For students in our Schermerhorn program, we serve as the final step on their educational ladder before moving on to college or launching their careers. Given the diverse and multilayered needs of our students, it is our job to ensure they are prepared for this transition long before they receive their diplomas.
Central to these efforts is our Vocation/Transition Specialist Mary Catechis who coordinates our Transition Programs. Serving blind and visually impaired Juniors and Seniors in the Schermerhorn program, these programs are outlined below and are vital to helping make our students post-graduate transition as seamless as possible.
We're proud to share that each year nearly 100% of our Juniors and Seniors are successfully placed in an internship, have secured a job or have been accepted and plan to attend a college or university.
Youth Employment Strategies (YES) Program
Facilitated by Helen Keller Services, YES is a 20-week afterschool exploratory vocational training program offered at NYISE to help our blind and visually impaired students develop their internship and job readiness skills.
Core program components include:
Secondary program components include:
As a result of participation in the program, students:
Special thanks to Youth Program Manager is Kandyce Turner and Technology Instructor is Mohamed Rihan of Helen Keller Services for facilitating the program through the sponsorship of the New York State Commission for the Blind.
Each fall, NYISE hosts a College Fair for our students and their parents. Providing an opportunity for them to meet representatives from local colleges and Universities, including CUNY, SUNY, Lehman College, Dominican College, St. Thomas Aquinas College, and College of Mt. Saint Vincent. Representatives from Perkins, Visions, Learning Ally and the New York Commission for the Blind are also present to answer questions about scholarships and provide tips for the transition from high school to college.
NYISE students participate in the NYC Department of Education's College Now program, a free college transition/dual enrollment program for city high school students. By participating in this program, our students can earn college credits at Hostos Community College in their Junior and Senior in high school.
As per the College Now website, through participation in the program, participating students "can start their first semester in college with up to fifteen college credits – or, at minimum, begin college without remediation. On average, College Now alumni transfer more credits to CUNY (4.72 vs. 0.70), earn more credits in their first semester (11.51 vs. 8.73), and have a higher GPA after their first semester when compared to students who do not participate in the program. The academic momentum they gain persists through graduation as College Now alumni have an eight percent higher three-year associate degree and six-year bachelor's degree completion rate in CUNY than those who did not participate in the program."
Our on-campus store provides students with a first time experience in managing a small business. Together with NYISE staff, students learn budgeting, time-management, and customer service skills by selling merchandise throughout the year. The store is only accessible to their fellow students and staff who frequent it throughout the year for special themed events, sales, and holiday celebrations. For photos of the store, click here.