Pacific Autism Center for Education Employee Reviews

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Excellent
Instructional Aide (Former Employee) –  Santa Clara, CAFebruary 13, 2018
I loved working at the Pacific Autism Center for Education. I worked there after graduating from San Jose Job Corps up to 01/2018. Great work environment, the kids were a blessing, the supervisors and fellow IA's are all genuinely good people, management tried everything to accommodate you/your family/schedule... the only cons were the level of compensation, the toll the work itself takes on you, etc. 4.5/5, great experience.
Pros
Culture, Working With the Kids, Developing Skills
Cons
Compensation
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Not a horrible place, but not great either
Instructional Aide (Current Employee) –  Santa Clara, CAJanuary 23, 2018
There are some good things about working here; my supervisor and coworkers are all great, and I love the work itself. It can be quite stressful working with a child who, for example, screams a lot or is always trying to hit/kick/bite you; but it's so amazing and incredibly rewarding watching that child grow more independent and learn to function better and better over time. There is also a rather amazing amount of free food floating around the place. Everyone here at all levels of management are very friendly and personable, easy to talk to, etc. Most people are supportive and try to be helpful about most things. It's highly frustrating to me, though, that the only way I can get almost-full-time hours is by working a 6th day at a separate location; and the pay is definitely too low. I also do not get the training I was promised at my interview. Staff turnover here is very high for the above reasons, and possibly others. There is a suggestion box, and management keeps conducting surveys to see how they can better support staff, but they never seem to follow through with any action that truly, meaningfully impacts the workplace environment. There are people who have been working here 5-10+ years, and there are a lot of people who quit within a week; but when people discuss the latter they usually cite the stress involved in the work, rather than the pay, hours, training, etc. It's almost like a lot of people here -- at all levels of management -- put on blinders in regards to the very real things that might turn people off (but should be able to be fixed relatively easily) and  more... just want to talk about how the type of work we do and the population we work with is not for everyone. Someone looking to get an instructional aide job with special needs children in this area might want to look elsewhere instead of/as well as here; Aspire Kids, ACES, and Morgan Autism Center are a few places I've seen coworkers go to and report being much happier doing the same kind of work.  less
Pros
Good coworkers, bagels on Fridays, rewarding work
Cons
Not enough/thorough enough training, few-no full time/career advancement opportunities available, comparatively low pay
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Busy fullfilled Day
Residential Caregiver (Current Employee) –  San Jose, CADecember 18, 2017
As a professional caregiver, my goal is to bring your passion and love for working with residents with special needs to work every day. I teach residents functional daily living skills, help them during community outings, assist in meal preparation and planning activities. As caregivers, my goal is to provide the special individuals I assist the best possible opportunity for a bright and successful future.
Pros
Experience
Cons
Pay
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fast paced and never a boring day
Instructional Aide (Current Employee) –  San Jose, CASeptember 11, 2017
you can grow so much individually here and there is never a dull day at work. loved making a difference in peoples lives as well as seeing improvements in the students day to day lives. often times we were low staffed which made the school days chaotic and stressful. Also pay was not enough and little to no room for advancement.
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Loving clients who will change your life
Direct Care Staff (Former Employee) –  Cupertino, CAMay 2, 2017
I continued to work here due to the relationship I builted with each of the clients. The admins where some of the most caring admins I've ever worked with who treat their workers with respect and not someone lower then them. Management I would say was the opposite and that's why I left. I felt the higher management didn't care much for their workers and the clients.
Pros
Clients are amazing, food
Cons
No lunch break
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I loved it
Instructional Aide (Former Employee) –  Santa Clara, CAFebruary 21, 2017
PACE is a fun place to work. If you love challenges this is definitely a job for you to take on. Working with autistic individuals taught me communication skills, working under pressure and patients. Management and co-workers were always so open to helping me learn and understand when I needed it the most. Seeing the improvements with these individuals made my heart whole and it only made me want to work harder to help change their lives.
Pros
Good hours and great benifits
Cons
Lack of pay working in this kind of enviornment
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I enjoyed the people there .
Manager Assistant (Former Employee) –  Sunnyvale, CASeptember 23, 2016
Very casual atmosphere and staff . we needed more training before hiring but over all an enjoyable experience. Clients needed more down time it was a little chaotic on weekends .
Pros
good benifits and hours .
Cons
Not alot training for new employees.
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Loved the kids I worked with
Caregiver (Former Employee) –  Cupertino, CAJanuary 21, 2016
I really enjoyed the kids I got to work with. This job really taught me patience and how to communicate with people. I definitely learned a lot about myself and I truly enjoyed working there.
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Toxic work environment with manipulative management
Therapist (Former Employee) –  Santa Clara, CAJanuary 1, 2016
This job started out fantastic. It provided the opportunity to work with kids on the Autism spectrum in a truly unique way that allowed for progress across all areas....not just academic. However, the management team began to discourage independent thought, and used fear and intimidation to force conformity and submission. There were also several questionable issues surrounding IEPs and documentation that were either illegal, unethical, or both which the management encouraged.

The management staff has little to no experience working with individuals on the spectrum but were often the first to step in to the limelight to profess their "wealth of knowledge."

During my time there I watched an alarming number of staff leave within a four-five month period, and despite repeated attempts on the part of the staff to make changes, the board refused to acknowledge the problem which ultimately led to more staff leaving, myself included.
Pros
bagel fridays, great kids
Cons
fear based environment, poor communication, poor leadership and management
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fast burnout, high turnover
Special Education Teacher (Former Employee) –  Santa Clara, CAAugust 15, 2014
Before and after hire, the administration puts on a nice presentation about supporting one another, teamwork, professionalism, etc., but they're all talk and no walk. I agree with another reviewer - management is very disconnected from what goes down on the floor.

I don't mind the extra-challenging clientele. I honestly enjoy helping populations with emotional disturbances and developmental delays. What does bother me is having an unreasonably large class size and very little support. The culture at PACE is a little clique-y...if you're not in the "cool teachers club", you will be the last to know the important information and the last to be thanked.

I often had to forgo my breaks and lunches just to maintain the necessary classroom coverage and I was usually the last to leave work. I realize that this is the sad reality of teaching at many schools, but it felt like a huge slap in the face every time somebody made a joke about teachers taking 2 PM lunches and thriving off instant ramen. It happened several times.

In the 5 months I've worked at PACE, I've witnessed 11 employees leave. There's a reason why. I have a great deal of respect for their mission - "Connect, Support, Educate". It's a shame they don't live it.
Pros
school is constructed with the students in mind - hard to elope, minimal distractions
Cons
poor communication, 2+ useless meetings a week with a lot of lip service from admin
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Hard work with difficult management
Lead Behavior Support Associate (Current Employee) –  Santa Clara, CAMay 28, 2014
Extremely difficult clients coupled with management who does not seem connected to the day-to-day make this a difficult position to enjoy for long.
Pros
Bagel Friday
Cons
Over-worked
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A fun place to work
Instructional Aide (Current Employee) –  Santa Clara, CAOctober 17, 2013
Its a great place to work with special needs kids. Helping those kind of kids is really a pleasure to me because I get to learn and understand their strengths as well as their weaknesses. I also learned to be very patient and more tolerant with people.
The management and co- workers are so wonderful people who are always available when needed.
I enjoyed seeing improvements in the students' behaviors. Seeing that enable me put more efforts in my job.
Pros
They have a very good team work and leadership skills.
Cons
Its a totally different path from my new career.
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Mission driven organization that provides great services to individuals on the autism spectrum, their families and the community.
Human Resources Director (Current Employee) –  Santa Clara, CAAugust 22, 2012
Having been with PACE for six years I have seen much growth and change. Some change has been positive and some a learning experience for all of the leadership group. PACE is a typical non-profit that is constantly attempting to reinvent and recreate to achieve better performance. In the past six years that I have been in a leadership position, we have had many struggles but have been successful due to the flexibility present within the environment. PACE this year is once again changing. The ever changing environment tends to cause some anxiety for some and excitement for others. The constant variable at PACE is change. Those who do not appreciate a changing and dynamic platform should probably reconsider prior to joining the team.

Overall it is a great place to be that is rewarding and exciting. There is still much room for growth and improvement and PACE will definitely achieve their vision.
Pros
flexible environment, exciting, challenges and bagel fridays
Cons
total compensation, constant change and high stress
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PACE is a good place to start
One on One aide (Former Employee) –  Sunnyvale CAMay 24, 2012
PACE is a fair work place to get your foot in the door when it comes to working with Autistic individuals of various ages. It can be challenging and at time frustrating, but you make a difference with your sacrifice.
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Overall rating

3.3
Based on 15 reviews
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3.3Work/Life Balance
3.2Compensation/Benefits
2.7Job Security/Advancement
2.9Management
3.3Culture

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