The Head Start program has partnerships with many of the academic programs at The University of South Dakota. The program provides students from the University with experiences working with expectant families and children from birth to age five and their families. The academic programs also provide many services to families in the Head Start program.
Dental Hygiene Program: Complete dental examinations are performed by the USD Department of Dental Hygiene (Dental Hygiene Clinic) if necessary. The Head Start program contracts with the program to complete the exams, which include prophylaxis (cleaning), fluoride treatment, dental education, and x-rays as needed. Children identified during exams as needing treatment are referred to a licensed dentist.
Nursing Program: Nursing students provide training for staff and families. They also observe and participate in the classrooms throughout the year.
Speech and Communications Disorders: Head Start contracts with this program for students to provide screenings. Children are also taken to the speech and hearing clinic for evaluations and services as needed.
Occupational Therapy Program: Students provide presentations to parent groups and staff. Students also have the opportunity to work with children in the classroom on pre-handwriting skills.
Physical Therapy Program: Students work with children to gain experience with assessment and evaluations.
Social Work Program: Social Work students complete internships with the program. The internship provides valuable experience working with under served and at-risk populations.
Teaching in Elementary, Secondary, and Special Education: Practicum opportunities are available in Head Start. Students receive hands-on experience with infants, toddlers, and preschool age children.
School Psychology, Counseling, and Educational Psychology: Currently, Head Start funds one graduate assistantship to serve as the program's Mental Health Consultant. The Mental Health Consultants provide valuable services to staff and families. Children and families are also referred to the above program for Play Therapy, Parenting Classes, and to the counseling center.
USD Counseling Center: Families are referred as appropriate.
Health Services Administration: Students use the Head Start program to complete projects for their class work.
Faculty/Student Research Opportunities: Faculty and Students work with the Head Start program to complete various research projects.
Job Opportunities: Head Start provides part time and work study positions for students.
Vucurevich Children's Center: Working together for campus children and families.