Camden Post Secondary Program
Camden Post Secondary Program is a community- based transition program for students aged 18 - 22 years old with disabilities. These students graduate with a certificate of completion from high school and are offered an additional four years of school support in preparation for transitioning out of the school system to the adult world.
Shared Vision: To support young adult students with disabilities to plan and prepare for a meaningful adult future. A meaningful future is defined by the adult student, his/her family, and other significant people in a planning process that focuses on the student’s strengths, preferences, interests, and needs (SPIN).
Who are the Students: Students are young adults who have their dreams and goals for the future. They have their strengths, talents, and gifts. They each can learn but do so differently. They are persons with rights; they are not only in the community; they are part of the community.
What Students Learn: Students learn, first and foremost how to be an adult and the knowledge and skills expected of an adult. Although the term “adult” encompasses practically everything and anything in life, training to be an adult in the Post Sec Program focuses on skills areas that are legally mandated by the IDEA (Individual with Disabilities Act) such as (a) job/ vocational training, (b) continuing adult education, and (c) independent living skills. Additionally, the program also focuses on what is deemed as “Best Practices” such as (a) self-determination, (b) social relationships, and (c) community participation. Students pursue skills training in each area but individualized to match their strengths, preferences, interests, and needs (SPIN).
Where Students Learn: Students learn in a variety of settings depending upon the targeted skills for training. Basically, students learn in the (a) community (e.g., job setting, community facilities, college campuses) which is considered as the “big classroom” and (b) traditional school classroom. Training students on job/vocational skills are conducted in actual job settings (e.g., retail store, pet store, cafeteria); training students on community skills are conducted at actual community settings (e.g., street crossing in intersections with/without traffic lights, transit training on busses or LRT, banking skills in actual banks, purchasing skills in a restaurant, identifying grocery items to be bought at actual supermarkets, community safety skills such as dealing with strangers on the bus, etc); and providing students with opportunities for a college experience (e.g., taking a community college class that may be academic or non-academic depending upon the student’s academic skills). Students also learn in the traditional school classrooms where skills are pre-taught and expected to be generalized in the community. For example, when teaching a student how to make purchases, pre-teaching the student on what item to buy, counting the amount needed to purchase the item, counting to ensure the correct change, and learning the percentage of discount should the item be on sale. Determining how much time a student needs to be taught in the community or in the traditional classroom is dependent upon the skill that each student needs to learn.
How Students Learn: Students learn (a) systematically and/ or (b) vicariously. Systematic teaching refers to direct teaching where the targeted skill is clearly defined, where the three phases of teaching (i.e., skills acquisition, skills maintenance, and skills generalization) are observed, where prompt hierarchy is used and faded to promote independence, and data is collected to measure progress. In contrast, students are also provided with the opportunity to engage in vicarious learning through indirect sources such as observations and experiences of life events as they unfold. Life outside of the classroom also provides for vicarious learning.