PROGRAM OF THE
Neurodiversity Education Research Center
PROGRAM OF THE
Neurodiversity Education Research Center

Professional Internship

Our career prep program prepares students to succeed in meaningful employment. With the goal to enable our students to become contributing employees to the workforce.

Project SEARCH

Science Prep Academy has launched its Project SEARCH internship program in partnership with Banner Desert Medical Center and the University of Arizona Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities. The Project SEARCH program is an intensive work skills developmental program designed to facilitate a successful post-high school transition to the workforce for young autistic adults. This program provides a unique business-led, one-year employment preparation program that occurs entirely at the workplace.

Science Prep Academy’s partnership with Project SEARCH, Banner Desert Medical Center, and the University of Arizona Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities will give our student interns a remarkable opportunity to prepare for future full-time employment. The interns complete three 10-week rotations in various departments at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa Arizona. Student interns experience total workplace immersion, classroom instruction, career exploration, and job-skills training. 

The goal of the program is to increase economic stability and provide better career opportunities for neurodivergent individuals, particularly those on the autism spectrum, between the ages of 16 and 24 in Maricopa County. Neurodivergent individuals transitioning out of high school may face many challenges, and the project will focus on enhancing workforce education opportunities by providing social-emotional support, workforce preparation, and promoting self-advocacy. The project acknowledges the importance of “neurodivergent” as an inclusive term recognizing the diversity of human abilities and experiences.

Project SEARCH is a one-year transition-to-work program that prepares students with disabilities for employment. The immersive workplace training program combines classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on learning through worksite rotations at Banner Health Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona.

Project SEARCH provides students with disabilities with real-life work experience and employability training. Students also learn about independent living skills needed to transition to adulthood successfully. Students who complete the program can find employment in career paths that match their skills and interests. Project SEARCH provides students with a variety of worksite experiences. During the school year, students rotate through three non-paid internship sites to learn work skills needed for the world of work. The goal of Project SEARCH is for students to find and maintain competitive employment.

Our Partners