Penobscot Job Corps Develops Independent Living Wing
Tags: college | Penobscot Job Corps Academy | student success

Penobscot Job Corps Develops Independent Living Wing

 Job Corps is well known for its long history of providing young people with a solid education and top-of-the-line training for careers.
But to be truly successful, graduates must also know how to survive on their own once they leave those walls behind. That’s what the Penobscot Academy’s new independent living dorm is all about.
This new campus living environment, which opened in January, is known as Wing 6 or the College and Career Wing. It is the final step between Job Corps and the outside world. About 40 students, both male and female, co-habitate in this wing which includes a spacious, comfortable and bright lounge area and a kitchenette.
The inhabitants that live here have a higher level of standing on campus with no major incidents reported in the last 60 days. Many are proven leaders having overseen wings in the regular dorms or having served on the Student Government Association at the Academy.
They are also students who have nearly completed their trades, have jobs through the Work Based Learning program or are enrolled in college but are living on the Job Corps campus.
The No. 1 rule of the dorm is this: “We as College and Career members hold ourselves to the highest standards and prove it on a day-to-day basis.”
“Our belief is if these students are mature enough to be dealing with jobs and college they are mature enough to be living independently,” said Melissa Long, Administrative Assistant for the Social Development Department. “They are close to being on their own so this is a stepping stone to the real world.”
For this group of students, who must all interview for a spot in Wing 6, the independent living dorm is a move away from the structured dorms with their “we’re taking care of you” philosophy to an atmosphere of  “this is your place, you run it.” There are rules, just like any landlord would impose on a renter, and students are held accountable for their actions. But they are also allowed to govern themselves.
The idea behind the independent living dorm is to create an authentic transitioning system for life on the outside.
In the regular dorms, students are told when to get up, when to go to class and when to go to bed. In the independent living dorm there is an attitude of backing off and saying, “You know what you have to do so it’s up to you to do it,” Long said. “It’s the freedom for them to make choices and we try to guide them to make the right ones. We want the transition out into the real world to be just as successful for living as it is for working.”
The new independent living dorm also acts as an incentive for newer students to work hard during their Job Corps stay and make the right choices along the way so they, too, can someday find a room there.

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