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Vocational Independence Program Freshmen Parent Orientation September 3, 2014 Ernst VanBergeijk, Ph.D., M.S.W.

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Presentation on theme: "Vocational Independence Program Freshmen Parent Orientation September 3, 2014 Ernst VanBergeijk, Ph.D., M.S.W."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vocational Independence Program Freshmen Parent Orientation September 3, 2014 Ernst VanBergeijk, Ph.D., M.S.W.

2 Some thoughts "Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.“ ~Alan Cohen~ "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.~ 10 May 20152

3 Overview Welcome! Transitioning to a college program Introduction of the Administration Team Program Innovations Introduction of the staff Question and Answers 10 May 20153

4 Outcomes State to me 2 key differences between VIP and I to I Tell me 3 staff persons names & what they do List items that we should NOT find in the dorm rooms State to me what laws regarding confidentiality are and how they change once a student reaches age 18 Tell me the general curriculum for the freshmen year 10 May 20154

5 Mission We Are NYIT: Our Mission – A global, private institution of higher education, NYIT has more than 15,000 students on campuses in North America, China, the Middle East, and online. Since 1955, NYIT has pursued its mission to: – Provide career-oriented professional education – Give all qualified students access to opportunity – Support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world 10 May 20155

6 NYIT| Vocational Independence Program Our Mission – To maximize the potential of individuals with learning differences by : teaching skills and strategies and providing support necessary for successful and independent lives. Our Vision – To be the world’s leading college-based educational, vocational, social, and independent living program for individuals with learning differences. Our Values – NYIT’s Vocational Independence Program is guided by a dedication to excellence as embodied in its core values. Integrity Innovation Cooperation Quality Commitment Professionalism Safety 6

7 Transition to

8 Independent Living

9 NYIT | Vocational Independence Program Independent Living


11 Transitions… Are difficult for most people They are especially difficult for students with disabilities There is a loss of routine There is also confusion regarding the changes in roles, for both students and their parents 10 May 201511

12 What will change? The nature and frequency of your communication with your student You won’t be able to see every part of their lives You will need to trust her instincts and the positive values you have instilled in him or her Trust is the key to making the college transition work for both of you 10 May 201512

13 They need to be able to make mistakes It is inevitable that with new found independence a student will make mistakes A student who is afraid of mistakes may not take positive risks Trying new things and taking positive risks leads to new growth 10 May 201513

14 “What would I do if I knew I could not fail?” Robert H. Schuller “Any growth requires a temporary loss of security” Madeline Hunter 10 May 201514

15 As a Parent, be Interested Yet Not Intrusive Don’t make conversations feel like quizzes Focus on what she is learning, not grades If she mentions a person’s name, ask causally about the person rather than drilling for details Balance communication - not all about them. Share what’s going on in your life Ask what interests them. Share their enthusiasm! 10 May 201515

16 Letting Go Is hard to do As parents of special education students you have been forced to be fierce advocates for your children to insure they are receiving the services they deserve and are entitled to However, it does not always allow your children to learn the skill of self advocacy The skill of self advocacy is essential to independence Now, they are learning to be young adults If there is an emergency, then feel free to call If you are having nagging doubts or worries, then let your student learn how to deal with the issue. Help them identify the appropriate staff person for assistance. This is an essential life skill. If your student calls you, then re-direct your student to the appropriate staff person 10 May 201516

17 They need you to let go Try not to do everything for your student The experience of figuring some things out on his own can be a necessary strength builder 10 May 201517

18 Important Information about the Vocational Independence Program Less Restrictions – No curfew – No prohibitions against leaving campus – Treat VIP students like college students Curfew is only imposed if a student demonstrates an inability to get up in the morning and go to classes or work Quiet hours are imposed during the weekdays 10 May 201518

19 Important Information about the Vocational Independence Program Generally we do not force students to go on excursions, except for travel training trips – Some trips the student must be both academically and behaviorally eligible No Student Activity Fund – Must sign up in advance – Billing through registrar – Will be billed even if the student does not attend – With your student’s permission you may use his/her password to look up billing 10 May 201519

20 Important Information about the Vocational Independence Program Academics are now stressed – Classes generally start at 9:00 AM & end at around 5:00 PM – Please do not call your student on his or her cell phone during that time – If there is a true emergency please call the main telephone number 631-348-3354 Assignments every night 30-60 minutes Study hall: – Day time & 7:30 – 9:30 PM Sunday –Thursday Computer lab for assignments- – personal computer malfunction not an excuse for incomplete work 10 May 201520

21 Important Information about the Vocational Independence Program Vocational Placements are internships that are unpaid Students need to budget approximately $50 a week spending money – If mailing a check allow 2 weeks (mail, college mail system, bank run), then it should clear 10 May 201521

22 Important Information about the Vocational Independence Program Academics now a priority – Class attendance is expected for every class session – If ill, a student needs to see the nurse Medical R & R Expected to stay in room except for meals Fail a class: – Independent study assignments over break or repeat class following year 10 May 201522

23 Laws that effect our Students with disabilities The laws change once a student reaches age 18 – This affects how we disclose information IDEIA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) 10 May 201523

24 Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act The intent of IDEA is to provide a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment to identified students with disabilities including special education and related services In effect until either the student graduates from high school or until the student reaches 21 years of age if not a high school graduate At age 16 a transition plan must be made which can include summer programs and post secondary education that focus upon vocational and independent living skills IDEIA does NOT apply in college settings 10 May 201524

25 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 & Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Does apply to college settings The intent of these laws are to ensure that no otherwise qualified person with a disability is denied access to, benefits of, or is subject to discrimination solely on the basis of disability Students are responsible for self-identification and providing documentation to the office of disability services. They are also responsible for the cost of their own evaluations 10 May 201525

26 Section 504 & ADA… Students are also responsible for notifying the DSS office of their need for REASONABLE accommodations This is not special education. IEPs are not in effect The accommodations are on a case by case, as needed basis only to insure equal access to the university’s programs The student must be able to discuss their disabilities in depth with the college DSS staff 10 May 201526

27 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 Governs the communication of colleges and post secondary programs to parents of students Any student over the age of 18 years has the right to privacy Colleges & post secondary programs will not speak to the parents unless there is a signed written consent form, power of attorney, or legal guardianship in place Allows for the disclosure of directory information. Send written notice if you do not want your info included in a directory 10 May 2015 27

28 NYIT is a … Dry campus. No alcohol is allowed on campus – Students over the age of 21 may drink off campus. – However, this may not impact their comportment, and they must obey all university & program rules Smoke free facility. – Smoking is only allowed outdoors – And, a reasonable distance from the building 10 May 201528

29 General Overview of the Program Each student has: – An Academic Counselor – A Social Counselor – A Vocational Counselor – Budget & Banking Advisor – *An Independent Living Skills Counselor (as needed) – *A Job Coach As needed, and only for initial placement at a worksite Ultimately all students need to function at the worksite with the natural supervision available there – The counselors usually follow the student throughout the program. Amount of contact by year will be covered by the department heads 10 May 201529

30 Campus Dining Robert Rizzuto, Director of Dining Services 516-686-1251 Will my child go hungry? Meal plan 19 meals a week- not optional Declining dollars for Flex points -$125 per semester Hours of operation Monday-Friday Breakfast 7am-9am Lunch 11am-1:30pm Dinner 5pm-6:30pm Saturday & Sunday Brunch 10am-1pm Dinner 4:30pm-5:30pm Box lunches/dinners available when student will be off campus Must order the night before in cafeteria Working with dietary restrictions Choices of food Food for VIP students cooked to order 10 May 2015 30

31 Paul Kevin Cavanagh, Ph.D. Assistant Dean – PhD, MA Columbia University – MSW Stony Brook University – BA Psychology St. John’s University Part of Administrative Team scheduling and assigning teaching schedules Oversees the coordination of student classroom grading and assessments Responsible for evaluating the various components of the program, including follow-ups with VIP alumni 10 May 201531

32 Gina Frisina Director of Independent Living Master’s Degree in Special Education, Dowling College B.S. in Education, Dowling College Certification in Special Education Checking & budgeting differences Not all students require independent living counselors Sophomore & Junior food classes, apartment living 10 May 201532

33 Terri White Director of Vocational Services Master’s Degree in Counseling NYIT B.S. in Physical Education, University of Tampa Teacher Certification, State of New York Freshman Vocational Exploration in Co-op Ed Skills Evaluation Guided research in vocation of interest Job Shadowing with site visitation Vocational Counselors and Job Coaches assigned 7 Areas of Vocational possibilities Retail Child care* Elder care* Food Service Office Skills Hospitality* Maintenance – indoor and outdoor BOCES* option – additional fees. 10 May 2015 33

34 Erin Vlasak, M.S. Director of Student Services Master’s Degree in College Student Development, Long Island University SJC Certificate in Counseling & Guidance SJC Certificate as a Mental Health Counselor NYS Certified Public School Teacher B.A. in psychology, St. Joseph’s College Freshmen see their social counselor 1 time per week Assigned to same counselor all 3 years Coordinates advanced communications groups & dyads Outside therapy and referrals Releases of Information 10 May 201534

35 Walter Mayer Coordinator of Residential Life Master of Social Work, Adelphi University B.A. Boston University, Psychology major and Sociology minor Supervises Resident Advisors Coordinates social and recreational activities Overnight guests require approval from the dean. Student is responsible for guests behavior Remind students to lock doors at all times Helps with keys and IDs Students should let the office and Walter know if they are leaving for extended periods of time 10 May 201535

36 Michelle Ranaldo Director of Instructional Technology Masters degree in Instructional Technology, NYIT B.S. Bradley University Chairs the Technology Committee Coordinates with the Office Of Information Technology Helps students set up e-mail accounts and connect to the Internet Referrals for computer repair 10 May 201536

37 Rose Ezeani Medical Director Masters in nursing from SUNY -Stony Brook B.S. in nursing St. Joseph College Licensed as a nurse practitioner in New York State All students must provide proof of PPD and meningitis inoculations NYS recommends Hepatitis & HPV Medication Self Administration Forms Release of Information for medical providers Target Pharmacy Co-payments Mail prescriptions two weeks in advance. ****UPS ONLY***** Insurance Waiver available at NYIT Home Page 37

38 Kelly Imperial, M.S. Associate Director of Admissions & Development Master of Science in Social Work- Concentration in Enterprise Administration, Columbia University Bachelor of Social Work, Molloy College Coordinates all VIP alumni events, Open Houses, and fundraisers. RSVP to Kelly for attendance at walkathon & homecoming and annual dinner dances. Chairs the Benjamin J. Cecil Scholarship Committee and the Benjamin J. Cecil Walkathon/Homecoming Committee. Conducts campus tours and student admissions interviews. Contact Kelly for VIP attendance at transition, SEPTA, and college fairs. 38

39 Fire Safety A policy of no open flames inside a building – (e.g. candles, incense) No heating or cooking elements allowed in dorm rooms – (e.g. hot plates, coffee pots, individual microwaves, etc.) No cooking in dorms or classrooms unless supervised by a staff member Microwaves are available in – RA offices and in Independence Hall. – Students must be supervised. No extension cords. – Surge protectors are allowed 10 May 201539

40 Expectations Expect phone calls with complaints in the beginning: – I’m bored. There is nothing to do. – The food in the cafeteria is all the same – I’m having problems with so & so in the dorm – I have no money Re-direct them to the staff You do not have to fix every problem 10 May 201540

41 Expectations… Some students may experience homesickness – Let the social counselors and residential life staff know right away A small number of students every year decide it is not a good fit… – Please talk to us if your student is feeling this way 10 May 201541

42 No more paper bills 10 May 201542

43 Please make sure we have a current parental E-mail address Reminders for opting out of medical insurance Important announcements for the program and the college at large – Benjamin J. Cecil Walk for Independence - October 18, 2014 – Dinner dance in the spring, tentative date: April 18, 2015 Emergency notifications 10 May 201543

44 Medical Insurance Waiver Please note the Aetna Student Health Insurance waiver will open July 26, 2014 and close on September 2nd, 2014. If you are a domestic residential student, VIP student, or NCAA athlete you are eligible to waive out if you have proof of your own health insurance. Please note that F1 and J1 students are not eligible to waive out of the Aetna Health Insurance. Please waive out if you have not done so by emailing Alice Heron-Burke, Director of the Office of Wellness at NYIT. Email Alice Heron-Burke at Provide her with your student’s name and student ID number and ask for her to manually waive the insurance. Print the email confirming it has been waived from Ms. Heron-Burke. If you have waived out, please check your NYIT Student Account to make sure your account has been credited the amount. If you have questions please contact the Office of Wellness Services at 516 686-7697. 10 May 201544

45 In the event of early withdrawal VIP/ I to I are departments of NYIT. We follow all policies established regarding drop/add of students and reimbursements: – 1. Withdrawal at any time from the date of the student’s registration to the day before the first scheduled day of the course—100 percent refund of the tuition and the college fee. – 2. Withdrawal at any time during the first and second week of the course—50 percent refund of tuition only. – 3. Withdrawal at any time after the start of the third week of the course—no refund. – All NYIT|VIP students will automatically be billed for the tuition refund insurance (this year $146/semester) – We strongly recommend you secure this insurance – For questions concerning the Tuition Refund Insurance go to or call 617-774-1555 or email

46 Student Activities Center Swimming Pool Gymnasium Auditorium Workout rooms 10 May 201546

47 International Travel Training Trip Greece January 2, 2015 VIP Students, I to I & VIP alumni ages 18+ in good academic, behavioral, and financial standing with the program Contact Carol Jockle at 631.348.3135 or for more information.

48 OTHER PROGRAM INNOVATIONS Travel Training Community Building Dean’s Lecture Series, Electives Fitness Fridays Pedometer program Bicycle program Benjamin J. Cecil Scholarship Walk, October 18, 2014 Friday ILC Daily Check –ins Dare to Care positive behavior campaign Entrepreneurial model introduction- on-line store E-works certifications 10 May 201548

49 Dare to Care & BEARS Code We will introduce to all students our Dare to Care Campaign, – a universal approach to promoting civility and positive social engagement among students in all environments – The core is our BEARS Code – named for the NYIT Bear Mascot Believe, Effort, Accountability Respect Success


51 Dare To Care – Campus Wide Theme 2014-2015 Captures the spirit of VIP – to respect & accept yourself and others Program wide focus on building confidence and pride in oneself and one’s choices Encourages students to stand up for themselves and others. Applies at VIP, in the community and in cyberspace 10 May 201551

52 Dare to Care – Campus Wide Theme 2014 -2015 continued Goal is to build a supportive community where students feel comfortable to be themselves, learn and take risks. Classes, counseling and special events would educate students on self respect, and build increased tolerance for those who are different from themselves Monthly recognition for “Random Acts of Kindness” Monthly themes and catch phrases “PYB” 10 May 201552

53 Introduction of the Staff Name Role at VIP Degrees/Training Years in the field Years at VIP 10 May 201553

54 Question and Answer Session 10 May 201554

55 What’s Next? Continue moving in Students 3:00 PM tours & IDs Student Ice breakers 4:00 PM 5:00 RAs walk students to cafeteria for dinner Students have a welcome meeting with Walter and the RA staff at 6:00 PM in Heritage Hall, 1 st floor lounge 10 May 201555

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