides for the smooth transition from school to after school for the student. The development of the plan should involve the student, their family, guardians, teachers, school administrators, any pertinent school staff, and the Arnold Center.

As a method of follow-up, due to moving or graduating school, the Arnold Center will maintain contact with all students served. It is the policy of the Arnold Center to contact each student or students advocate 90 days after exiting the program. The follow-up is to ensure the transition plan has been effective in meeting the needs of the student.

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Exit Criteria

Students receiving services from the School-to-Work Transition Services Vocational Experience Program may be exited from the program for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Graduating from school
  2. Moving out of Midland County
  3. Quit school
  4. Student no longer desires to participate in the program
  5. Student doesn’t meet the schools criteria
  6. Student served develops a medical condition that prevents them from attending the Arnold Center or school
  7. Student served, following strategic interventions, exhibits behaviors that are disruptive of program activities or are otherwise specified in the Student Handbook as deserving of discharge from the program if not corrected; namely abuse of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs during program hours, and threatening injury to persons or property

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400 Wexford Avenue, Midland, MI 48640 - (989) 631-9570    •    490 Industrial Drive, Gladwin, MI 48624 - (989) 426-6300