Courses

Academic courses offered at the Vocational Independence Program (updated 2011)

Freshmen

Advanced Communication

Students develop communication and conversation skills in teacher-supported small groups or dyads. Students will also practice reading cues and understanding the nuance of social situations. Back the the schedule.

Banking and Budgeting and Financial Planning

 The Freshmen Banking & Budgeting course focuses on the mechanics of managing a checking account.  Areas covered include writing checks and deposit slips, maintaining an accurate register and interpreting monthly statements.  Students learn how to check their transactions and balances using their banking web site.  They learn how to use an ATM to withdraw money from their accounts.  In addition, where appropriate, the responsible use of a debit card to pay expenses is introduced.

Students are introduced to budgeting principles - understanding needs versus wants, prioritizing expenses, and developing a monthly budget plan. Students then apply these budget principles as they learn about the financial obligations involved with independent living.  Students learn about salaries, earnings statements, and the costs of living - rent, utilities, insurance, transportation expenses, etc.   Students learn how to interpret and pay various bills.  Record keeping techniques are also covered.  In addition, students learn restaurant skills including determining appropriate tips, ordering within a budget, ordering “take-out” food, and splitting a bill.

Once a week, students meet individually with a banking advisor to determine their expenses for the upcoming week and prepare a weekly budget.  They receive guidance in prioritizing expenses as well as preparing paperwork for their banking transactions.  This provides students with an opportunity to apply what they are learning in class to their own lives and to progressively assume a greater degree of independence and responsibility for their money management. Back the the schedule.

 Life Applications, Tools and Strategies 

In this course students will explore their personal obstacles to productivity, learn the executive functioning skills of the brain, understand how to break complex projects into simple steps to develop problem solving abilities, and learn  to plan the time to work on projects and meet deadlines. Students also create and manage a personal planner, understand how to prepare for classes and meetings, and develop time management skills.  Back the the schedule.

Life Applications, Tools and Strategies, Pre-Degree Option

This class covers all that is listed in College Skills above, but with the additional goal of preparing an appropriate level student to take the NYIT 101 College Success Seminar course. Students learn to access various campus resources such as the NYIT Learning Center and the NYIT Counseling Center. Students also practice course selection and registration, along with developing familiarity with the NYIT Catalog and online resources. Back the the schedule.

College Research, Pre-Degree Option

This is an intensive, one semester course that prepares appropriate level students to write a college research paper of ten or more pages. Students learn MLA citation format, and learn to make frequent use of the NYIT library system. Students will be required to write three research papers of varying length as practice, along with appropriate citation and sources. Back the the schedule.

Computers

Students learn various forms of file management and are presented hands on experience with various computer applications including word processing, creating and manipulating presentations and concept mapping. Students learn safe use of the internet for research, communicating and obtaining information for personal interest. Requirements include setting up an NYIT student e-mail account and use of Electronic Blackboard for interaction with class instructors online. Back the the schedule.

Cooperative Education

The vocational education component is central to the NYIT-VIP experience. Cooperative Education for freshmen identifies various phases of the program, familiarizes students with the role of the vocational staff along with describing the services they provide. Students will learn about a variety of business environments and participate in a supportive job shadowing experience. Students will present their choices and vocational goals in a formal letter to parents and in a presentation at the end of the semester. Back the the schedule.

Cooperative Education- Office Skills

Students choosing the Office skills vocational track will learn various clerical tasks including: typing, filing, creating memos, mail operations, copying and telephone answering techniques. Students will explore a variety of environments where these skills are important to employment, and they will participate in a supported job shadowing experience. Back the the schedule.

Cooperative Education- Eldercare

Students choosing the Eldercare vocational track will learn the skills necessary for interacting, assisting and understanding the needs of elderly participants along with safety in a day care setting. Areas emphasized include: initiating appropriate social interactions, salutations, understanding body language and responding to individual needs. Students will explore a variety of environments where these skills are important to employment, and they will participate in a supported job shadowing experience. Back the the schedule.

Cooperative Education- Retail

Students choosing the Retail vocational track will learn the skills necessary for interacting with customers, cashiering, stocking, and maintenance, along with safety in a retail setting. Areas emphasized include: working together, salutations, understanding body language, working with supervisors and other employees, and becoming a good employee. Students will explore a variety of environments where these skills are important to employment, and they will participate in a supported job shadowing experience. Back the the schedule.

Cooperative Education- Childcare

Students choosing the Childcare vocational track will learn the basics of child development from infancy to age 12, along with the structure and safety issues of working in a childcare environment. Students will explore a variety of environments where these skills are important to employment, and they will participate in a supported job shadowing experience. Back the the schedule.

Nutrition

 This is the first course students experience in VIP’s three-year Food and Nutrition program.   Students learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle through educated food selection and exercise. 

Students learn about the USDA food pyramid guidelines and how to incorporate the guidelines into their daily food choices.  Students learn how to interpret food labels and examine the nutritional value of fast food.  They learn about the techniques used in food advertising and the effect it can have on the food choices they make. Back the the schedule.

Intro to Employment

 This course provides an overview of the job search process. Students will learn the steps necessary to obtain a job and where to look for jobs using a variety of media. Students will create a personal fact sheet including all of the information necessary to fill out an application along with a resume. Students will also prepare a reference sheet. The course final will include a mock interview process. Back the the schedule.

Health/Human Sexuality

This class is a year-long review of health and decision making regarding sexual activity with a focus on the lifestyle of a college student. Topics covered include anatomy, birth control and the costs of pregnancy, STDs and date rape. Students are encouraged to learn how to use the resources available to them in order to get answers to questions or to make decisions about their growing independence. Back the the schedule.

Electives

This class is a guided opportunity for socialization with peers sharing similar interests. Students meet once a week with faculty to participate in these activities. Course offerings vary by student interest, but have included Art, Newspaper, Social Action, Sports, Science Fiction, Movies, Golf, Swimming, Debate Team and others. Students choose their elective during orientation. Class size is sometimes limited, with first choices going to upperclassmen. Back the the schedule.

Social Psychology

This course examines intra and interpersonal communication with a focus on meta cognitive skills and personal development. Some topics covered include: non-verbal communication, conversational skills, listening, identifying feelings and their connection with thoughts and behaviors, conflict resolution and self-advocacy. Lectures, group discussions and interactive role-play are all modalities that will be used to examine content. Back the the schedule.

Civics

This course is designed to provide students with information regarding issues and topics in American culture. Students will evaluate current and historical events in a variety of media, and will be required to develop opinions and substantiate them in class discussion and written assignments. In particular the class will focus on the roles and responsibilities of individuals living in an American community including the nature of government and civil society int he community. Back the the schedule.

Pre-College English, Pre-Degree Option

This course prepares students to take the NYIT Composition I credit bearing English course. Students frequently write short essays on a variety of topics, with the expectation that they will master the standard essay format by the end of the class. A writing lab is built into class time, and students are assessed by a completed portfolio of their work. Back the the schedule.

Pre-College Psychology, Pre-Degree Option

This course prepares students to take the NYIT PSYCH-101 class. Students use the credit course required textbook to learn material related to introductory topics in psychology. The pace is slower in order to help students recognize weaknesses in study skills and core concepts comprehension. Back the the schedule.

Freshmen Travel Training

The Vocational Independence Program at New York Institute of Technology offers a two -semester travel training course to students with special needs. The course meets one day per week for classroom instruction in the fall semester and one day per week for classroom instruction and travel in the spring semester. Students plan their travel routes using public transportation and demonstrate skills on travel outings. Students are introduced to mass transit on Long Island and Manhattan. They will learn to read train timetables, subway maps, purchase train tickets and Metro cards on automated machines, and locate information on the Internet for travel planning. Students learn how to travel safely, what steps to take if separated from the group and who to contact if there is a problem.

The goals of the course are for students to increase their awareness of safe travel (through planning), build confidence in traveling (through experience) and identify and recognize areas they need to learn (through self-assessment and instructor feedback).

The course will provide a basic knowledge of travel and the foundation for independent travel. Back the the schedule.

 

Sophomores  

Advanced Communication

Students develop communication and conversation skills in teacher-supported small groups or dyads. Students will also practice reading cues and understanding the nuance of social situations. Back the the schedule.

Banking and Budgeting and Financial Planning

Building on concepts covered and habits developed during the freshman year, this course alerts and informs young adults about sound management skills and the financial planning process. In the sophomore year students are expected to demonstrate greater autonomy in the management of their finances, but still meet weekly with an advisor. Back the the schedule.

Computers

Students take courses in a variety of areas based on aptitude and interest. The topical areas include:Digital imaging, Web Design, Media and Communications. Some goals targeted in the courses include advanced file management, creating and editing simple graphics, drawing tools, editing and manipulating simple photos, scanning and simple animation. Students also practice web site evaluation which is useful when using the web as a reference or research tool. Back the the schedule.

Employment Strategies

The vocational education component is central to the NYIT-VIP experience. Sophomores will work two or three days a week at internships of their choice, based on selections they made during the exploratory phase freshman year. Back the the schedule.

Advanced Office Skills

Students choosing the Office skills vocational track will learn various clerical tasks including: typing, filing, creating memos, mail operations, copying and telephone answering techniques. Students will explore a variety of environments where these skills are important to employment, and they will participate in a supported job shadowing experience. Back the the schedule.

Eldercare

Students choosing the Eldercare vocational track will learn the skills necessary for interacting, assisting and understanding the needs of elderly participants along with safety in a day care setting. Areas emphasized include: initiating appropriate social interactions, salutations, understanding body language and responding to individual needs. Students will explore a variety of environments where these skills are important to employment, and they will participate in a supported job shadowing experience. Back the the schedule.

Retail

Students choosing the Retail vocational track will learn the skills necessary for interacting with customers, cashiering, stocking, and maintenance along with safety in a retail setting. Areas emphasized include: working together, salutations, understanding body language, working with supervisors and other employees, and becoming a good employee. Students will explore a variety of environments where these skills are important to employment, and they will participate in a supported job shadowing experience. Back the the schedule.

Childcare

Students choosing the Childcare vocational track will learn the basics of child development from infancy to age 12, along with the structure and safety issues of working in a childcare environment. Students will explore a variety of environments where these skills are important to employment, and they will participate in a supported job shadowing experience. Back the the schedule.

 Food and Nutrition

Students apply principles and skills learned in their freshman year foods class. Instruction includes hands-on experience in academic kitchens preparing meals. Students plan, budget and shop for the materials they need. Emphasis is placed on safety. Basic kitchen skills are covered, such as: understanding cooking terms, measurement, basic food preparation and storage as well as serving and clean up. Students are guided to making healthy choices in menu selection. Back the the schedule.

Electives

This class is a guided opportunity for socialization with peers sharing similar interests. Students meet once a week with faculty to participate in these activities. Course offerings vary by student interest, but have included Art, Newspaper, Social Action, Sports, Science Fiction, Movies, Golf, Swimming, Debate Team and others. Students choose their elective during orientation. Class size is sometimes limited, with first choices going to upperclassmen. Back the the schedule.

Literature and the Humanities, Pre-Degree Option

Designed to prepare students for college-level literature class, this course examines the different approaches writers have taken in their attempt to emphasize their specific thematic elements through prose and verse. Topics covered include point of view, style and character development through different genres and authors. Students enrolled will be expected to have mastered college-level grammar and structure, and be capable of reading at least one piece of short fiction weekly. Students will be expected to have the communication skills necessary to engage in class discussion when evaluating literature. Upon completion of this class students could consider registering for a comparable NYIT credit course, such as Composition II. Back the the schedule.

Social Psychology

This class builds on concepts introduced during the freshman year. Topics covered include: interpersonal attraction, stereotypes, racism, discrimination, theories of self and the impact of self-perception. These topics are addressed in light of stress management, personality types, conflict resolution, group dynamics and peer pressure, along with others. Back the the schedule.

Sophomore Business/Lab

Business lab provides Office Skills students with an opportunity to learn and practice many of the tasks necessary for entry-level clerical positions. Some skills covered include: basic filing, copying, sorting, collating, telephone skills operating the time clock and various computer operations. Back the the schedule.

Government

This course is a follow-up to the Freshman year civics course and will focus on the history and nature of government in American society. In addition, students will consider their roles and responsibilities as citiens and voters in the various levels of government in American society. Back the the schedule.

 

Juniors

Employment Readiness

This full-year course is designed to prepare students to actively and purposefully seek employment. The entire job-hunting process is reviewed, including such topics as: updating the personal fact sheet, finalizing resumes and references, practicing the interview and preparing for commonly asked questions, understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act and issues of self-advocacy. Once students obtain employment, they will be expected to perform certain tasks independently, and the class covers topics such as: prioritizing daily tasks while at work, understanding your paycheck, understanding sexual harassment and other behavioral standards in the workplace and dealing with issues of transportation. A variety of instructional techniques will be used, with a special emphasis on role-play and student focused practice and interaction. Back the the schedule.

Advanced Communications

Students develop communication and conversation skills in teacher-supported small groups or dyads. Students will also practice reading cues and understanding the nuance of social situations. Back the the schedule.

Apartment Living

The goal of the Apartment Living class is to teach students the skills needed to locate, maintain and successfully reside in independent housing after graduation from the NYIT-VIP program. Topics covered include: types of housing, locations, community services and access, lease agreements, considerations for choosing a roommate, budgeting safety and emergency procedures. Field trips and hands-on exercises help students to internalize the information vital to their success while living independently. Back the the schedule.

Bill Paying & Understanding Credit Scores

This course reinforces bill paying skills covered in the Sophomore Banking and Budgeting course. Students will understand the importance of on-time bill payment and good record keeping. They will learn how credit ratings are determined as well as the steps required to earn and maintain a good credit rating. Students will be able to interpret a variety of bills such as utility bills and credit card bills. They will be able to carry out all steps required to successfully pay a variety of bills. Back the the schedule.

Financial Planning

Students will meet as needed with a financial advisor to help them monitor their finances, as well as to plan a budget appropriate to living independently. These meetings are supported by coursework in the Apartment Living course that is taken concurrently. Back the the schedule.

Cooperative Education

The vocational education component is central to the NYIT-VIP experience. During the Junior year, students will continue at placements they established freshman year, working three to four days a week at their internship of choice. Back the the schedule.

Cooperative Education- Office Skills

Students choosing the Office skills vocational track will learn various clerical tasks including: typing, filing, creating memos, mail operations, copying and telephone answering techniques. Students will explore a variety of environments where these skills are important to employment, and they will participate in a supported job shadowing experience. Back the the schedule.

Cooperative Education- Eldercare

Students choosing the Eldercare vocational track will learn the skills necessary for interacting, assisting and understanding the needs of elderly participants along with safety in a day care setting. Areas emphasized include: initiating appropriate social interactions, salutations, understanding body language and responding to individual needs. Students will explore a variety of environments where these skills are important to employment, and they will participate in a supported job shadowing experience. Back the the schedule.

Cooperative Education- Retail

Students choosing the Retail vocational track will learn the skills necessary for interacting with customers, cashiering, stocking, and maintenance along with safety in a retail setting. Areas emphasized include: working together, salutations, understanding body language, working with supervisors and other employees, and becoming a good employee. Students will explore a variety of environments where these skills are important to employment, and they will participate in a supported job shadowing experience. Back the the schedule.

Cooperative Education- Childcare

Students choosing the Childcare vocational track will learn the basics of child development from infancy to age 12, along with the structure and safety issues of working in a childcare environment. Students will explore a variety of environments where these skills are important to employment, and they will participate in a supported job shadowing experience. Back the the schedule.

Food and Nutrition

The Junior course builds on the foundation developed in the previous two years. Students continue to shop and budget for meals of sound nutritional value, and they prepare and serve all meals they have planned in the kitchen. Back the the schedule.

Health

The Health curriculum in Junior year focuses on students' mastery of self-care independence. An important topic covered is First Aid and emergency medical issues in the context of living independently. They are taught to understand and become familiar with the difference between prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including dosages, refills and side-effects. Students are also introduced to the confusing and sometimes frustrating world of health insurance. Common terms such as co-pays and deductibles are discussed. Preventive medicine is introduced as a tool to keeping healthy including exercise and diet. Back the the schedule.

Electives

This class is a guided opportunity for socialization with peers sharing similar interests. Students meet once a week with faculty to participate in these activities. Course offerings vary by student interest, but have included Art, Newspaper, Social Action, Sports, Science Fiction, Movies, Golf, Swimming, Debate Team and others. Students choose their elective during orientation. Class size is sometimes limited, with first choices going to upperclassmen. Back the the schedule.

 

Credit-bearing coursework while at VIP

The students, for whom the bulk of the academic course work will be credit bearing classes, will need to provide transcripts from a previous college experience or SAT or ACT scores. These students are referred to as participating in the Pre-Degree option.

VIP students taking credit courses are transported to the Old Westbury campus and are encouraged to utilize all of the many facilities NYIT offers to support individuals with learning disabilities, such as the NYIT Old Westbury Learning Center and the Counseling Center. These students are also provided with all of the supports a typical VIP student is afforded, such as academic counseling and the VIP study halls and computer labs. Initial registration advisement is provided by VIP, and in the case of a student matriculated to a degree program, by NYIT as well. Students are typically advised to register for core courses that have a high probability of transfer to another program upon completion. Students registered for core course content such as English Composition can take VIP preparation classes designed specifically to prepare for the academic requirements of such a course. VIP does not however, provide tutors for credit classes, although students procuring their own tutors are free to meet with them at VIP facilities.

Whereas it would be unusual for a student attending VIP to complete a degree during the course of the program, it could occur in the case of a student who brings a considerable transcript of completed work from another college, and VIP works with the NYIT Admissions office to have such transcripts evaluated. VIP is working with NYIT to create a 4th year option for VIP students that could culminate in an Associate's degree for Track II students. Credit coursework supplements a VIP students' overall program and can play an important part in preparing a VIP student for their next step, whether purely vocational or in the transfer to another college or program.

Students who are in the Vocational portion of the program may also be eligible for a credit course experience. Those students that are identified as having the academic, social, and organizational readiness to take credit courses may be recommended to do so as a supplement to their VIP experience. The recommendation for this option is made by the administrative team and faculty. Regardless, of the student's placement, all VIP students must have a vocational internship experience as well as their academics.