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Project SEARCH

High School Transition Program

The Project SEARCH High School Transition Program is a one-year educational program for students with disabilities in their last year of high school. It is targeted for students whose main goal is competitive employment.
The program takes place in a health care, government or business setting where total immersion in the workplace enhances the teaching and learning process with continuous feedback and the application of new skills.
A typical school day includes:
  • Classroom instruction in employability and independent living skills
  • Participation at one or more work-site rotations
  • Lunch with peers
  • Feedback from the instructor and job coaches
Individualized job development and placement is ongoing throughout the year and based on strengths, skills and interests. Students are given support through on-the-job coaching and work site accommodations with the ultimate goal of independence.
To be eligible for Project SEARCH in Cincinnati Public Schools, students must:
  • Be minimum of 18 years old
  • Desire to work in a competitive community-based job
  • Willing to use Metro bus transportation options
  • Possess basic communication skills and appropriate social, grooming and hygiene skills
  • Be independent for toileting and feeding
  • Pass drug screen and police background check
New Students Application
"We are not only changing the life outcomes
 for our students, we're changing the
lives of the entire family."

Victoria G. Crook, Assistant Director, Student Services

Students benefit by:

  • Participating in a variety of partnerships in a high-status local business or organization
  • Acquiring competitive, transferable and marketable job skills
  • Gaining increased independence, confidence and self-esteem
  • Obtaining on-site instruction, support and accommodations
  • Learning about links to vocational rehabilitation and other adult service agencies
Project SEARCH started at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1996. Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) started its first Project SEARCH program in August 2006 at Fifth Third Bank’s downtown corporate offices.
Over the years, CPS has continued to develop strong collaborative partnerships with the bank and other local businesses and organizations.
Host organizations benefit by:
  • Accessing a new, diverse talent stream with skills that match the labor needs
  • Seeing an increase in performance and retention levels in high-turnover, entry-level positions
  • Experiencing local, regional and national recognition through marketing of this unique program
In addition to business partners, CPS also depends on the support of agency partners. Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) provides funding and counseling for employment supports for students in the program as well as job placement services following the internship. Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) provides valuable job coaching and job development services. Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services (HCDDS) also provides continued follow-along support as long as that support is needed in adult life.

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