Target Community & Educational Services, Inc. was founded by a group of parents who were unhappy with the care that their children with developmental disabilities were receiving. While their list of concerns was lengthy, these parents voiced two concerns over all others: 1) they were dissatisfied with the level of education of the staff caring for their children; and 2) they were concerned by the relentlessly high turnover rate within that staff.
In 1983, these parents approached Dr. Donald Rabush, professor of Special Education at McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) with an idea. They knew that McDaniel had a strong special education program. They wanted to link that program and its resources to an organization that would provide high-quality services to their children. That organization would eventually become Target Community & Educational Services, Inc. (Target).
Over the course of Target's 29 years, much has changed. In the beginning, we had six graduate counselors working in three houses in Carroll County. Target expanded residential services to Montgomery County in 1988. Now, we have 22 counselors working in nine houses in Carroll and Montgomery Counties and in the Montgomery County apartment program.
In 1987, Target developed a supported employment program. Today, we offer a full range of services in Carroll and Montgomery Counties including community living, educational and life-skills training programs, vocational training and job support, drop-in services, post-secondary education training, and Autism Waver coordination. Please check out "Programs and Services" on this website for more information.
For over 13 years, Target has been led by its President and CEO, Dr. Thomas J. Zirpoli, who holds the Laurence J. Adams Endowed Chair in Special Education at McDaniel College. Aside from serving as the leader of Target, the President and CEO holds a McDaniel College faculty position and acts as adviser to students in the Human Services Management Master’s Degree Program in the Graduate and Professional Studies at McDaniel College. Dr. Zirpoli earned his Ph.D. in special education from the University of Virginia and his M.S. and B.S. degrees in special education and psychology from Old Dominion University.
With over 200 employees, Target Community & Educational Services, Inc. provides personalized and professional care to its clients and their families. The organization’s activities are overseen by a, volunteer Board of Directors, including parents of clients, business leaders, educators and community stakeholders.