Explore, Dream, Discover

Work-based Learning Experience for Students with Diversabilities

The BLaST IU 17 EXPLORE Program has a mission to provide students with diversabilities a variety of work-based learning experiences that will allow them to develop into independent, well-skilled employees who are prepared to join the workforce.

The EXPLORE Program is an ever-changing entity designed to meet the diverse needs of the students and businesses we serve. There is a strong commitment to developing and maintaining long-lasting partnerships with local businesses, school districts, community agencies, students, and their families.

Program Objectives

  • To assist students with diversabilities in acquiring valuable employment skills.
  • To develop long-standing win-win relationships with local businesses.
  • To provide a variety of volunteer experiences for our students from which to learn and grow.
  • To provide as much support as needed for each student’s individual needs, while always working toward the goal of independence.
  • To provide students with disabilities an edge in obtaining competitive employment upon graduation.

Responsibilities and Benefits of the Work-based Learning Experience Program

Explore Coordinator Responsibilities

  • Assess student ability and interests
  • Match students with appropriate jobs
  • Provide job support to employers and students
  • Employer Responsibilities
  • Comply with Child Labor Laws
  • Set up a mentoring program
  • Contact job coach regarding student-related problems/ concerns/issues
  • Notify and hold a conference with the job coach, student, and employer prior to dismissing a student from the position

Student Responsibilities

  • Maintain satisfactory school and work attendance
  • Follow the work schedule
  • Maintain positive work ethics
  • Report off of work when unable to attend
  • Maintain appropriate dress and hygiene

Employer Benefits

  • The opportunity to help train highly motivated future employees
  • Participation in an exciting community project
  • A job coach to assist with student’s job training (when needed)
  • Trained, loyal, dedicated employees

Community Benefits

  • Citizens who will give back to the community
  • Greater return of school tax dollars
  • Increased supply of trained individuals to enter the competitive workforce

Student Benefits

  • The opportunity for on-the-job training in a local business
  • Actual work experience prior to high school graduation
  • Gratification for volunteering their services to help others

The Collaborative Effort

A trained job coach facilitates and structures meaningful learning at the worksite. Students begin to associate classroom learning with the expectations of the competitive workforce.
Students gain the necessary skills to be successful in the workforce. Emphasis is placed on communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and social appropriateness in a variety of environments and situations.

Secondary Transition

Secondary transition is the process of preparing students for life after they leave high school, including participation in post-secondary education or training, employment, and community living. These three areas are often referred to as “post-secondary outcomes” and are the driving force behind Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) written for students in high school.

Transition planning begins no later than age 14, in middle school or early high school, as students explore what they want their post-school outcomes to be through career awareness exploration activities. It continues through high school as instruction and community experiences support these outcomes.

Transition planning involves a partnership between the student, the family, school-age services and program providers, post-secondary services and program providers, and local community members. Effective transition involves purposeful planning among all these entities. It entails recognizing the student’s current strengths, interests, preferences, and needs, and then identifying what services and supports he or she will need to achieve future success.

For more information or if you have questions, contact the EXPLORE program Supervisor:

EXPLORE Program – North

Photo of Mikaela Spalding
Supervisor Student Services
Work Phone: 570-673-6001 ext 2012
Updated 10 months ago. Return to top.


EXPLORE Program – South

Life Skills Support Student Services
Work Phone: 570-323-8561
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