Partners in Shop@USC

This course is designed for 10, 11, or 12th grade students who have a strong desire to partner with students who have special needs. SHOP@USC or... Showing How Opportunity Pays @ USC is a pioneering, student-run business, which enables students to design and manufacture products to be marketed and sold within the school community. Special education students, the primary producers of these products, are assisted by general education curriculum students, who are eager to assist in the planning and creation of these items. In this unique environment, benefits are numerous for all participants. Financial literacy and entrepreneurial thinking are practiced through developing business plans that include pricing, marketing, sales, and inventory. Technical and manufacturing skills are learned while using a number of machines ranging from vinyl cutters and direct to garment presses to wide-format printers. Interpersonal skills are honed through consistent peer-peer collaboration, and empathy, compassion, service leadership, and friendship are on center stage throughout the entire process. So, while STEAM learning is the academic goal, the realized benefits extend far beyond the academics, and also beyond the high-quality tangible products that are produced for sale. The greatest benefits are the intangible gains in areas such as confidence, contribution, and community that SHOP@USC is providing for all involved. These benefits will last these students for a life-time, and are what make SHOP@USC much more than a high-quality STEAM program. SHOP@USC is a positive, life-changing experience.