Guest blogger discusses CCBC’s Single Step (program for adults with learning differences)

Posted: June 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

I am very excited to host the first summer 2010 Guest Blogger, Melanie. Melanie is Director of the CCBC Single Step Program.

Here is what Melanie has to say about the Single Step Program:

Single Step

The thing I’m proudest of, apart from my children, is the CCBC Single Step Program, a program that provides instruction in academic skills, life skills, and vocational readiness, as well as career specific certification programs in Child Care, Warehouse and Forklift, and Clerical Skills. (I’m developing a new track in Animal Care.) Single Step is a non-credit program and our students all have learning differences that stem from disability. With that said, our population is VERY diverse- from the students with retardation, Autism, and severe language processing disorder who wants to learn to live independently, to the student with Asperger’s Syndrome who reads and does math at a post high school level who needs to master executive function skills (time management, organization, prioritizing) in order to transition to credit study.

This program is 38 years old, and I came to it 8 years ago when we had  8 students and ran 14 class sections. We now have over 120 students and run more than 60 sections. We create programs based on community needs, so our roster of courses and our programming tracks are ever-growing. This is what public education is all about. Like their non-disabled peers, kids with disabilities live in a world where college is the logical next step after high school is completed. Our program gives students that college experience AND provides them with the skills to obtain their goals. Our offerings include:

  • Academic skills based Transition Program (students average 1-2 grade-levels worth of growth per semester)
  • 90 hour Maryland State Child Care Certification
  • Warehouse Technician Certification, with Forklift certification
  • Clerical and Office Skills Track
  • CCBC-Harbour Horizons (independent living skills/employment skills )
  • Evening literacy courses for students who work during the day

Even though this is a college program, I see it as school reform at it’s finest. Parents and students in Prince George’s and Harford counties are now asking for programs specifically for students with learning differences and disabilities in their counties. It’s slowly becoming a movement. If the responsibility of a community college is to meet the needs of the community, programs like this have GOT to exist! The number of children born or diagnosed with Autism and ADHD has exploded over the last 20 years. These kids are heading to college (especially community college) and colleges HAVE to be ready for them.

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