Vocational Programming

The transition from adolescence to adulthood is challenging for all students. The Strawbridge School offers a comprehensive program to teach important life and career skills, as well as various vocational opportunities (according to student interest level) both on and off the Strawbridge campus.

The Strawbridge Vocational Program has three components taught by our highly qualified and experienced teachers:

  • Classroom instruction
    • Culinary Arts
    • Art and Ceramics
    • Horticulture
    • Career Research and Development
  • On-campus work opportunities
    • Breezeway market
    • Maxine’s Cafe
  • Off-campus internships and classes
    • CCBC Partnership

Classroom Instruction

Horticulture

Strawbridge school has two greenhouses and an outdoor planting area for its horticulture program.

Culinary Arts


There is a full industrial kitchen in Strawbridge school that provides not only classroom space but an attached cafe open to BCC staff and their guests about once a month.

On Campus Work Opportunities

There are several on-campus vocational opportunities for students. For many individuals, these on-campus opportunities serve as their first work experiences, as students master the basic skills required for the world of work.

Maxine’s Cafe

Students can work at the student–managed “Maxine’s Café,” as they prepare and serve meals to the Board of Child Care staff and their guests.   Students rotate through the “restaurant manager” position so they learn leadership, problem solving, and customer service.  They all work together to plan the menu (there is usually always a holiday-related theme). The older students typically man the cooking stations (which have included made-to-order omelettes and pasta bars in the past) while the younger students learn to clear tables, refill drinks, and practice their customer service skills.

strawbridge-school-maxines-cafe-serving-food

Breezeway Market

Students may also work at the “Breezeway Market,” a monthly market that presents student-produced Horticulture, Art, and Culinary items to the community.

strawbridge-breezeway-student-market-header

Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) Partnership

The Strawbridge School is one of a few nonpublic schools in Maryland to have a partnership with the Community College of Baltimore County’s Single Step Program. CCBC instructors teach vocational certification courses to Strawbridge students. CCBC instructors teach certification courses in the following areas.

  • Professional Animal Workers (PAWS)
  • 90-hour Childcare Certification
  • Retail Skills

Strawbridge offers off-campus vocational internships that align with these CCBC classes. For the previous school year, students worked at various community businesses that aligned with these courses.

strawbridge-paws-class
Students in the PAWS program were exposed to a wide variety of animals. During this hands-on lesson, each student took a turn learning the basic commands, such as heal, sit, down, and stay.

You can also read about the ECHOS of NATURE experience Strawbridge students were exposed to.  This article first appeared in BCC’s monthly newsletter in March of 2016.