A Chicago district has developed a “Next Steps” team to aid families of students with disabilities in helping to prepare their student for adulthood.
“Next Steps” is a District 202 Vocational Education Team that assists parents and caregivers with planning, transitioning and advocating for their children with disabilities.
The Next Steps team aims to improve delivery of services to families of students with disabilities; increase family awareness of disability options and resources; and link families in need to agencies that can support them with issues related to transition.
Read more here.
Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) has been approved to begin a Transition program for students with Intellectual Disabilities.
“The approval of BCTC’s Comprehensive Transition Program is a tremendous step forward in making higher education a reality for anyone, regardless of disability, who consider themselves lifelong learners,” said Barry Whaley, director of the Supported Higher Education Project at the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute. “We value our long-term partnership with BCTC, and we are committed to our continued work to make higher education inclusive and diverse.”
Read more here.
Acadia University offers a program for students with disabilities to experience college in the University setting. (Kings County News, March 19, 2014)
Axcess Acadia allows learning-disabled students to succeed at university by taking an audit program that is not available elsewhere in Nova Scotia.
According to Dr. Lynn Aylward, the program, which is in its second year, was inspired by similar programs in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Dr. Cynthia Bruce of Kentville prepared an initial study validating the concept.
“We looked at their programs and thought we should definitely do that,” Aylward said. “It fit in all kinds of ways because it mixes the community together. That’s the way we live.”
Axcess Acadia students can graduate with a certificate of completion in arts, science, professional studies and interdisciplinary studies.
The program is designed for students who self-identify as having a disability – intellectual, developmental or learning – that would not meet the current admission criteria set by the university.
Read more here.
A Louisiana college has developed a program for students with cognitive disabilities that provides employment experience with courses that are related to the job skills they are learning.
The Program for Successful Employment at Bossier Parish Community College is a two year program that helps students develop the soft skills needed for employment and then matches them with the employment based on their desires and skills.
At first, participants attend classes that teach “soft skills” such as how to set up a job interview and what to wear and how to act while there. Social skills are stressed since many people with autism don’t communicate well and often exhibit behaviors and develop fixations others can describe as quirky, Hanberry said.
During the second year, students’ interests are taken into account and they’ll be matched with jobs that may suit them.
They’ll start taking regular classes at BPCC to help them succeed at those positions. For instance, if they work in a kitchen, they might enroll in some of the college’s culinary arts courses.
No employers have yet signed up to take part in the program, although many letters have been sent to businesses throughout the Shreveport-Bossier City area. And some companies are considering participating.
Since students don’t earn college credits, they won’t receive a degree. Rather, they will earn a certificate stating training they’ve received so they can be competitive in the job market.
“We’re also trying to train the community,” said Hanberry, noting that people with special needs can make conscientious and diligent workers, but occasionally there can be glitches.
Read more here.
Reid Setzer over at Young Invicibles has posted an article on the concept of apprenticeships as an option for students right out of high school, particularly is students are concerned about the funding of their post-secondary education.
In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama stressed the importance of young people obtaining post-secondary credentials to succeed in the modern economy. The US is projected to have a deficit of three million workers with associate’s degrees or higher by 2020. Expanding apprenticeships is one promising and cost effective solution for closing the gap. Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction to teach workers the practical and theoretical aspects of highly skilled occupations.Unfortunately, there are only 358,000 active registered apprentices in the United States, and few people know they exist.
Students unsure about their next step after high school ought to take a look at apprenticeships. They offer some post-secondary training that will result in an essential industry certificate at minimum, a 2-year degree in many cases, and 4-year degrees in others. Apprentices simultaneously earn credentials and a paycheck. In an era of skyrocketing tuition and student debt, apprenticeships are an enticing alternative to the traditional college route. Students not only get accredited degrees, but are employed upon completion with no educational debt. Yes, you heard that right: employed with no debt. It is amazing that so few people know about them.
Read the post and learn more about how to find apprenticeships here.