Course Descriptions


    Students work with the housekeeping staff to help keep the Madonna University Campus clean for its students and staff.  Some of the major tasks students perform include vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, cleaning surfaces, dusting, and helping with recycling and trash.  Students have daily learning targets related to our soft skills curriculum and work on individualized needs as well.  As students demonstrate more responsibility, they may be given opportunities to work independently for periods of their work time.


    This work exploration class, located at Jackson Early Childhood Center, focuses on skills needed to assist with classroom responsibilities when caring for young children (infants to five years old).  Students are placed individually or in groups of two in a classroom and take direction from the Jackson staff. Students should be able to work without direct supervision from WWSC staff for at least 15 – 30 minutes. Depending on what age group the student is assigned, there may be nose wiping, diaper changing, and lots of hand washing. All classrooms involve some custodial work such as sanitizing tables and sweeping floors. Students may need to react quickly to emergency situations such as a child choking, vomiting, or getting hurt on the playground. Students will learn about the developmental stages of childhood and positive techniques for managing children’s behavior. A student try-out is required for enrollment in this class. Once accepted in this licensed child-care setting, students must have a TB test and get clearance through the Michigan Department of Human Services. There can be no dangly jewelry, facial piercings, or visible tattoos. Students are provided with polo shirts to wear over their own clothing to indicate that they are student interns.


    The Civil Service Support Class is community based at Livonia City Hall.  The students do light custodial work in the Livonia City Hall, Livonia Civic Center Library, and the Livonia Civic Senior Center.  The custodial skills include cleaning tables and chairs, hi/low dusting, cleaning windows, dusting bookshelves, and sweeping.  During the month of November, the class does mailings for the mayor. The students collate, fold, stuff envelopes, and apply labels to the holiday mailings.  This job is done in the Mayor's conference room.  Students have done mailings for the Civil Service Department, too.  The Inspections Department has given the students the opportunity to do shredding work in their department.  Students also provide shredding services to various departments within City Hall.



    This course is designed to introduce basic clerical skills to students and to provide them with an opportunity to work in a warehouse.  Students learn various skills including: organizing, shredding, shred prep (removing staples/paperclips), utilizing the copy machine, labeling, reading order forms, laminating, recycling collection and other office related skills.  Work order forms for staff are received and completed promptly and efficiently.  The warehouse experience allows students to learn about labeling, organizing, sealing, stocking, and using hand tools.  Students will go to either the Kids Coalition Against Hunger or to Millennium Business Systems warehouse.   


    Commercial Baking is a community based classroom located at Stevenson High School. This class assists Livonia Public Schools with their baking needs. Students learn basic recipe preparation and baking, packaging, as well as, sanitizing and hygiene routines for working with food.  All Serv Safe guidelines are followed (regulations and guidelines set up by the State of Michigan) in the classroom. Students also learn safe food handling techniques and how to work as a team in a fast paced environment. Students may use a commercial dishwasher, garbage disposal, commercial mixers, electric stove top and oven with supervision. Careers in food preparation, baking or working in a commercial kitchen are addressed. Baking various cookies is a primary focus of the course.


    Students who have demonstrated appropriate employability and self management skills may be placed as a volunteer in a community business for individualized or group work experiences. This is an unpaid training experience, which takes place at a variety of settings within the community.  A uniform may be required depending on the work site.  Students are expected to dress in clean, neat clothes, with no inappropriate logos.  The class provides a valuable opportunity for furthering mobility skills, knowledge of community resources, safety awareness, work habits, and problem solving skills.  Students may be trained at multiple work sites throughout the year.  



     The Horticulture curriculum focuses on basic skills required to assist with greenhouse tasks, floral arranging, and related crafts.  Students learn fundamental skills used with plants such as: spraying and watering plants, dead heading, weeding, taking cuttings, transplanting, and plant arrangements.  Students actively participate in the micro-business of selling student created floral arrangements in the school store.  Through the winter months, students begin the process of growing plants for spring.  The focus is on transplanting and taking cuttings of plants, biological insect control, arranging plants by color, and learning the light and water needs of each plant.  Students may be working outdoors at different times throughout the school year.  The culinary arts component of this class introduces students to the skills needed to follow recipes, identify ingredients, measure and weigh quantities and prepare food, including but not limited to, main dishes, soups, salads, appetizers, and desserts.  Students will learn how to safely use commercial grade kitchen equipment in an environment that mirrors a kitchen one would encounter in a restaurant setting.  The students follow all santizing and hygiene routines for working with food and all Serv Safe regulations and guidelines are practiced in the classroom.  Students learn safe food handling techniques and how to work as a team in a fast paced environment.  Additionally, students are introduced to the concepts of healthy eating as a lifestyle. 




    Through this class, students are provided with instruction designed to increase independence in adult life.  Students work on daily living skills such as home chores and time management through the use of a calendar.  Students participate in classroom cooking lessons using the stove, oven, and microwave.  The class goes to Kroger twice a month to shop and purchase items for classroom cooking lessons.  Students will participate in meal planning and list making.  Students will complete laundry tasks using the washer and dryer.  Folding, hanging, and sorting according to color will be emphasezed.  Students become familiar with proper washing machine and dryer use and settings including the load size, water temperature, and multiple heat settings.  Measuring detergent, usage of dryer sheets, and emptying the lint trap is also taught.  The class organizes and delivers laundry to classrooms.  The class has a second work component involving landscaping.  Students will learn the needed skills to maintain their yard.  These skills also help prepare students for working in the landscaping industry.  While working in the community and Garfield school grounds, students learn how to identify weeds and remove them, including their root system.  Students learn how to rake leaves, pick up debris, plant bulbs, basic tree and bush trimming, manually edge the grass, use a leaf blower, weed whipper, and lawn mower with staff help and supervision.  In the winter, students shovel snow on walkways around the school and for local neighbors (weather permitting).  Additionally, students volunteer landscape maintenance services at the historical Wilson Barn located in Livonia.  Students will be expected to dress appropriately for scheduled outdoor activities in the community.



    In this class, students commute to Meijer to engage in a variety of activites related to working and/or shopping at Meijer.  The work day involves activities such as cleaning the employee break room, cleaning and straightening departments at Meijer, such as the pet section and clothing section.  Students clean the display cases in the electronics department, dairy department, and frozen foods area.  Students also work in the bottle return area, stock room, and often straighten merchandise on the shelves.  The equipment used ranges from spray bottles, dust brooms, cleaning clothes, window squeegees, and dusters.  Each student is rotated through each activity in order to provide the student works with a variety of tasks and become more familiar with various retail oriented services.  In addition to going to Meijer, students in this class run the school store, the Tiger's Den, at Garfield Community School.  The students are responsible for bagging and organizing merchandise for sale.  The class keeps inventory, prices items, looks for new products to sell, and with assistance, determines profit.  Each student will have an assigned job in the school store and will rotate jobs every few weeks.  The students will also participate in shopping at Meijer to find items to sell in the school store.  Students will be exposed to the concept of micro-business and will demonstrate an understanding of activities they can participate in to earn an income.  School store jobs include running the cash register, selling school spirit attire, greeter, selling coffee, and selling various food/non-food items.


    The Supported Transition Program (STP) is a class intended for students in their final years of programming.  STP consists of two basic components; work experience and individualized classroom instruction. The work experience component consists of small groups of students who are placed in community businesses to learn and practice employability skills. Worksites are chosen by STP staff members based on student goals, strengths and areas of need. Individualized instruction is based upon the needs of students with added emphasis on transitioning students from school to life after graduation. Students in STP participate in two different work sites per week.  In an effort to maintain consistency, clothing must conform to the STP dress code.  Students are required to dress in clean, neat clothes and may not wear blue jeans, shirts with inappropriate logos, or t-shirts.


    The wood shop class focuses on tool and machine skills, along with an emphasis on work safety. Class projects allow students to develop woodworking skills such as sawing, sanding, assembly, painting/staining, and finishing.  Students begin this class by learning about and using small hand tools and work their corresponding hardware.  Power tools and machinery are used for advanced projects following completion of safety and operational training.  Students participate in project brainstorming and design of lawn/garden items.  Students are also given the opportunity to work at the craft shows and practice basic business skills.  This class also has a ceramics component.  Students exercise their fine motor skills while working with clay to make individual projects such as bowls, name plates, and creative designs.  Working with pottery offers students the opportunity to learn about and use a different set of tools, including sponges, small picks, and paint brushes.