DOWNINGTOWN, PA — Over 900 students from across Chester County graduated from the Child and Career Development Center (CCDC), Communities Helping Adolescents with Autism Make Progress Program (CHAAMP), the CCIU Learning Center and the three Technical College High School (TCHS) campuses. Each of these programs is operated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit on behalf of its 12 member school districts.
On June 5, 2018, the students of the CCDC, Learning Center and CHAAMP program graduated together at the Child and Career Development Center in Coatesville. The diplomas were received by 13 CCDC students, 28 Learning Center students and three CHAAMP students.
The CCDC provides programs for autism support, emotional support, learning support, life skills support, and multiple disabilities support to K-12 students. At CCDC, most of the programs have a common goal of increasing skills and dexterity necessary for postgraduate living. Walking across the stage that day, it was quite evident that the students were proud of their accomplishments. Principal, Susan Mateka, shared her pride for those accomplishments as well. Mateka stated, “The students have fought very hard for every bit of progress they have made. Not a single achievement has come easily and without perseverance.”
The CCIU Learning Center provides academic and vocational education programs to middle and high school students with special education needs. Similarly, Communities Helping Adolescents with Autism Make Progress (CHAAMP) provides a community-based instructional program to students with autism spectrum disorders.
The commencement ceremonies for the TCHS Brandywine, Pennock’s Bridge and Pickering campuses were held on June 4, May 31 and May 30, respectively. Over 880 graduates received their high school diploma from their sending school but were honored for completing their program requirements in one of TCHS’ over 28 career and tech programs, which are centered around the arts, STEM and skilled trades.
In the speeches of the commencement speakers, many graduates presented an emphasis on some aspect of the TCHS education. For one TCHS Brandywine student, the sharp focus of the programs on an array of different career pathways proved to be an advantageous opportunity.
Alexa Forbes, a cosmetology graduate of TCHS Brandywine noted, “A lot of high schoolers go to college not knowing what they want to be. We are given the opportunity to discover who we are.”
The importance of community was apparent at all Chester County graduations as the students prepared to take the next step towards their future. Over the past 12 years, the students of these Chester County programs formed a better sense of themselves and a better sense of their career directions.
Source: Chester County Intermediate Unit, 455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA 19335
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