The Culinary Assistant program has received many commendations from parents, educators, counselors, case workers and job developers. Here are some of the things people have been saying about our program:
What educators are saying
This is a one-of-a-kind program at the postsecondary level that is accessible to students with disabilities who lack the skills to succeed in a more academically designed program that teaches them the skills they need to become successfully employed. More importantly, teaches students the tools they need to someday live independently... empowers my students to understand the concepts of how to be a successful employee and teaches living skills that will aid them throughout their lives; how to live a healthy lifestyle, stay well, and manage personal relationships. Ilene Olson, Youth Transitions Program Specialist, Tigard High School
... a good transition between high school and work for those young adults who need additional support, direction, and a hands-on work experience necessary to become successful employees. The program provides a solid structured environment, in a work-based setting for those individuals who are not quite employment ready. The program strikes an excellent balance between instruction and employment readiness training which allows students to develop skills while gaining confidence. Jennii Childs, Transition Specialist, Hillsboro School District
The quality of the program is consistently strong. I only wish PCC would develop more training programs such as this for students with disabilities. I have recommended the culinary program to many families over the years. Margaret Cook, Program Facilitator, Reynolds School District
Culinary Assistant Program and the excellent training it provides to a population in much need of skill training... builds confidence in themselves, and builds a sense of identity.
Jim Winkler, Youth Transition Program Specialist, Sherwood School District
The program teaches, and accentuates, not only practical culinary skills but pertinent employability skills... The direct result of the program for the graduates is long-term viable and competitive employment. Ruth M. Riffle, Transition Specialist, Tigard-Tualatin High School
What disability services counselors are saying
An outstanding program for youth with a range of disabilities, in part because it incorporates a classroom component coupled with occupation and job-specific training. I highly recommend the training program for potential students who are seeking a practical, 1-3 term learning experience within a college setting - an experience which prepares students by teaching the job and soft-skills needed to thrive in the workplace - and by allowing each student to demonstrate their skills and abilities in a learning environment. I would encourage parents and special educators to consider this program as a possible opportunity for helping each young person make that vital, yet often daunting, transition from high school into the adult world. Mikael Snitker-Magin, PhD, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor
... a great way for students to connect and gain marketable skills. I always look forward to the chance to refer students to the program. Angelina Davis, CRC, Disability Services Counselor
What vocational rehabilitation counselors are saying
We have always been impressed with the personal attention and support our clients receive. The program has been instrumental in assisting these young and inexperienced clients to open up to the world of work in a safe environment. They gradually learn and practice useful food preparation and serving skills, and develop positive work behaviors leading to successful employment. Upon graduation, these newly acquired skills and behaviors translate into the ability to obtain and, most importantly, maintain competitive employment. Fedor Alvarado, Rehabilitation Counselor, Oregon Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS)
It (the PCC Culinary Assistant Program) is the only program that I know of in the entire State of Oregon that provides students with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to engage in a college level education. I have seen students go through this program and flourish! They gain skills that can immediately be used to secure and maintain competitive employment. But most of all, they come through with so much pride and confidence in themselves. Jessica Atalla, Counselor Assistant/Contemplating Change Facilitator, Oregon OVRS
It has been clearly apparent to us that (the PCC Culinary Assistant Program Coordinator) has a sincere vested interest in assisting his students with preparing them for employment and independence... helps them develop meaningful life skills, transferable employment skills, and self confidence. Steve Johnson, Rehabilitation Counselor & Kathy Holter, Counselor Assistant, OVRS & Columbia County YTP
What job developers are saying
They (the students) understand how to be good workers... They always gain confidence as well as skills... The skills that are taught in this program go well beyond kitchen skills. The most valuable lessons help the student to be successful in the workplace and help bring structure and health to daily living... Respect for self and for others is a beautiful byproduct of this program. At graduation, these students are ready to be responsible, productive workers. They are valued for their contributions to their employers. Barb Meyer, Job Coach/Developer, Focus on Ability, Inc.
Have more Feedback?
Have you participated in the program? Do you work with Culinary Assistant graduates? Let us know what you think! Please send your comments to Chris Brady, program coordinator.