JSC Receives Internship Grant

JSC Receives “Next Generation” Internship Grant


August 27, 2008

Johnson State College has received a $27,838 Next Generation grant from the Vermont Department of Labor to create a behavior interventionist curriculum and internship program in Lamoille County.

Interventionists develop therapeutic, mentoring relationships with students struggling to find success in public school due to academic, social-emotional and behavioral challenges. The position requires individuals to be comfortable with the management of aggressive behavior by students.

The college will partner with Lamoille County Mental Health and Laraway Youth and Family Services to create a behavior interventionist curriculum and a 240-hour internship. In the pilot year, 20 students will participate in the three-credit academic course and eight students will participate in the three-credit, 240-hour internship. The course will be available for professional development for current behavior interventionists working in the region.

The awards were announced by Governor Douglas in a ceremony at Hubbardton Forge in Castleton on August 27, 2008. The Governor was joined by representatives from Hubbardton Forge, Southern Vermont College and other grant recipients, including representatives from Johnson State College.

Ellen Hill, Director of Experiential Learning at Johnson State College was delighted with news of the grant. “The proposal aims to address a well-articulated need for high-quality behavior interventionists in a creative, pragmatic, and sustainable way,” said Hill. “We are thrilled about the partnership with Lamoille County Mental Health and Laraway Youth and Family Services to make this happen. I want to stress Johnson State College’s desire to help address the workforce development education and training needs of our local community, county, and state”.

“Johnson State College is prepared and well-positioned to deploy its internship structure to advance the twin aims of the proposed project: support for career exploration for prospective behavior interventionists, and simultaneously, support for the training needs of current behavior interventionists. We trust our efforts will help address the aims of the overall New Generation initiative to inspire students to pursue education and training that will lead directly to jobs, and to contribute to life and career goals that will also benefit the state of Vermont,” Hill added.

The grant follows Workforce Education & Training Funds from Vermont State Colleges via the Vermont legislature’s Next Generation Initiative for workforce development education and training in the nonprofit sector in the 2007-2008 fiscal year. Seven nonprofit management trainings were held with 236 participants, including 20 JSC students.

Before the workforce development initiative was started, the college conducted a survey of the Lamoille County Nonprofit Sector in 2007, and sought input from employees (entry level to executive directors, board members, and customers) from eight local and state nonprofits and a representative from the Vermont Nonprofit Task Force. The goal of the guided conversations was to determine what training and professional development needs and resources exist in the region.

The idea for the behavior interventionist internship program came from Butch Alexander, Executive Director of Lamoille County Mental Health. There are behavior interventionists throughout Lamoille County helping young people find success in public school.