Okaloosa UP at Okaloosa Technical College
A Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
The mission of Okaloosa UP (Unique Professionals) is to give adult students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities access to training and individualized supports that allow them to develop specific career skills by earning occupational completion points for jobs embedded within CTE programs, career certificates for full program completion, and industry certifications or licensure. The program's ultimate goal is to help students to secure competitive, integrated employment within their communities.
Applicants who meet the criteria below will be considered for the Okaloosa UP Program:
Must be at least 18 years of age.
Have a high school diploma or the equivalent
Have a documented intellectual disability
Have a clear discipline/incident record from high school or previous employment
Have strong attendance record in high school or previous employment
Demonstrate basic functional understanding of literacy, reading, and mathematics skills
Demonstrate the ability to function independently for a sustained period of time
Display a level of social maturity conducive to an adult environment
Have the ability to maintain self-care and personal hygiene independently
Have a support system committed to a collaborative partnership
Have a reliable means of communication
Have a means of transportation
Be willing to follow program and college code of conduct
Demonstrate the desire and motivation to complete a postsecondary program
1. Skill Attainment
2. Program Completion
3. Industry Certification
This is a certificate program, with program completers receiving a Certificate of Completion of a state approved post-secondary career certificate program and/or industry recognized credentials (ex: SafeStaff, ServSafe, NCCER, OSHA)
ABOUT OKALOOSA UP
Okaloosa UP at Okaloosa Technical College provides the opportunity for aspiring Unique Professionals to gain the skills, abilities, and training to transition from their desires for success to gainful professional employment. Two specific programs are available to these students at this time:
Professional Culinary Arts and Hospitality
Building Trades and Construction Design Technology
As students are selected and enter the program, they choose one of the two CTE programs to participate in alongside non-disabled peers for half of the day to gain lab experience and training to become certified and employable. The other half of the day is dedicated to a variety of instruction and supports (academic, social, vocational) that will lead Okaloosa UP students to success in their program of study and eventually as employees.
Okaloosa UP students will complete their program over a two-year period to earn an Okaloosa UP certification as well as any industry certifications they are able to complete alongside non-disabled peers. Additionally, two third- year options are offered to completers of Okaloosa UP:
1. Apprenticeship certification guiding students into an actual hired position in the local community
2. Entering their CTE program as a beginning student having earned hours toward completion of either Culinary or Building Trades
OKALOOSA UP OCCUPATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Each program at Okaloosa Technical College has an Occupational Advisory Committee which is comprised of industry professionals who support and evaluate the program, as well as staff and students. These committees are the driving and governing force behind programmatic decisions that include such things as standards based instructional focuses, curriculum resources, and any needs related to growing and improving the program. Committees meet biannually and are required and monitored by our accrediting agency, The Counsel on Occupation Education. Due to the unique nature of Okaloosa UP students and their goals for completion and then placement after OUP completion, several other agencies are included which guide the Okaloosa UP Occupational Advisory Committee.