Founded in 1980, Pathfinder Village is a privately funded, non-profit, remarkable, residential community in Edmeston, New York dedicated to children and adults who have Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. Ages of these children and adults range from 5-21 and they come from all over the country. Additionally, Pathfinder Village offers a day school program for students who have disabilities, serving area school districts. Pathfinder Village is licensed by the State of New York and its programs are regulated by the State Department of Education, Department of Health, and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. Through quality residential, educational, vocational, and recreational programs, individuals grow towards fulfillment and independence, while giving back to local communities. As part of Pathfinder Village's service to humanity, an education and information center was envisioned during the village's planning phase. Today, the Kennedy-Willis Center on Down Syndrome provides resources and support to those who have Down syndrome. The center has a three-fold mission of serving people through hands-on education, direct counseling, and research.
For more information, please visit their website: Pathfinder Village.
Student Teaching at Pathfinder Village
The campus at Pathfinder Village services men, women, and children with Down Syndrome. Student teachers get a day school experience in the campus school and are able to live on campus in an apartment provided by the school. Dr. Westgate, the director of their program, serves as the supervisor for our teacher candidates and provides instructional feedback including regular seminars focusing on topics related to Down Syndrome. Pathfinder Village provides a highly specialized program that includes: individualized health care, daily school sessions, work opportunities, a continuing-education program, athletic/recreational programming, and spiritual activities. Center offers conferences and provides opportunities for research. The methods used are based on current theory and best practices. Pathfinder Village provides a 2-person apartment on campus, the most recent cost was less than $500 per student for the entire seven-week placement.
This program is appropriate for Childhood with Special Education candidates who are interested in a very intensive experience focused on Down Syndrome. A visit to Pathfinder Village is recommended prior to placement decision; this opportunity is ideal for two candidates. A warning to all students thinking about this opportunity: this placement is not for everyone. Candidates really need to be committed and open to living at a residential facility for seven weeks.