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Work Skills Preparation Program

The Work Skills Preparation (WSP) Program is a two-week residential transition program designed for high school students (16-21 years of age) who are blind or vision impaired and plan to pursue employment after high school. Students will participate in intensive career exploration, work-based learning experiences, as well as activities in self-advocacy, social skills, independent living skills, and blindness skills. WSP is designed to teach and assess within the Transition Domains: Employment, Education, Community Integration, and Independent Living.

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Information for Employers

About Customized Employment

About Our Program

The Work Skills Preparation (WSP) Program at The College of New Jersey is a two-week residential summer transition program for students who are blind/vision impaired with additional disabilities. Once these students exit the school system, we support them to achieve their employment goals.

Interested in Hiring a WSP Alumnus?

For students who have attended WSP at TCNJ, we are committed to supporting them upon graduation. Specifically, we support our WSP Alumni to obtain employment that is aligned with their career goals. Currently, our employment outcomes are anything but impressive. To fix this, we are engaging our summer program staff as job developers who are committed to increasing our employment rates. Using a customized employment approach, the job developer and job seeker will work together to identify interests, contributions (attributes, skills and strengths), as well as tasks in which the job seeker excels. Then, the job developer will seek out customized employment opportunities and, ultimately, match the job seeker to an employment opportunity. With job coaching and other on-going support, the job seeker will be competitively employed in an integrated workplace.

Our WSP Alumni reside all over New Jersey. I am willing to bet that hiring one of our WSP Alumni will make an immeasurable impact on your business. If you are interested, I am happy to discuss the details with you to create a win-win opportunity for both you and our WSP alumni hired at your place of employment.

Are you a Mercer County Employer interested in providing a summer job sampling opportunity?

We are actively looking to expand our employer partnerships for the summer program (4 weeks). A job sampling opportunity will provide an authentic and meaningful experience for our WSP students to learn valuable employment skills, identify skills and strengths, practice soft skills, and more. Once the partnership is established, the students (and our trained job coaches) will work with your company voluntarily. The experience alone is an invaluable compensation. If you are an open-minded, supportive employer in the Mercer County (NJ) area and you’re willing to partner with us, please contact us.

Melissa Buck
Transition Coordinator
School of Education
Center for Sensory and Complex Disabilites
PO Box 7718 Ewing, NJ 08628-0718

Resources for Families

The Work Skills Preparation Program at The College of New Jersey (WSP@TCNJ) is a two-week residential summer program for extended school year service and transition/vocational assessment for youth who are blind/vision impaired with complex educational needs. This program utilizes highly specialized approaches to the education of youth who are blind/visually impaired through highly qualified experts in the field of vision and blindness education.

Family Application:

You must request an application from your Student’s CBVI Transition Counselor. All applications and information will be given at the Open House.

The participants are high school students (ages 16-21) who are blind and vision impaired with additional disabilities and who would benefit from an employment outcome upon graduation with or without supports. The program is staffed by highly trained professionals and upper class college students who are supervised by TCNJ program directors and selected CBVI staff. There is approximately one staff to every two-three students during the day and evening along with 24 hour nursing services. During the night there are two awake staff in the residence to monitor the halls and to ensure the safety of the participants.

The WSP@TCNJ program is designed as a comprehensive vocational program that provides skill reinforcement and assessment of critical factors involved in transition from school to a successful adult life. A written assessment is provided at the completion of the program to help both the parents and schools include appropriate Transition goals in the student’s IEP. Recommendations are made in the following areas:

  • Job Site Experience and Job Sampling
  • Academics (Literacy and Numeracy)
  • Orientation and Mobility (travel skills)
  • Self Advocacy and Self Determination
  • Person-Centered Planning and Goal Mapping
  • Accessible Technology
  • Skills of Independence (ILS)

What will the WSP Student(s) gain regarding Work, Academics, Social Skills, Independent Living?

Work Skills

  • The work experience component of the WSP program was designed to give our participants relevant experiences in real jobs to ascertain their preferences and interests to assist in their career development.
  • Students spend half of each weekday sampling different employment sites both on and off campus.
  • Authentic assessment approaches during these work experiences are utilized to assess individual student social skills, executive functioning and overall work readiness.


Each student develops a Brochure that illustrates his/her person-centered plan to be shared with those involved in supporting the student while he/she plans for his/her future. The Brochure includes:

  • great things about the student
  • what is most important to the student
  • best supports
  • how the student best communicates
  • vision for the future: work and living
  • goals and action plan
  • work strengths


Students (16-19 years old) spend half of each weekday in classes that focus on literacy & numeracy skills for successful employment. Authentic assessment approaches during activities of literacy, learning and access technology are utilized to assess individual student skills and the quality of his/her access to academics.

Soft Skills

Students (19-21 years old) spend 2 hours of each weekday learning the “soft skills” or social skills that are essential to obtain and maintain gainful employment.

Students will participate in a variety of preparatory activities such as:

  • Barriers to employment
  • Communicating on the job
  • Advocating for support
  • Interview/first impression: Role playing
  • Teamwork: Working with natural co-workers, bosses, job coaches
  • Resume Writing

Independent Living Skills

The college campus is an ideal setting for the students to practice managing their time, money, travel, and personal needs.

Life Skills Facilitators organize lessons to teach students Activities in Daily Living (ADLs):

  • Personal Hygiene
  • Laundry
  • Bed Making
  • Light Cleaning
  • Nutrition and Exercise
  • Food Preparation
  • Handling/Budgeting Money
  • Emotional Well-Being and Conflict Resolution

Resources for Students


  • The participants are high school students (ages 16-21) who are blind and vision impaired with complex educational needs.
  • Students eligible must be recommended by their Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired Transition Counselor.
  • Applications must be completed by the transition counselor, student and parent/guardian to be considered for the program.


Applications will be distributed at Open House.

Resources for Job Seekers

WSP Alumni Program Policies and Procedures

Job Seeker Survey — If you are working with a support specialist, please complete this survey at 30- and 90-days. Be sure to submit it, too! Thank you!!


Self-Determination: Self-determination means knowing what you want to do, and knowing what you need to do it.

Self-Advocacy: Self-advocacy is letting other people know what you think and feel and what you need.

Self-Directed Services: Self-directed services means that you make decisions about the services you get.

Strengths: Strengths are things that you can do well.

Goals: Goals are the things you try to get done in your life. Sometimes, you have to work hard to reach the goals that are most important to you.

Job Coach: Job coaches help you learn different tasks and strategies while you are working.

Accommodations: Accommodations are supports (like assistive technology) that help someone do a job.

Soft Skills Videos

WSP provided you with many work experiences, as well as opportunities to develop your independence, soft skills, and more! Feel free to use the videos below to observe and learn about some of the important Soft Skills.

Work Conversation

Short Conversation

Information for Staff

WSP is a residential summer program for high school students (ages 16-21) who are blind / vision impaired with additional disabilities and who would benefit from an employment outcome upon graduation. There are two 2-week sessions from the end of June until the end of July.