There's only so much a student can learn from studying text books. To get a realistic understanding, it takes supplemental first-hand experience. In fall 2016, MSU launched their inaugural Spartan Project SEARCH (SPS), which is giving a handful of hardworking students the rare opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge to assist local children with disabilities.
Project SEARCH is a national initiative with active chapters across the U.S. Their mission is to connect aspiring students with young people with disabilities, creating a mutually beneficial experience for both the intern and the children.
MSU is partnering with Ingham Intermediate School District to place nine interns in various campus settings. Through direct exposure, interns will be taught important skills they will need later in their careers. They will be placed in three different classroom environments for 10-week periods.
At the end of each day, interns report back to their department manager to share their experiences and practice newfound skills. SPS staff provide guidance, accommodations, and support to the participating department managers. The talented group includes experts in special education, job coaches, and social work - all of which are dedicated to helping student's improve their onsite job performance.
Students receive invaluable feedback from internship managers, co-workers, and SPS staff. At the end of each day, students wrap up with a group reflection, problem-solving discussions, strategic planning sessions and time to document their learning progress. Another valuable goal of the project is to monitor how students' perceptions toward people with disabilities change over the course of their internship.
Through this program, Project SEARCH helps students gain valuable job skills and experience to be highly competitive in their job searches and make a difference in their field.
Stop by the following locations to say hello to our hardworking students. SPS especially thanks the participating work sites and managers for their continuous support!
- MSU Extension
- Early Learning Institute
- Education Dean's Office
- Department of Pediatrics & Human Development
- Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities
- Health Team
- Veterinary Medical Center
- Culinary Services
- Residence Education and Housing Services
- Sparty's Coffee Shops
- Athletics Department (new site, fall 2017)