Opportunity | Experience | Independence – Door County Schools’ Career Training Program

The Door County Schools’ Career Training Program (DCSCTP) is a county wide collaborative program between the school districts of Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol, Gibraltar and Southern Door in partnership with Door County Medical Center. It represents an interagency collaborative effort to serve a traditionally underserved population of students with disabilities and/or those who are at risk, which is approximately 12% of all students in Door County. DCSCTP provides a learning laboratory in the adult world and prepares students for employment after graduation. The program was created in 1999 and has served over 175 participants.

DCSCTP is managed by job coach and educator, Jolene Buhk. Buhk sees this program as the perfect setting for students to gain job skills that will keep them employed and productive after high school. “Our participants learn job seeking and keeping skills, as well as life skills, to help them in their transition from high school to post-secondary education or the work world. They get to have first-hand experience working in various departments on the hospital with the help of the supportive, kind staff at Door County Medical Center. This program gives the students the skills and confidence they need to be successful members of our community as they enter adulthood.”

Classroom Vocational Development

Approximately 25% of student participation in the program is spent in a classroom setting addressing job skills. There is a significant social skill development element to the curriculum as well. Students are not allowed to begin work assignments until they have participated in a comprehensive three-day orientation.

Throughout the semester, typical areas of classroom instruction include getting along with others, handling criticism, accepting orders on the job, interviewing, respect, responsibility, team building, grooming, decision making, organization, and personal finance. This Spring, students focused on honesty, being trustworthy and reputation. As the end of the semester approaches, students are currently working on their portfolio containing a resume, cover letter, and references.

Student Work Experience

Students work directly with DCMC staff who train and supervise them with the support and assistance of Buhk. Students follow a daily task list that is developed for their specific job assignment and abilities. To promote opportunities for skill training and development, students are assigned positions in the departments of:

  • Housekeeping
  • Nutritional Services
  • Central Supply
  • Skilled Nursing Facility
  • Linen Department
  • Physical Rehab
  • Sleep Lab
  • Patient Accounting
  • Student Evaluation

Student progress and evaluation is monitored on a weekly basis. Each day supervisors and students complete an evaluation form. Buhk also provides daily documentation of class participation, observations of students at work and overall performance. The results of weekly evaluation is sent to teachers and parents and quarter and semester grades are provided to the schools. The program also distributes a monthly newsletter, “Career Connection”, to keep families, DCMC staff, school staff and interested community members informed on the specifics of the program. Compensation for the vocational experience is in the form of school credits which is determined by each individual district.

Buhk sees positive change in the teenagers she works with, “Many students come to the program timid and self-conscious, and after participating in daily classroom lesson and working in different job placements, they leave the program confident in themselves and their ability to get a job and be a good employee.”

How to Apply

Students apply to DCSCTP through their school. Guidance Counselors and Special Education Teachers can provide application packet and information on the program. Following an application review and acceptance into the program, student schedules are developed. Students attend the program half-days with transportation provided by the home school district.

The deadline for Fall 2018 applications has passed, but you can contact Jolene Buhk for information regarding Spring 2019. dcsctp@hotmail.com (920) 746-3721