Postgraduate Program – 22-40+ Years Old
The postgraduate program at North Florida School of Special Education is a multi-faceted vocational training program supported by Berry Good Farms, our organic, on-campus farm, and is offered to students 22+ years of age.
Postgraduates at NFSSE have the opportunity to structure their enrollment to best accommodate their work and individual schedules. The program offers varying levels of commitment, ranging from participation one day per week to five days per week.
Our desire for the postgraduates enrolled at NFSSE is that through our offered programs, they strengthen their vocational, independent living and social skills to improve their function in the community at large.
Through Berry Good Farms and its portfolio of enrichment programs, postgraduates at North Florida School of Special Education receive instruction in Horticulture, Grounds Keeping, Culinary Arts, as well as through the BGF microenterprises, Berry Good Farms On The Go and Barkin’ Biscuits.
Postgraduates enrolled in Horticulture work in the 30×60 greenhouse and learn to cultivate microgreens and veggie start trays for wholesale and retail customers. They are also responsible for planting seasonal vegetables and herbs, maintaining the garden and harvesting for use in both the Culinary Arts program, Berry Good Farms On The Go, and Mobile Market. Our Horticulture students also participate in keeping the growing towers, hydroponic table and aquaponics tanks clean and functioning.
The Culinary Arts program focuses on selecting nutritious menus, shopping for items and creating recipes that utilize the farm’s seasonal produce tended to and harvested by the Horticulture team. Culinary Arts Postgraduates learn to plan and prepare Healthy! Beautiful! Delicious! meals that will both aide in vocational opportunities within the community and strengthen independent living skills. Students work in the school kitchen preparing and serving lunch.
Berry Good Farms On The Go brings Berry Good Farms out into the community in the form of a “farm-to-truck” vocational training program for our Postgraduates. BGF On The Go showcases a healthy and fresh-from-the-farm menu. Post-Graduates on the food truck are holistically involved in its success through shopping, prepping and preparing the food, and finally, serving customers.
Berry Good Farms Mobile Market brings fresh produce into our community with a weekly farmer’s market. Berry Good Farms vocational students and staff are dedicated to carefully growing and selecting organic greens, fruits and veggies to sell throughout Jacksonville.
Barkin’ Biscuits, our all-natural dog treat baking operation, launched in July of 2014 as a pilot program at North Florida School of Special Education’s Berry Good Farms. Barkin’ Biscuits come in a variety of flavors and incorporate fresh ingredients from Berry Good Farms, including sweet potato, carrot, mint and molasses. Our Barkin’ Biscuits chefs who lovingly create these all-natural dog treats for our furry friends around Northeast Florida learn to follow recipes, mix ingredients, roll and cut the dough, bake the treats, weigh and package for retail market and prepare custom orders.
Art with Soul is the art-enterprise program at the North Florida School of Special Education. We facilitate opportunities for artists with intellectual and developmental differences to develop their artistic perspectives and create work that is celebrated and made available for purchase. Art is an equalizer, a platform for communicating that leads to self-empowerment and strong communities. The joy of Art with Soul is working together to discover each other’s strengths and our commonalities.
Project S.A.D.D.L.E. is our newest vocational training opportunity offered to postgraduate and transition students. Students work in our new Delores Barr Weaver Equestrian Center to tend the barn, clean saddle/tack, upkeep grounds/arena, unload feed, groom horses, and learn a myriad of soft job skills they can apply to any future employer. We thank the City of Jacksonville Public Service Grant for funding Project S.A.D.D.L.E.
Postgraduates can opt-in to participate in weekly enrichment activities with the Transition students, including classes in the school’s art department and through a variety of NFSSE’s volunteer outreach projects such as Gate River Run, Salvation Army and the 26.2 with Donna.
For more information on Community Job Site & Vocational Training, please contact Ann Atkins, Director of Transition & Postgrad, at 904-724-8323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.