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Career Studies

Career Studies
Penn State Harrisburg
Career Studies
777 West Harrisburg Pike
331 W Olmsted Building
Middletown, PA 17057
Program Contact Dr. Linda Rhen
Phone 717-948-6638

Career Studies offers students with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in inclusive learning environments on a college campus.  This individualized post-secondary education program targets individuals ages 18-25 with intellectual disabilities and other developmental disabilities, who have completed secondary education or are in their final years of high school.  Applicants are those who have not been able to access college by meeting typical entrance criteria.  žThe primary goal of the program is competitive employment.  Students aim to reach that goal through inclusive campus experiences, person centered planning, academic enrichment, and peer support that builds self-confidence and self-determination skills.

Key Elements of the Program
žIndividualized person-centered planning.
žTwo year, four semester, individualized program based on student interests, skills, and time needed to progress through the program. 
Students audit a minimum of one academic course per semester.
Customer Relations Coursework (Continuing Ed. non-credit bearing)
Career Exploration that includes job shadowing and practicums.
Focus on Self-Determination Skills.
žEducational Support Services
Peer mentors, who are full time Penn State Harrisburg students provide academic and social support.
A job coach/employment specialist works individually with students to identify their vocational themes, goes onsite with students for job shadowing, and identifies practicum opportunities.
Additional elements of the Program
Access to campus services that are provided to all students, eg., Office of Disabilities Services, Tutoring and Writing Center.
žOpportunity to take the nationally recognized National Retail Foundation (NRF) exam, and earn the NRF Certificate.
žEarn a Career Studies Certificate from Penn State Harrisburg.
žAccess to campus activities (clubs and organizationss)
Public or private: Public
Type of school: 4-year college or university
Is this program a federally funded TPSID program? Yes
Students in this program:
  • Have graduated or exited from high school
  • Are still enrolled in high school
Number of students: 7
School district or agency partner: D.R.E.A.M. Partnership
Contact person: Sherri Landis
Deadline to apply to this program: May 1, 2017 for the following academic year.
Requirements for admission to this program:
  • Other diploma (e.g., IEP diploma, certificate of attendance)
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
Program length: 2 years
Tuition amount: $7,300.00
Program specific fees: $0.00
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? Yes
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Scholarships
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
  • Local School District funds
  • Grant Funding
  • Medicaid Waiver or Day Habilitation funds
Scholarships available:

For the 2016/17 academic year, students applied for and received scholarships from the D.R.E.A.M. Partnership

Students take these types of "typical" courses (with students who don't have disabilities):
  • Typical college courses for credit
  • Typical college courses for audit
  • Typical Continuing Education courses
More about course access:

Students select courses each semester with the help of an adviser.

Students take courses that are only for students in this program: Yes
Information on special classes:

Students enroll in the non-credit bearing, Continuing Education Customer Relations course.

Classroom/academic time spent only with other students in this program: Between 25% of the time and half the time
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: Students can earn the National Retail Foundation (NRF) Certificate, by completing the coursework and passing the exam.
The credential(s) is/are:
  • Continuing education credential
  • Awarded by program, not officially recognized by Institute of Higher Education
  • Open to all students at Institute of Higher Education
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 15%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Community Service
  • Work Study
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 100%
We offer the following specialized credentials:

Customer Relations Certificate

Housing is provided to students: No
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Proportion of time spent only with other students in this program: Between 25% and half the of the time
Students have participated in these social/extracurricular activities and organizations:

Lion Ambassadors

Dance Marathon

International Students Association

Last updated: Friday, February 15, 2019 - 13:02