Updated on 8/19/2011 1:39:57 PM.
During their course of study, students who are enrolled in the Next Steps at Vanderbilt program have an opportunity to take classes at the Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville (TTC-N). Two students, Hallie Bearden and Edward Nesbitt, are pioneers who began working towards supplemental certificates in September 2010. On August 12, Bearden and Nesbitt participated in the TTC-N graduation ceremony and each received a supplemental certificate that outlines proficiencies in their respective fields. Both students desire to work in an office setting.
Bearden and Nesbitt spent 9 hours each week at the TTC-N during the fall and spring semesters of 2010 in the Business Systems Technology program learning basic office procedures. Bearden continued this summer taking 6 hours of classes each week. They completed units in office safety, work ethics and professionalism, and keyboarding. They demonstrated mastery of simple clerical tasks like collating, basic data entry, email, and book and equipment inventory. While they were there they were given the opportunity to work at the front desk, use the copier, prepare mailings, and do filing.
“The instructors at TTC-N are amazing and we work so well together," said Next Steps director, Tammy Day. “We worked to identify office procedures that would be beneficial for our students to learn and found creative ways for them to practice those skills. The instructors researched and found a textbook that was written at an appropriate level for our students. More importantly, they created a classroom environment that was welcoming and accepting. They modeled an inclusionary attitude to their other students.”
On August 12, Bearden and Nesbitt participated in the TTC-N graduation ceremony, complete with cap and gown.
“We are in the business of helping people, all people, become prepared for employment,” said TTC-N director, Mark Lenz.
Next Steps at Vanderbilt currently has students working towards supplemental certificates in Automotive Technology and Early Childhood Education. Other students have participated in the Machine Tool & Die program and the Automotive Collision Repair programs.
Next Steps at Vanderbilt is a 2-year certification program for students with intellectual disabilities. Students self-direct the development of their Program of Study through initial and on-going Person-Centered Planning activities. The Program of Study is a unique and customized plan for achievement in academic areas, independent living skills, career development, and university life.
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