Project SEARCH serves students with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities. Typically, these are students who are on an Individual Education Program (IEP) and in their last year of high school eligibility. The most important criterion for acceptance into Project SEARCH is a desire to achieve competitive employment.

Basic Eligibility Criteria

  • 18-21 years old
  • All academic requirements for graduation met
  • Agree to accept diploma at successful completion of program
  • Basic and effective communication skills (verbal or supported by technology)
  • Appropriate, basic social, grooming, and hygiene skills
  • Able to pass drug screening and background check
  • Updated immunizations
  • Ability to access and willingness to use independent transportation options
  • Have independent living skills and lunch routine
  • Must have open case with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS)
  • Maintain appropriate behavior in the workplace
  • Ability to take direction and change behavior if necessary
  • Desire to be competitively employed

Application Process

Interested candidates must apply to be considered for acceptance into the program. Students are referred by their school district and apply in the spring of the year before entering the program. Space is limited to approximately 8-12 students, per site, each year. The selection is carried out by members of the Project SEARCH Advisory Committee. The application enables the Committee to assess each candidate’s skills, abilities, interests, and background. Selected students will be matched to the most appropriate job site based on interest and skills.

2017-2018 Dates & Deadlines

  • Applications Due Friday April 7th, 2017
  • Mandatory Interview Day – Thursday May 11, 2017
  • Applicants notified of acceptance/rejection – week of May 15, 2017
  • IEP development or addendum to be completed - June 2017
  • Mandatory Student and Family Orientation - July 2017 (Dates TBD)
  • Travel Training - August 2017 (Dates TBD)
  • Program begins – September 2017