The PLATO Learning Program was created over forty (40) years ago, the company has been at the forefront of the education technology market with innovative research-based products and solutions to meet the changing needs of educators and learners. Plato Learning Program is a leading provider of computer-based e-learning and interactive instruction for kindergartners through adult learners.
The PLATO Learning Program’s educational software is marketed to K-12 grades, colleges, job training program, correctional institutions, military educational programs, and corporations, and is delivered via net works, CD-ROM, the internet and private intranets. Furthermore, this tool can be retrieved from our clients home, library, treatment program, a friends home, basically anywhere a computer can be accessed. The following subjects can be utilized: Fundamental Math, Reading Comprehension and Writing, Social Studies and Science. The outcome of the test results can assist us in determining an appropriate placement for services such as, ABE, ESL, GED, and Employment Skills.
The Computer Learning Center is the hub of Ed/Voc activities at the Brooklyn Treatment Court where clients have access to six computers and the PLATO Learning Program.
Vocational / Educational Assessment
The BTC participant must participate in a mandatory Vocational and Educational Assessment to determine employment skills, educational levels and potential learning disabilities. If the initial assessment or historical documentation indicates significant deficiencies in any of these areas, additional assessment by specialized personnel utilizing formalized tools will be required.
BTC Vocational and Educational Assessment: Each participant will complete a Vocational and Educational Assessment to provide information to develop an vocational and educational plan. This assessment provides educational, financial and entitlement information as well as military and work history to determine appropriate services.
Referral: The Brooklyn Treatment Court builds relationships with organizations to help participants change their life. Referral services are made for vocational training and educational enhancement. After establishing a period of sobriety and becoming stabilized in treatment services, clients will be engaged in vocational and educational services as a mandatory component of the BTC service plan and legal mandate. Clients who fail to follow through with treatment, supervision and service plans are subject to sanctions and will not progress through phases to graduation.
The Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individual with Disabilities (VESID) have agreed to partner with BTC and identify clients from neighboring programs that has no vocational department. In order for a client to become eligible for V.E.S.I.D one must have a disability, the disability must limit the client from working, the client must be in need of V.E.S.I.D services (he/she don't have to be recieving benefits.) However, he/she must be unable to pay for their training on their own or need assistance in obtaining the services. In addition, their ultimate goal must be to work. There a certain services that are not of economic need, based on that V.E.S.I.D can still provide services to a client, ie: job placement and evaluation.
Referral: A B.T.C client may be referred to V.E.S.I.D when he/she establishes clean time (no 90 day rule), motivated, and understand that V.E.S.I.D is not just a training program and he/she must be work ready and willing to work.
Application Process: All clients are required to complete a V.E.S.I.D application that includes but not limited to following forms:
- Application for VR Services
- VESID Referral Information
- Confidential Medical Report-Psychiatric Disability
- Confidential Health Assessment
- General Basic Medical Examination Record
- Medical Report
Documentation: At the time of interview with V.E.S.I.D counselor all clients must be able to provide the following:
- Award letter from Welfare or Social Security
- Social Security Verification
- Medicaid Card
- Green Card
- High School Diploma or College Transcript
Educational Enhancement: Education is an important key to advance in the work environment. The Brooklyn Treatment Court encourages all participants to obtain their GED. The Brooklyn Treatment Court refers participants to Adult Basic Education (ABE), Pre-GED, GED and Higher Education programs. Participants are also assisted in completing college and trade school applications. The Vocational and Educational Department can assist with obtaining high school records and transcripts, GED scores, and information regarding student loan repayment.
Brooklyn Treatment Court/Medgar Evers Partnership
Brooklyn Treatment Court and Medgar Evers College Partnership Pilot: The Brooklyn Treatment Court and Medgar Evers College have agreed to start a pilot program of enhanced student services to move these challenged individuals out of the court system and into higher education. The Brooklyn Treatment Court and Medgar Evers College Partnership will be started on a pilot basis to coordinate the services that clients presently receive from community treatment providers with the services to be provided at Medgar Evers College. This pilot will build a foundation from which to seek funding to improve the coordination of services at the college and the communication with the court.
Eligibility and Referral: Brooklyn Treatment Court clients who have been identified as clinically stable and drug free are eligible to participate in this program. Brooklyn Treatment Court clients that are in outpatient programs or residential settings such as halfway houses and recovery care homes are eligible. The BTC Educational and Vocational Resource coordinator may make direct referrals for initial testing and placement in a Pre-GED or GED class or directly to Student Services for college entry. This linkage addresses the Brooklyn Treatment Court completion criteria and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services program licensure requirement that each client is required to have an established individualized plan for education and employment.
In order to reduce the anxiety that many Brooklyn Treatment Court clients might feel when entering the college admissions process, the Medgar Evers Student Services office will provide guidance and support of drug court clients. While Brooklyn Treatment Court will provide judicial monitoring and case management. The Educational and Vocational Resource office at BTC will address the integration of services and communicate referrals to services and participation to the court.
To reduce barriers to entry in the application process and to eliminate confusion when filling out financial aid applications, financial counseling staff at Medgar Evers College will assist Brooklyn Treatment Court clients with accessing financial aid. For those students who do not know if they have outstanding loans or the amount of outstanding loans, staff at Medgar Evers College can make contacts with federal and state student loan organizations to locate the holder of the loan and the amount outstanding. Staff at Medgar Evers College can make arrangements for payments that are acceptable to both the holder and recovering individual.
Many participants may be affected by existing legislation that precludes financial aid for individuals with criminal drug convictions. These state and local laws may be overcome by documentation from the Brooklyn Treatment Court that the individual has completed a drug treatment program and has tested clean on random occasions.
The BTC Educational and Vocational Resource coordinator will arrange for initial placement tests. Medgar Evers College regularly conducts placement tests to determine the math and English competencies of all incoming students. The Office of Services at Medgar Evers College can conduct learning disability evaluations or provide additional services for Brooklyn Treatment Court clients with learning disabilities. For those students who have reservations about taking placement tests, staff at Medgar Evers College can explain the test format and purpose. Students can be referred for tutoring in math, study skills, writing, and college success skills. BTC clients may also be sent to the Brooklyn Public Library to be TABE tested.
The College Environment
In order to help students become acquainted and comfortable with the college environment, Medgar Evers has a Freshman Year Program. Each student is assigned to a counselor and the counselor assists the student with many of the transitional issues that they face.
Choosing Majors, Careers, and Courses
The Freshman Year Program and the Office of Academic Affairs at Medgar Evers College can help Brooklyn Treatment Court students with any questions or problems that they have in regards to choosing classes or degree programs. The Office of Services at Medgar Evers College can offer guidance to students with learning disabilities. Students with learning disabilities can be helped with their cognitive limitations and learning style. Students with learning disabilities may have their math requirements waived or substituted with another class. Students with learning disabilities may be given extra time to take exams. Some students can have personal note takers or additional tutoring.
Students can have bi-weekly meetings with college staff for status review and academic progress. During these meetings students will discuss their study routines and tutoring needs. Students will also be linked to other programs offered at Medgar Evers College to help them with their problems. Students will have regular meetings with Brooklyn Treatment Court staff to discuss scheduling and treatment planning.
Graduation and Employment
Students see their academic counselors regularly to monitor academic course requirements in order to insure adherence to graduation completion dates. Medgar Evers College Career Development Center can notify Brooklyn Treatment Court clients of internship opportunities that provide hands on experience in areas of interest. Staff can assist Brooklyn Treatment Court clients with resume writing and job searching strategies.
Brooklyn Treatment Court/Kingsbourough Partnership
Brooklyn Treatment Court and Kingsborough Community College Partnership Pilot: The Brooklyn Treatment Court and Kingsborough Community College have agreed to start a pilot program of enhanced student services to move challenged young adults out of the court system and into higher education. The pilot program would consist of coordinating existing student services at Kingsborough Community College and communicating to the Brooklyn Treatment Court information regarding service referrals, progress, problems and achievements. This pilot program will serve as a demonstration project for seeking funding to support a greater number of referrals and adequate staffing for the College.
The Center for Court Innovation is agreeing to utilize the expertise of the Center’s Development Department to access support for this innovative project by identifying potential funding sources. The Center for Court Innovation will also assist in providing analysis of Brooklyn Treatment Court’s existing client data from the State of New York Uniform Treatment Application to support applications for funding this initiative. All partners to this agreement will seek funding sources. The Brooklyn Treatment Court and Kingsborough Community College will work in partnership to write grant applications for Kingsborough Community College to staff positions that will enhance student services for Brooklyn Treatment Court clients.