Occupational Skills 

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Program Distinctions

•ONE of only TWO programs in MINNESOTA
About the Program

The Occupational Skills program is a post-secondary vocational program for students with disabilities that provide training for entry-level, competitive employment. Occupational Skills combines community-based vocational training with personal management classes on campus.

The program is two semesters (9 months) starting in the fall.  A diploma can be earned with a minimum of 32 credits.

The Occupational Skills program offers:

  • Vocational training in a community-based training site
  • Life skills courses
  • Job seeking/job keeping courses
  • Applied job search

Ridgewater’s program is one of only two Occupational Skills programs in the state.

Occupational Skills students have access to all student services at Ridgewater College such as financial aid, counseling, the Academic Support Center and all social and recreational activities.

Application Process

Individuals who are interested in applying in this program should call Mary Benson at 320-222-8041 or e-mail mary.benson@ridgewater.edu to schedule a recommended informational meeting. Students will also need to fill out an application, submit an application fee and provide documentation of their disability. A current high school transcript will need to be sent to Ridgewater. The conference gives the student valuable
information about the Occupational Skills program.

Business and industry have identified an on-going need for qualified people in entry-level aide/assistant positions. Employers require individuals who are able to cope in a working environment and are prepared to strive for job longevity. Employers in West Central Minnesota have been very supportive and interested in hiring graduates of this program.

Some examples of areas of hands-on training include automotive detailing, warehouse specialist, shop assistant, support sales, carpenter’s assistant, nurse’s aide, kitchen assistant, general office assistant, child care, and custodial maintenance. Many other areas of vocational training are possible, depending on student abilities/interests, the opportunity of finding employment in that area, and our ability to develop an industry-based training site.

Ridgewater College is an equal opportunity employer and educator.