In addition to our academic program, Pathfinder students enjoy participating in local community events as well as visiting area museums, attractions, stores, restaurants, and state parks, including:
- Shopping trips as part of classroom projects to learn social boundaries
- Swimming, bowling, and other sports at local recreation centers
- Visits to larger stores to learn about parking lot safety and other community navigation skills
- Field trips, such as the Utica Zoo, adaptive skiing at Windham, Critz Farm, Windy Hill Orchard, Gilbert Lake, Rogers Conservation Center, Wolf Mountain, Owen D. Young Nature Trail, and more.
We also offer meaningful employment preparation activities so that students may ready themselves for life after graduation. Through participation in these programs, students develop the higher-level planning, organization, and executive functioning skills that are essential to future success -- in volunteer, supported work or independent work settings.
Our employment preparation program focuses on four core work domains:
- Food Service
- Organizing/Packaging & Assembling
Within each domain, students transition through four levels of ability. As students demonstrate competencies in specific areas, goals and outcomes are adjusted accordingly. Ongoing and individualized assessment and instruction, coupled with practice and repetition of skills, lead to student success.
Examples of transferable skills and concepts that all students learn include the ability to:
- Maintain good personal hygiene
- Demonstrate appropriate social/workplace behavior
- Be safe
- Be reliable
- Understand the job requirements
- Attend to task/complete task
- Solve problems
- Ask for help when needed
- Communicate effectively and cooperate with others
- Demonstrate an overall motivation to work.
The Pathfinder Village campus includes thriving businesses that are open to and enjoyed by the local community, including our Village Inn, bakery and café, and weekly produce market. Students access and gain job training experience at a number of locations on the campus. Opportunities for job training exist off-campus, too. Our community partners include small businesses, schools, and community centers.
All these carefully planned elements combined provide students with the environment and support to develop transferable life skills, form meaningful relationships, and build community connections. This is the Pathfinder experience!