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Our Vocational Internship Program (VIP) is a wonderful opportunity for adults with special needs to acquire the skills needed for a job within the community.  Training lasts about 6 months - 1 year and during that time, students work directly with a TERI Job Coach both in the classroom and on-the-job. The result? Marketable skills, independence and empowerment, lifelong friendships, and a thriving future. 

Keep in mind, that you must be a Regional Center client to participate in the Internship Program or have the ability to pay for the program fees, and be at least 18 years old.

What training is available?

Currently we offer skills training in our equestrian program, commercial kitchen, agriculture, and as a Direct Support Aide in our adult day program. As the program grows, we continue to add new skills to our list. Please click here to view the job descriptions.

What is the training commitment?

Training is Monday-Friday, 3 hours a day. Mondays, students are in the classroom learning about job related behaviors. The rest of the week, students and their Job Coach will be honing their skills on the job in their chosen business. 

Will I get paid while I'm taking my training?

Yes, you’ll receive minimum wage.

Where will training take place?

Classroom training is held at our TERI Campus of Life in San Marcos, CA at the Tom & Mary Tomlinson Vocational Building. Your on-the-job training will be held at a relevant North San Diego County business or at one of TERI’s on campus businesses.

Will you help me get a job when I complete my training?

Your Regional Center case manager will connect you with agencies that can help you get a job. Also, once you complete your training, you’ll receive a TERI Certificate of Completion listing your skills and a letter of recommendation that you can show employers. And that's not all. During the last two months of your internship, we will train you on job search soft skills to successfully look for a job.

For more information contact:

Meredith McDermott at or call 760.473.0066

Job Descriptions

Equestrian/Animal Husbandry

Training in animal husbandry prepares internees to gain employment feeding and caring for domesticated animals.  This includes preparing foods; feeding; grooming; cleaning stalls or pens; exercising animals; identifying illness or injury in animals; and providing basic support to the farmer, owner, or stable manager.


This employment training category prepares individuals to work in a food farm, grove, or organic garden.  Farming and organic gardening interns will receive training in the following areas: soil preparation, including feeding soil with organic matter, compost, mulch manure, and earthworms; planting; tending to plants; identifying healthy and sick plants; pruning and weeding; harvesting plants; packaging harvested plants or foods;  loading and unloading supplies necessary for farming/gardening; use of tools for farming/gardening; care and maintenance of farming/gardening tools; and personal safety for outdoor workers.

Restaurant Work

This employment training category includes work as a kitchen assistant and or training to work within a restaurant as a host/hostess, waiter/waitress or table busser. Training as a kitchen helper includes assisting the chef and other kitchen staff in food preparation; food packaging; stocking/restocking; washing and storing utensils, dishes, and cookware; removing and replacing garbage bags; and storing ingredients and food supplies in compliance with food safety standards.  Kitchen assistant interns will receive the training and support necessary to obtain a food handlers license. Training as a waiter/waitress, host/hostess, or table busser includes: preparing tables by setting up linens, dishes, and silverware; greeting and escorting customers to their tables; presenting and explaining a menu; informing customers of the day’s specials; offering menu recommendations; taking accurate food and drinks orders, communicating orders to kitchen staff, serving food and drinks; delivering checks and collecting bill payments; transporting dirty plates, glasses and silverware to the kitchen for cleaning; checking customer IDs to ensure they meet the minimum age requirements for consumption of alcoholic specials; assist with making reservations; and social interactions with customers. Waiter/waitress, host/hostess, or table busser interns will receive the training and support necessary to obtain a food handlers license.

Direct Support Aide

Under the supervision of the Job Coach, the intern will be learning how to offer direct training, supervision, implement program planning, and taking documentation to day program participants. Interns will also learn: Active Treatment, Behavior Modification, ABST, CPR and First Aid, in accordance with the individual's education and program plans, and when emergencies warrant.     
Interns will be role models and engage with day program participants in exercise, therapeutic, and fitness-related programs and activities. 

VIP Job Descriptions
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