Spring: April 4 - June 30
Fall: August 1 - December 16
Summer vocational exploration available the month of July.
A 2-year vocational training opportunity for individuals
interested in exploring community or self-employment.*
*(Additional time available subject to IPP team approval).
Under the Employment First Policy, employment of individuals with developmental disabilities is one of the State's highest priorities "regardless of the severity of their disabilities." Individuals who are employed have a greater sense of independence, connection to their local community, and confidence from working side-by-side with non-disabled peers earning their own paycheck.
In March 2022, Beacons worked with the San Diego Regional Center to bring Beacons' successful PathFinder program to a broader range of individuals with developmental disabilities. PathFinder "Explorer" will teach a wide variety of vocational skills for up to 80 weeks (four 5-month sessions over a 2-year period, or longer depending on the IPP team and workshop availability).
Since 2019, PathFinder's vocational workshops have successfully helped trainees with mild/moderate developmental disabilities acquire skills to find competitive integrated employment (CIE) and paid internship opportunities. Our most recently completed series of workshops (which ended December 17, 2021), resulted in 100% of our trainees finding CIE within one month of completing their PathFinder workshops. Whether it's 1 hour a week or 20 hours a week, PathFinder Explorer will help trainees find a path of their choosing based on their interests and skills.
Subject(s) per session: Skills in several subject areas (e.g. Creative Design, Customer Service, Entrepreneurial Skills, Office Skills, and Soft Skills) are taught each week through a schedule that trainees can pick and choose from based upon their interests.
Workshop hours: Skills are taught in 60 - 90 minute increments from 9 am to 3 pm over four 5-month sessions 2, 3 or 5 days a week depending on the schedule, trainee's interest and space availability.
Total Hours: 240 hours per 5-month session (with the option for up to 480 hours per 5-month session if needed per IPP team).
Summer: Explorer trainees who want vocational exploration during the summer may sign up for the PathFinder summer program, held the month of July.
SDRC vendor number: PathFinder Vendor Info: PY1700, Code: 102, Subcode: SPR (Fall session subcode is: Fall). Summer exploration workshops are still available the month of July (subcode: mini).
1. To start the process, please complete and submit the Application Form (lists eligibility criteria)
2. Contact your SDRC service coordinator to:
let the service coordinator know that you're interested in the PathFinder Explorer option,
make sure you have a vocational goal in your IPP (if not, work with your service coordinator to create one),
request that your "IPP" (Individual Program Plan) and "CDER" (Client Development Evaluation Report) be sent to: Explorer@BeaconsNorthCounty.com.
Click here for a sample letter that you can view and copy. For individuals in the Self-Determination program, please contact your independent facilitator and SDRC service coordinator to let them know you would like to add a vocational goal to your IPP and to discuss the addition of funding to the spending plan so that funding is available to participate in the PathFinder Explorer option.
3. Screening/Intake Meeting: After the applicant's IPP and CDER have been sent to Beacons, our Pathfinder Explorer team will contact the applicant and/or her/his conservators to set up an intake meeting to make sure the workshop supports the applicant's IPP goals, the applicant meets the entrance criteria set forth in the application, and the applicant is interested in the vocational purpose of PathFinder Explorer.
4. If accepted into PathFinder Explorer, the applicant will then need to complete and submit the following:
Director: Bethany Britt
Bethany was born and raised in Southern California and is a graduate of La Costa Canyon High School so she has endless contacts throughout our community to enrich activities for Explorer. She is also a trained self-determination facilitator and well-versed in the supports and options available in the community to help self-advocates learn more about their local area and service options.
Bethany has a BA in Special Education from Arizona State University and a Masters in Educational Counseling from National University. She holds credentials in Pupil Personnel Services, Educational Specialist of Instruction Level II and CrossCultural Language and Academic Development in the state of California.
Bethany taught special education in a Moderate/Severe program for the Chandler Unified School District and coached the girls JV soccer team for Hamilton High School for two years. After returning to San Diego, she taught in both Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe programs for the San Dieguito Union High School District for 13 years. During her time at SDUHSD, Bethany helped lead the TAP program at Torrey Pines High School and La Costa Canyon High School. In 2015, Bethany won the Collaborative Team Award for the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education.
Bethany is a valued member of the Beacons team and brings her years of experience to help optimize learning, increase confidence and facilitate social connections.
Emily Landers has almost a decade of experience working with individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, including caring for a family member with an intellectual disability. Emily has a bachelor's degree in Psychology, with coursework in Learning and Memory, Adolescent Psychology and Early Childhood development, and a background in lesson planning and positive classroom management strategies. Emily's has also served as a coach for the YMCA and the LYCO Champions League, managing players and volunteers with (and without) intellectual and physical disabilities. Emily is also bilingual (Spanish and English).
Emily supports Beacons' trainees as an instructor in creative expression and digital arts, an activities planner and social facilitator for Club Beacons, and as a substitute instructor for the "original" PathFinder vocational training program in the Creative Design workshop and other areas.
Austin Cosler started with Beacons in fall 2021, eager to share his passion for education to support the Beacons PathFinder program. Austin has an A.A degree in both Arts and Humanities and World Languages from Palomar College, a B.A degree in Philosophy from Humboldt State University, and an M.A. in Philosophy from San Diego State University.
Austin's primary research interests are in Bioethics and the Philosophy of Disability, with specific emphasis on healthcare policy and moral psychology. At SDSU, he published his master’s thesis in the field of Bioethics and served as distinguished member of the Phi Sigma Tao honor society.
Austin is committed to empowering individuals with disabilities, especially within the context of how education enables an individual to navigate their way through life. Most importantly, Austin wants to help Beacons trainees recognize their own potential through postsecondary learning opportunities. He now contributes to both the Beacons Explorer and PathFinder divisions sharing his calm, positive nature and his musical talents.
Sunny Groseclose has always had a heart for people of different abilities and wanted that to be the focal point of her life and career. Even though she holds a bachelor's degree in Communication from University of Cal State San Marcos, her heart ultimately led her away from a business platform to something more intimate; working with individuals and their families one-to-one in people’s homes.
Prior to coming to Beacons, Sunny worked for a local company as a Registered Behavioral Therapist and transitioned into a second role as a Parent Trainer, where she worked directly with kids (and teens) who have been diagnosed with Autism, as well as supporting their families through the process within their homes, schools, and their community.
Sunny joined the Beacons team last year first as a trained Independent Facilitator for the Beacons Self Determination division and then as an instructor for the Navigator day program. She now supports the new PathFinder Explorer program using her talents to help trainees of all abilities learn workforce skills to bridge gaps to employment. When Sunny is not at Beacons, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two young sons and their dog!
Training overview: The PathFinder Explorer option offers approximately 80 weeks (four 5-month sessions) of vocational exploration and training using a schedule that introduces and teaches skills in a wide variety of areas (e.g. creative design, customer service, entrepreneurial skills, office skills, soft skills, job getting and keeping skills, and more!)
The curriculum and instructional model for Explorer uses a pacing designed for individuals with developmental disabilities who need more time to learn and practice skills than what the original PathFinder program option offers. Each workshop session includes internet safety training, pre-and post assessments for each unit to measure progress, extra hours for additional instruction if needed or wanted to meet a level of proficiency, materials and/or licenses needed for a subject area, soft skills training, creation of person-centered plans for post-workshop transitioning, job application and employment placement support, and much more!
Ratios & Enrollment: 3:1 ratio with no more than 12 trainees per workshop module.
Devices: Trainees may bring their own device, but Beacons also has available 15.6" yoga touchscreen Chromebooks with a mouse accessory.
Materials: Each trainee will be provided with his/her own materials and sanitation kit for safe learning onsite.
Contact Information: Explorer@BeaconsNorthCounty.com
Holidays & Other Information
Community Employer Meetings
6150 Yarrow Dr., Ste. E
Carlsbad, CA 92011
Workshops are Monday - Thursday.
Fridays are used for speakers, teamwork skills, and additional soft/hard skills development.
2022 Beacons Holidays
1/17 (Monday): Martin Luther King Day
2/21 (Monday): President’s Day
3/31 (Thursday): Cesar Chavez Day
5/30 (Monday): Memorial Day
7/4 (Monday): Independence Day
9/5 (Monday): Labor Day
11/11 (Friday): Veteran’s Day
11/24 & 25 (Thursday & Friday): Thanksgiving Break
12/26 - 30 (Monday-Friday): Winter Break