Student Development

Student Development practices emphasize life, employment, and occupational skill development via school-based and work-based learning in addition to student assessments and accommodations.

Following a short section on academic learning, research- and evidence-based practices are provided in the areas of student engagement; mentoring; career awareness and exploration; community-based instruction (CBI); paid and non-paid work experience, employment, and supported employment; discovery; school-based enterprise; social skills; and independent living skills.


Academic Learning

Academic Evidence-Based Practices
National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center summaries of evidence-based practices that support academic learning including mnemonics (memory aids), peer assistance, self-management, technology, and visual displays.

Johns Hopkins University Best Evidence Encyclopedia
Reliable, unbiased reviews of education programs for reading and math at all levels including high school, English Language Learners, and struggling learners.

What We Know About How People Learn
2002 issue of the California Journal of Science Education exploring, in accessible language, how children learn, learning styles, and strategies that encourage students to deepen their understanding.
Student Engagement

Check & Connect
Check & Connect promotes student engagement with school, reduces dropouts, and increases school completion. It originated from a partnership of researchers, practitioners, parents, and students led by the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota.

Student Engagement

Youth Mentoring

Mentoring and Student Assistance Initiatives

E-Buddies Program (sponsored through Best Buddies)

Big Brothers Big Sisters Program

Boys and Girls Club Mentoring Services Program

Communities In Schools National Office

Learning for Life Program

Take Stock in Children Mentor Program

Advancing Student Achievement Mentoring Program Grants
The Actuarial Foundation makes awards to schools and groups to develop viable mentoring programs involving actuaries in the teaching of mathematics to children in private and public schools. Collaboration among school systems, local actuarial clubs, corporations and other stakeholders in education is encouraged in order to enhance the chances of success, particularly on a long-term basis. Maximum award is $30,000. Click on “Get Involved” for grant information.

Career Awareness and Exploration

Student Development Page
The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center’s Web page provided information on student development in the following areas:
– Employment skills using computer assisted instruction
– Job specific employment skills
– Completing a job application

Career Guidance and Exploration
From the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, this topic explores how families and professionals can support youth with disabilities through the various stages and components of preparing for, obtaining, and succeeding in employment. It reviews strategies and tools for understanding employment-related interests, skills, abilities, and aptitudes; outlines necessary steps for résumé or curriculum vitae preparation; and provides resources for learning about workplace accommodations.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
OOH provides information regarding hundreds of jobs such as the training and education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, what workers do on the job, and working conditions. It also provides job searching tips and information regarding the job market in each state.

Exploring Career Information
This Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site helps users identify careers in their areas of interest. It also provides information on what the job is like, the preparation required, pay scales, and job openings and outlook.

America’s Career InfoNet
This Web site helps individuals explore career opportunities to make informed employment and education choices. It also features user-friendly occupation and industry information, salary data, over 450 career videos, education resources, self-assessment tools, career exploration assistance, and talent development resources for today’s fast-paced global marketplace.

Community-Based Instruction

Student Development Page
This Web page from the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center contains information on evidence-based practices and lesson plans in the following areas:

Using Community Based Instruction to Teach Community Integration Skills

Click to access

Employment skills using community based instruction

Click to access Using%20CBI%20to%20Teach%20Employment%20Skills%28moderate%29%20final.pdf

Non-paid Community-Based Vocational Educational (CBVE) Programs
This Technical Assistance Paper from the Florida Department of Education Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services contains helpful guidelines, recommendations, and best practices.
Paid and Non-Paid Work Experience, Employment, and Supported Employment

FYI Transition
This Web site contains employment success stories, presentations on getting a good job, information regarding Social Security work incentives (including PASS plans), and a mini-course on self-employment. There are also discussion boards for students, family members, and professionals involved in transition.

Employer Engagement
This National Center on Secondary Education and Transition topic explores schools and employer partnerships that provide opportunities for youth to learn about work and prepare for future careers.

Employment Supports and Accommodations
This National Center on Secondary Education and Transition topic explores workplace adjustments employers can make to accommodate people with disabilities so that they can successfully access the workplace and perform their job tasks.

Work-based Learning
This National Center on Secondary Education and Transition topic explores the benefits of providing youth with opportunities to learn at job sites in their communities through the use of internships, workplace mentoring, service learning, and other strategies.

Career Guidance and Exploration
This National Center on Secondary Education and Transition topic explores how families and professionals can support youth with disabilities who are preparing for, obtaining, and succeeding in employment. it reviews strategies and tools for understanding employment-related interests, skills, abilities, and aptitudes; outlines necessary steps for résumé or curriculum vitae preparation; and provides resources for learning about workplace accommodations.
The Discovery Process

Discovery is a process for getting to know a student by collecting information about his or her interests, strengths, environments or activities where they are at their best, supports that are effective for them, and present levels of performance. Information is gathered through a series of activities, interviews and observations at home, school, and in the community as well as with people who know the student well. A Vocational Profile is created to provide direction to career development activities and to share information for job development. Discovery is an alternative strategy to more traditional or standardized forms of vocational evaluation. The Rural Institute at the University of Montana Web site contains in-depth information regarding the Discovery process and has a link to the “Steps of Discovery.”

Customized Career Planning
Additional Discovery resources on the Rural Institute at the University of Montana Web site include examples Vocational/Personal Profile Forms, Customized Employment Meeting Forms, and information regarding creating representational portfolios.

Mississippi Model Youth Transition Innovation (MYTI)
MYTI was one of seven Social Security demonstration projects designed to assist young people to become employed through transition interventions from school to work, thereby reducing reliance on public benefits. The Discovery process was embedded within the project.  Although the project has ended, a description of the project and forms are still available through Michael Callahan, the creator of the Discovery process.

School-Based Enterprise

DECA School-Based Enterprise
This Web site contains information regarding School-Based Enterprise (SBE) best practices, ideas for SBEs, videos of successful SBEs, a list of approved SBE vendors, and a guide for starting and managing SBEs.

Who’s Minding the Store? A Guide for Educators Working with School-Based Enterprises: Activities and Strategies for Creating and Operating Innovative and Productive Learning Experiences
This curriculum module from the National Center for Research in Vocational Education (NCRVE) and REAL Enterprises guides a class through the development and maintenance of a school-based enterprise. It provides tools and exercises on topics such as keeping student interest high, creating “intrapreneurial ventures,” recruiting new student employees, and integrating the enterprise with other disciplines.

Social Skills

The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center Web site contains a number of resources for teaching social skills including the following

Teaching Social Skills

Teaching Leisure Skills

Teaching Job-Related Social/Communication Skills

Social Skills: Promoting Positive Behavior, Academic Success, and School Safety
This National Association for School Psychologists (NASP) fact sheet includes examples of evidence-based social skills programs.

Teaching Social Skills
This information brief was created by Christine D. Bremer and John Smith at the National Center for Secondary Education and Transition.

Making (and Keeping) Friends: A Model for Social Skills Instruction
This Indiana Resource Center for Autism (IRCA) article on addressing social skill deficits in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) provides a five stage model for social skills instruction with particular emphasis placed on an emerging intervention strategy, videotaped self-modeling (VSM)

Independent Living Skills

Student Development
This National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center Web page contains evidence-based practices and lesson plans for teaching
– Life skills
– Purchasing skills
– Functional reading skills
– Functional math skills|
– Banking skills
– Cooking skills
– Food preparation skills
– Grocery shopping skills
– Home maintenance skills
– Restaurant purchasing skills
– Safety skills
– Life skills using community-based, computer assisted, and self-management skills
– Personal health and personal care skills
– Self-determination and self-advocacy skills
– Social and leisure skills training

Virtual Center for Independent Living for West Virginia
The Mountain State Centers for Independent Living created this Web site that includes on-line skill development resources on topics such as
– health and safety
– money management
– self-advocacy
– understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act

Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessments (ACLSA)
Free life skills assessments in English, French, and Spanish are available on-line for the following life skill areas:
– Career Planning
– Communication
– Daily Living
– Home Life
– Housing and Money Management
– Self Care
– Social Relationships
– Work Life
– Work and Study Skills

(Content for this page obtained from Project10 Transition Education Network.)

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