Secondary Transition to Employment Program (STEP) - (Career and Transition Services)

A collaborative effort among FCPS staff and businesses in Fairfax County to provide students aged 18 to 22 with employment training in real work settings.

Secondary Transition to Employment Program (STEP) is a collaborative effort among FCPS staff and businesses in Fairfax County to provide students aged 18 to 22 with employment training in real work settings. In addition to learning work skills, students receive instruction in applied academics, self-advocacy, and independent living skills. Research has shown that the transition process for students is more successful when students increase the amount of time that they train at community work sites. Developing students’ instructional, community and employment skills allows students to be better prepared to transition out of school as well as expand their exposure to the communities in which they will live and work.

For many students with disabilities, instruction focused on work based learning increases their readiness for life after graduation. The goal of STEP is to expand opportunities for students whose postsecondary goal is employment.

Work-based learning allows students to gain valuable skills and knowledge while at the same time obtaining relevant, practical experience in real work situations. Work-based learning consists of a range of options, including visits to businesses, job shadowing, situational assessments, paid and nonpaid community work experiences, and internships.

This model is a collaborative effort among Fairfax County Public Schools staff, students and their families, businesses and adult services in Fairfax County.

Currently, FCPS has four STEP locations:

  • Chantilly High School: serving students from Chantilly, Centreville, Fairfax, Oakton base schools and part of the Westfield boundary.
  • Davis Career Center: serving students from Annandale, Cedar Lane, Falls Church, Marshall, McLean, Stuart, Robinson, Woodson base schools and part of the Langley boundary. 
  • South Lakes High School: serving students from South Lakes, Herndon, Madison base schools and part of the Langley and Westfield boundaries.
  • Mount Vernon High School: serving students from Edison, Hayfield, Lake Braddock Secondary, Lee, Mount Vernon, South County, West Potomac, and West Springfield base schools.