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Vocational Independence Program. Freshmen Parent Orientation September 3, 2014 Ernst VanBergeijk, Ph.D., M.S.W. Some thoughts. "Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.“ ~Alan Cohen~ "Take the first step in faith.

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Vocational independence program

Vocational Independence Program

Freshmen Parent Orientation

September 3, 2014

Ernst VanBergeijk, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Some thoughts
Some thoughts

"Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin.Beginning makes the conditions perfect.“

~Alan Cohen~

"Take the first step in faith.

You don't have to see the whole staircase,

just take the first step.”

~Martin Luther King Jr.~


  • Welcome!

  • Transitioning to a college program

  • Introduction of the Administration Team

  • Program Innovations

  • Introduction of the staff

  • Question and Answers


  • State to me 2 key differences between VIP and I to I

  • Tell me 3 staff persons names & what they do

  • List items that we should NOT find in the dorm rooms

  • State to me what laws regarding confidentiality are and how they change once a student reaches age 18

  • Tell me the general curriculum for the freshmen year


  • We Are NYIT: Our Mission

    • A global, private institution of higher education, NYIT has more than 15,000 students on campuses in North America, China, the Middle East, and online. Since 1955, NYIT has pursued its mission to:

    • Provide career-oriented professional education

    • Give all qualified students access to opportunity

    • Support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world

Vocational independence program

  • NYIT| Vocational Independence Program

  • Our Mission

    • To maximize the potential of individuals with learning differences by :

      • teaching skills and strategies and

      • providing support necessary for successful and independent lives.

  • Our Vision

    • To be the world’s leading college-based educational, vocational, social, and independent living program for individuals with learning differences.

  • Our Values

    • NYIT’s Vocational Independence Program is guided by a dedication to excellence as embodied in its core values.

      • Integrity Innovation

      • Cooperation Quality

      • Commitment Professionalism

      • Safety

Vocational independence program



Transition to


Vocational independence program



NYIT | Vocational Independence Program


Vocational independence program

NYIT | Vocational

Independence Program

Academics &









  • Are difficult for most people

  • They are especially difficult for students with disabilities

  • There is a loss of routine

  • There is also confusion regarding the changes in roles, for both students and their parents

What will change
What will change?

  • The nature and frequency of your communication with your student

  • You won’t be able to see every part of their lives

  • You will need to trust her instincts and the positive values you have instilled in him or her

  • Trust is the key to making the college transition work for both of you

They need to be able to make mistakes
They need to be able to make mistakes

  • It is inevitable that with new found independence a student will make mistakes

  • A student who is afraid of mistakes may not take positive risks

  • Trying new things and taking positive risks leads to new growth

Vocational independence program

“What would I do

if I knew I could not fail?”

Robert H. Schuller

“Any growth requires

a temporary loss of security”

Madeline Hunter

As a parent be interested yet not intrusive
As a Parent, be Interested Yet Not Intrusive

  • Don’t make conversations feel like quizzes

  • Focus on what she is learning, not grades

  • If she mentions a person’s name, ask causally about the person rather than drilling for details

  • Balance communication - not all about them. Share what’s going on in your life

  • Ask what interests them. Share their enthusiasm!

Letting go
Letting Go

  • Is hard to do

  • As parents of special education students you have been forced to be fierce advocates for your children to insure they are receiving the services they deserve and are entitled to

  • However, it does not always allow your children to learn the skill of self advocacy

  • The skill of self advocacy is essential to independence

  • Now, they are learning to be young adults

  • If there is an emergency, then feel free to call

  • If you are having nagging doubts or worries, then let your student learn how to deal with the issue. Help them identify the appropriate staff person for assistance. This is an essential life skill.

  • If your student calls you, then re-direct your student to the appropriate staff person

They need you to let go
They need you to let go

  • Try not to do everything for your student

  • The experience of figuring some things out on his own can be a necessary strength builder

Important information about the vocational independence program
Important Information about the Vocational Independence Program

  • Less Restrictions

    • No curfew

    • No prohibitions against leaving campus

    • Treat VIP students like college students

      • Curfew is only imposed if a student demonstrates an inability to get up in the morning and go to classes or work

  • Quiet hours are imposed during the weekdays

Important information about the vocational independence program1
Important Information about the Vocational Independence Program

  • Generally we do not force students to go on excursions, except for travel training trips

    • Some trips the student must be both academically and behaviorally eligible

  • No Student Activity Fund

    • Must sign up in advance

    • Billing through registrar

    • Will be billed even if the student does not attend

    • With your student’s permission you may use his/her password to look up billing

Important information about the vocational independence program2
Important Information about the Vocational Independence Program

  • Academics are now stressed

    • Classes generally start at 9:00 AM & end at around 5:00 PM

    • Please do not call your student on his or her cell phone during that time

    • If there is a true emergency please call the main telephone number 631-348-3354

  • Assignments every night 30-60 minutes

  • Study hall:

    • Day time & 7:30 – 9:30 PM Sunday –Thursday

  • Computer lab for assignments-

    • personal computer malfunction not an excuse for incomplete work

Important information about the vocational independence program3
Important Information about the Vocational Independence Program

  • Vocational Placements are internships that are unpaid

  • Students need to budget approximately $50 a week spending money

    • If mailing a check allow 2 weeks (mail, college mail system, bank run), then it should clear

Important information about the vocational independence program4
Important Information about the Vocational Independence Program

  • Academics now a priority

    • Class attendance is expected for every class session

    • If ill, a student needs to see the nurse

      • Medical R & R

      • Expected to stay in room except for meals

  • Fail a class:

    • Independent study assignments over break or repeat class following year

Laws that effect our students with disabilities
Laws that effect our Students with disabilities Program

  • The laws change once a student reaches age 18

    • This affects how we disclose information

  • IDEIA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act)

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

  • ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)

  • FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974)

Individuals with disabilities education improvement act
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act Program

  • The intent of IDEA is to provide a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment to identified students with disabilities including special education and related services

  • In effect until either the student graduates from high school or until the student reaches 21 years of age if not a high school graduate

  • At age 16 a transition plan must be made which can include summer programs and post secondary education that focus upon vocational and independent living skills

  • IDEIA does NOT apply in college settings

Section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973 americans with disabilities act of 1990
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 & Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Does apply to college settings

  • The intent of these laws are to ensure that no otherwise qualified person with a disability is denied access to, benefits of, or is subject to discrimination solely on the basis of disability

  • Students are responsible for self-identification and providing documentation to the office of disability services.

  • They are also responsible for the cost of their own evaluations

Section 504 ada
Section 504 & ADA… with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Students are also responsible for notifying the DSS office of their need for REASONABLE accommodations

  • This is not special education. IEPs are not in effect

  • The accommodations are on a case by case, as needed basis only to insure equal access to the university’s programs

  • The student must be able to discuss their disabilities in depth with the college DSS staff

Family educational rights and privacy act of 1974
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Governs the communication of colleges and post secondary programs to parents of students

  • Any student over the age of 18 years has the right to privacy

  • Colleges & post secondary programs will not speak to the parents unless there is a signed written consent form, power of attorney, or legal guardianship in place

  • Allows for the disclosure of directory information. Send written notice if you do not want your info included in a directory

Nyit is a
NYIT is a … with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Dry campus. No alcohol is allowed on campus

    • Students over the age of 21 may drink off campus.

    • However, this may not impact their comportment, and they must obey all university & program rules

  • Smoke free facility.

    • Smoking is only allowed outdoors

    • And, a reasonable distance from the building

General overview of the program
General Overview of the Program with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Each student has:

    • An Academic Counselor

    • A Social Counselor

    • A Vocational Counselor

    • Budget & Banking Advisor

    • *An Independent Living Skills Counselor (as needed)

    • *A Job Coach

      • As needed, and only for initial placement at a worksite

      • Ultimately all students need to function at the worksite with the natural supervision available there

    • The counselors usually follow the student throughout the program. Amount of contact by year will be covered by the department heads

Campus dining
Campus Dining with Disabilities Act of 1990

Robert Rizzuto, Director of Dining Services



Will my child go hungry?

Meal plan 19 meals a week- not optional

Declining dollars for Flex points -$125 per semester

Hours of operation Monday-Friday

Breakfast 7am-9am

Lunch 11am-1:30pm

Dinner 5pm-6:30pm

Saturday & Sunday

Brunch 10am-1pm

Dinner 4:30pm-5:30pm

Box lunches/dinners available when student will be off campus

Must order the night before in cafeteria

Working with dietary restrictions

Choices of food

Food for VIP students cooked to order

Vocational independence program

Paul Kevin Cavanagh, Ph.D. with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Assistant Dean

    • PhD, MA Columbia University

    • MSW Stony Brook University

    • BA Psychology St. John’s University

  • Part of Administrative Team scheduling and assigning teaching schedules

  • Oversees the coordination of student classroom grading and assessments

  • Responsible for evaluating the various components of the program, including follow-ups with VIP alumni

Gina frisina
Gina Frisina with Disabilities Act of 1990

Director of Independent Living

Master’s Degree in Special Education, Dowling College

B.S. in Education, Dowling College

Certification in Special Education

Checking & budgeting differences

Not all students require independent living counselors

Sophomore & Junior food classes, apartment living

Terri white
Terri White with Disabilities Act of 1990

Director of Vocational Services

Master’s Degree in Counseling NYIT

B.S. in Physical Education, University of Tampa

Teacher Certification, State of New York

Freshman Vocational Exploration in Co-op Ed

Skills Evaluation

Guided research in vocation of interest

Job Shadowing with site visitation

Vocational Counselors and Job Coaches assigned

7 Areas of Vocational possibilities


Child care*

Elder care*

Food Service

Office Skills


Maintenance – indoor and outdoor 

BOCES* option – additional fees.

Erin vlasak m s
Erin Vlasak, M.S. with Disabilities Act of 1990

Director of Student Services

Master’s Degree in College Student Development, Long Island University

SJC Certificate in Counseling & Guidance

SJC Certificate as a Mental Health Counselor

NYS Certified Public School Teacher

B.A. in psychology, St. Joseph’s College

Freshmen see their social counselor 1 time per week

Assigned to same counselor all 3 years

Coordinates advanced communications groups & dyads

Outside therapy and referrals

Releases of Information

Walter mayer
Walter Mayer with Disabilities Act of 1990

Coordinator of Residential Life

Master of Social Work, Adelphi University

B.A. Boston University, Psychology major and Sociology minor

Supervises Resident Advisors

Coordinates social and recreational activities

Overnight guests require approval from the dean. Student is responsible for guests behavior

Remind students to lock doors at all times

Helps with keys and IDs

Students should let the office and Walter know if they are leaving for extended periods of time

Michelle ranaldo
Michelle Ranaldo with Disabilities Act of 1990

Director of Instructional Technology

Masters degree in Instructional Technology, NYIT

B.S. Bradley University

Chairs the Technology Committee

Coordinates with the Office Of Information Technology

Helps students set up e-mail accounts and connect to the Internet

Referrals for computer repair

Rose ezeani
Rose Ezeani with Disabilities Act of 1990

Medical Director

Masters in nursing from SUNY -Stony Brook

B.S. in nursing St. Joseph College

Licensed as a nurse practitioner in New York State

All students must provide proof of PPD and meningitis inoculations

NYS recommends Hepatitis & HPV

Medication Self Administration Forms

Release of Information for medical providers

Target Pharmacy


Mail prescriptions two weeks in advance. ****UPS ONLY*****

Insurance Waiver available at NYIT Home Page

Kelly imperial m s associate director of admissions development
Kelly Imperial, M.S. with Disabilities Act of 1990Associate Director of Admissions & Development

Master of Science in Social Work- Concentration in Enterprise Administration, Columbia University

Bachelor of Social Work, Molloy College

Coordinates all VIP alumni events, Open Houses, and fundraisers.

RSVP to Kelly for attendance at walkathon & homecoming and annual dinner dances.

Chairs the Benjamin J. Cecil Scholarship Committee and the Benjamin J. Cecil Walkathon/Homecoming Committee.

Conducts campus tours and student admissions interviews.

Contact Kelly for VIP attendance at transition, SEPTA, and college fairs.

Fire safety
Fire Safety with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • A policy of no open flames inside a building

    • (e.g. candles, incense)

  • No heating or cooking elements allowed in dorm rooms

    • (e.g. hot plates, coffee pots, individual microwaves, etc.)

  • No cooking in dorms or classrooms unless supervised by a staff member

  • Microwaves are available in

    • RA offices and in Independence Hall.

    • Students must be supervised.

  • No extension cords.

    • Surge protectors are allowed

Expectations with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Expect phone calls with complaints in the beginning:

    • I’m bored. There is nothing to do.

    • The food in the cafeteria is all the same

    • I’m having problems with so & so in the dorm

    • I have no money

  • Re-direct them to the staff

  • You do not have to fix every problem

Expectations… with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Some students may experience homesickness

    • Let the social counselors and residential life staff know right away

  • A small number of students every year decide it is not a good fit…

    • Please talk to us if your student is feeling this way

No more paper bills
No more paper bills with Disabilities Act of 1990

Please make sure we have a current parental e mail address
Please make sure we have a current parental E-mail address with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Reminders for opting out of medical insurance

  • Important announcements for the program and the college at large

    • Benjamin J. Cecil Walk for Independence - October 18, 2014

    • Dinner dance in the spring, tentative date: April 18, 2015

  • Emergency notifications

Medical insurance waiver
Medical Insurance Waiver with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Please note the Aetna Student Health Insurance waiver will open July 26, 2014 and  close on September 2nd, 2014.  If you are a domestic residential student, VIP student,  or NCAA athlete you are eligible to waive out if you have proof of your own health insurance.  Please note that F1 and J1 students are not eligible to waive out of the Aetna Health Insurance.  Please waive out if you have not done so by emailing Alice Heron-Burke, Director of the Office of Wellness at NYIT.

  • Email Alice Heron-Burke at aburke@nyit.edu

  •               Provide her with your student’s name and student ID number and ask for her to manually waive the insurance.

  •               Print the email confirming it has been waived from Ms. Heron-Burke.

  • If you have waived out, please check your NYIT Student Account  to make sure your account has been credited the amount.  If you have questions please contact the Office of Wellness Services at 516 686-7697.

In the event of early withdrawal
In the event of early withdrawal with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • VIP/ I to I are departments of NYIT. 

  • We follow all policies established regarding drop/add of students and reimbursements:

    • 1. Withdrawal at any time from the date of the student’s registration to the day before the first scheduled day of the course—100 percent refund of the tuition and the college fee.

    • 2. Withdrawal at any time during the first and second week of the course—50 percent refund of tuition only.

    • 3. Withdrawal at any time after the start of the third week of the course—no refund.

  • http://nyit.edu/vip/faqs/

    • All NYIT|VIP students will automatically be billed for the tuition refund insurance (this year $146/semester)

    • We strongly recommend you secure this insurance

    • For questions concerning the Tuition Refund Insurance go to http://www.tuitionrefundplan.com or call 617-774-1555 or email trp@dewarinsurance.com

Student activities center
Student Activities Center with Disabilities Act of 1990

Swimming Pool



Workout rooms

International travel training trip
International Travel Training Trip with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Greece

  • January 2, 2015

  • VIP Students, I to I & VIP alumni ages 18+ in good academic, behavioral, and financial standing with the program

  • Contact Carol Jockle at 631.348.3135 or cjockle@nyit.edu for more information.

Other program innovations

Travel Training with Disabilities Act of 1990

Community Building Dean’s Lecture Series, Electives

Fitness Fridays

Pedometer program

Bicycle program

Benjamin J. Cecil Scholarship Walk, October 18, 2014

Friday ILC

Daily Check –ins

Dare to Care positive behavior campaign

Entrepreneurial model introduction- on-line store

E-works certifications

Other Program Innovations

Dare to care bears code
Dare to Care & with Disabilities Act of 1990BEARS Code

  • We will introduce to all students our Dare to Care Campaign,

    • a universal approach to promoting civility and positive social engagement among students in all environments

    • The core is our BEARS Code – named for the NYIT Bear Mascot

      • Believe,

      • Effort,

      • Accountability

      • Respect

      • Success

Dare to care campus wide theme 2014 2015
Dare To Care – Campus Wide Theme 2014-2015 with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Captures the spirit of VIP – to respect & accept yourself and others

  • Program wide focus on building confidence and pride in oneself and one’s choices

  • Encourages students to stand up for themselves and others.

  • Applies at VIP, in the community and in cyberspace

Dare to care campus wide theme 2014 2015 continued
Dare to Care – Campus Wide Theme with Disabilities Act of 19902014 -2015 continued

  • Goal is to build a supportive community where students feel comfortable to be themselves, learn and take risks.

  • Classes, counseling and special events would educate students on self respect, and build increased tolerance for those who are different from themselves

  • Monthly recognition for “Random Acts of Kindness”

  • Monthly themes and catch phrases “PYB”

Introduction of the staff
Introduction of the Staff with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Name

  • Role at VIP

  • Degrees/Training

  • Years in the field

  • Years at VIP

Question and answer session
Question and Answer Session with Disabilities Act of 1990

What s next
What’s Next? with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Continue moving in

  • Students 3:00 PM tours & IDs

  • Student Ice breakers 4:00 PM

  • 5:00 RAs walk students to cafeteria for dinner

  • Students have a welcome meeting with Walter and the RA staff at 6:00 PM in Heritage Hall, 1st floor lounge