Burkhart Center Transition Academy
The Burkhart Center Transition Academy (BCTA) works to meet the needs of young adults ages 18 to 30 years of age who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (or another similarly presenting intellectual or developmental disability) who aspire to be competitively employed. Once gaining admittance into the program these young adults, called “Interns,” complete an 18-month non-residential program with an emphasis on improving their skills in Employment, Life, and Community. Interns attend class from Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm and follow a modified version of the Texas Tech University (TTU) Academic Calendar.
To work on their employment skills every week BCTA interns attend vocational classes, get paid to work in the BCTA Shredding Service, build their stamina in a work endurance class, and have an internship either on Texas Tech University Campus or with one of our many community partners. Each semester interns get a new placement to help them grow their skill set and learn about different jobs available to them. While the BCTA cannot guarantee employment after graduation, we strive to set our interns up for success.
Interns gain skills to improve their quality of life through various classes including life skills, health & safety, music appreciation, and retail arts.
Through the life skills class, interns learn household chores, the importance of health/hygiene, dressing for success and laundry skills, financial and money management skills. In health and safety, interns talk about sexual health and safety, relationship management/development, and internet safety. Each semester interns receive training on Title IX, Clery Act EEO, Hazard/Safety, Ethics, Campus Safety, and Ethical Conduct training from partners on TTU campus.
BCTA interns learn what it means to be a part of a community through social skills classes and weekly community engagement. In the social skills classes, interns learn to accept constructive criticism, give and receive compliments and apologies, develop and maintain friendships and relationships, establish short- and long-term goals, learn effective problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills, learn appropriate behavior for various social settings, and accept alternative opinions or points of view. Through the weekly community engagement, interns take trips into the community to practice and generalize skills that have been worked on during the week/time in the program. In addition, once a month interns volunteer at local non-profit organizations to give back to their community.
Photo (left to right): Mary Kathryn Dillard, Shalya Bozarth, Emily Faz, Thế Nguyễn, and Jared Burgoon
Jared Burgoon - Program Coordinator
Mary Kathryn Dillard - BCBA
- Fill out the BCTA Application and submit supporting documentation
- Supporting documentation:
- Applicant photo ID (driver's license/state ID/passport/etc.)
- Most recent psychological evaluation, including proof of disability diagnosis documentation (must be within 3 years of proposed start date)
- Most Recent ARD Packet
- Guardianship appointment court documentation (if applicable)
- Official in-person interview with prospective intern and parent(s)/guardian(s)
- 3-day on-site assessment of the prospective intern with current BCTA interns
- Notification by BCTA of acceptance or denial into the program