Community Resource

Exploring Potential Empowering Careers (EPEC) at Collier

732-946-4771 x207

Collier High School is an Approved Private School for Students with Disabilities, whose needs cannot be met within the public school. Collier High Schools EPEC Program will serve students ages 14-21 years.

EPEC students also have access to:

  • Safety Training
  • Social Skills Groups
  • Individualized Therapeutic Support
  • Lessons in time management, budgeting, professionalism, etc.
  • Post Graduate Consultation including college applications
  • Vocational Classes
  • Community college courses through Dual Enrollment programs

All of the students who attend the program have an IEP and can benefit to students with any of the following: depression anxiety poor socialization skills/isolation oppositional/defiant behavior discouragement/low motivation school refusal mood, attention, or adjustment difficulties. The program offers a variety of school-based learning experiences to enhance the professional skills, college and/or vocational preparation, and life skills of individuals. Students will receive a comprehensive career interest and values assessment which will lead to the development of individualized targeted goals to increase the independence and employability of the individual student.

Students will participate in classroom and small groups to improve their skills, such as time management, active listening, problem solving, stress management and teamwork. These classes and groups will also focus on college and/or vocational readiness, job, and life skills. Some college/vocational skills which will be explored are the following: college/vocational school searches exploration of the college application process the transfer process from community to four-year colleges applying for financial assistance learning about available accommodations in college staying safe on college/vocational school campuses and living with roommates.

Secondly, they will have the opportunity to improve their job preparation skills, such as resume writing, interview skills, time management, social relationships with coworkers, problem solving in the workplace, and money management. Lastly, students will work to improve some of their overall life skills, such as coping with outside stressors, independence, cooking, paying bills, managing a budget, writing checks, and cleaning up after oneself.

Students in Colliers Community Transition program will also be offered a Structured Learning Experience Program (SLE). The objective of the SLE program is to successfully place students ages 16-21 in jobs suited to their career interests while providing the coaching, guidance and skill development necessary for students to become comfortable. Productive members of the workforce. This is achieved through: assisting students in gaining an understanding of employers expectations while demonstrating comittment of completing job tasks thoroughly and well.

Facilitating students transition to the workforce or college by discussing and modeling the responsibilities of experienced adult workers and training students to exhibit these traits. Fostering the students confidence and understanding they are, and can continue to be, capable, successful members of the workforce. Our ambition is for every student to complete the program with a sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that they can obtain employment, maintain their position, and develop the skills required to advance their careers.

After meeting program criteria and identifying individual career interests, students are matched with an appropriate (screened) employer. Students attend a meet and greet/interview with potential employers and are placed accordingly. The amount of time students participate in SLE will vary depending on the student and placement however, all students will perform job responsibilities under the guidance of a business mentor and with the support of program coaches. Students have frequent interactions and are individually coached by Collier SLE staff.

Students attend weekly staff meetings with their peers to share their experiences and learn from one another. Students are required to write a weekly journal which, along with their peer/staff discussion, serves as a conduit to identifying strengths and opportunities for improvement of their skills. In addition to ensuring comfort in the workplace, protocols that addressed and practiced by students include: interviewing understanding employers expectations learning how to effectively manage their time following directions effectively communication with co-workers, supervisors, and business patrons developing and using critical thinking skills developing a strong work ethic, focus and sense of purpose advocating for themselves to a supervisor and within the workplace maintaining regular attendance while understanding the importance of communicating absences when necessary developing a repertoire of skills relevant to future jobs and careers establishing an in-industry network of individuals providing a pathway and contacts for future job opportunities and continued professional development identifying new or addition job interests as a result of participation.

The Community Transitions Structured Learning Experience program aims to place students at career-specific job sites. EPEC's program employer partners include a range of businesses across several industries. EPEC's student-customized, individual placements, which are in line with student career goals, currently include placements in the following fields: Business Education Technology and Media Marketing and Design Theater Photography Video Production Medical Field Senior Care Child Care Culinary Cosmetology Environmental Work/State Park Positions. Colliers EPEC program also offers a variety of vocational courses offered at Collier High School Students, including Culinary Arts, Building Trades, AgriScience and Cosmetology. These classes allow students to gain exposure to career avenues while giving them the knowledge, training and experience to pursue these professions.

Eligibility The EPEC program serves students, ages 14-21, who have completed all of their high school graduation requirements but have not received their high school diploma because they continue to need support in enhancing their professional skills, college and/or vocational preparedness, and life-skills to increase independence and employability. Students have an IEP and rise to meet great challenges each day, which may include depression, anxiety, poor socialization skills/isolation, oppositional/defiant behavior, discouragement/low motivation, school refusal, attention and adjustment difficulties.
Age Groups
  • Adolescents
Community Services
Employment / Training
Health Services
Intellectual and Developmental Needs

Last Updated: 01/13/20