VAST Program

Vast2The object of the VAST Program is to promote student independence, decision-making, self-advocacy, vocational competencies and development of life skills in natural occurring environments. VAST provides a life/work experience for 18-21 year old students in community-based job sites. Instructional activities focus on enabling students to adjust to situations that they may encounter in their post secondary life experience. Guest speakers and field trips enhance instructional units by providing real life settings for practical application of skills. Students must have department chair’s consent to participate in this program. For half of the school day the students stay in the VAST room and work on three areas listed below with just a few examples of the specific skills we work on:

  • Living skills: cooking, maintaining a healthy diet, laundry, ironing, basic first aide
  • Vocational skills: following directions, accepting constructive criticism, appropriate behavior at the job site
  • Academic skills: learning to keep a checking account, completing job applications, locate information on the computer, in a phone book or in the park district catalog

The other half of the day the students go to job sites in the community with an adult job coach. They are generally at several different job sites throughout the week to expose them to a variety of job skills, coworkers and managers. They earn a paycheck every month and the job coach completes evaluations each day on their performance and behavior, including a timesheet to determine the amount of hours worked in a month.

How do I get more information?

Contact club sponsor: Katie Nieckula, 708-799-3000, ext. 5347