Learning for a Lifetime Developing a Career Strand for Students with Developmental Disabilities Elmhurst Life Skills Academy at Elmhurst College Learning for a Lifetime www.elmhurst.edu/elsa Kristin Boxall ELSA Career Development Coach [email protected] Rob Graber, Educational and Job Coach Objectives of this session Gain knowledge of the key areas of Elmhurst Life Skills Academy (ELSA) and their importance Identify the various components to the ELSA career strand and learn about steps taken to develop this strand Obtain an understanding of the various types of work experiences in which students can participate Identify how supportive employment, job coaching, and mentoring can play a role in the success of various working experiences Learn how to implement various components of a career program for young adults with developmental disabilities What is Elmhurst Life Skills Academy (ELSA)? Four-year college-like program For young adults with learning and/or developmental disabilities Minimum third grade reading and math levels Motivated and wanting to “go to college” Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors 35 students--ages range from 18 to 29 years old Pre-determined curriculum Most students commute Certificate of Completion at graduation Inclusive graduation ceremony We are in our 5th year and will have our second graduating class May 2010! Learning for a Lifetime The ELSA Class of 2009! What are the key areas of the ELSA program? Academics (5 strands in curriculum) Social and recreational experience Career exploration and work experience ELSA Key Area Number 1 Academics 5 Academic Strands Literacy Social Issues Independent Living Math/Technology/Science Career Educational Coaching All students have access to Educational Coaching Designed to assist individual students with planning, organizing, and completing assignments with assistance for Educational Coaches Coaches are Elmhurst College students Coaching is available 2 hours per week Group setting One-to-one assistance if needed Freshman Coursework Exploration of Self and Campus Introduction to College Life Social Issues and Diversity Reading and Writing Strategies Introduction to Computers Life Skills and Healthy Living I Career Exploration and Development Community and Citizenship Social Issues Differentiating Literacy Skills Oral Storytelling and Mathematics Sophomore Coursework Life Skills and Healthy Living II Career by Design Interpersonal and Relationship Skills Narrative and Expository Writing Concepts and Strategies of Math Managing Everyday Stress and Anxiety Careers and Community Skills Societal Issues/ Self Determination Application of Literacy Skills to Workplace Introduction to Biology Junior Coursework Focus on Nutrition, Health and Cooking Career Development and Planning Investigation to Social Issues Rhetoric and Advocating Geography: Passport to the World Planning for Independence Career Development: Work in the Community Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving The Art of Literacy Advanced Computer Skills/ Financial Smarts Senior Coursework Focus on Future Planning Career Internship I Service Learning Exploration Business Communications I Computers in the Workplace Getting Hired: Internship II Backpack to Briefcase Service Learning Capstone Project Portfolio Development/ Computer Skills Business Communications II Elmhurst College has a January Term 9 hours a week for 4 weeks Seniors work in Internships during January Courses for other students include Individual Focus I Images to Communication Multicultural Living in Today’s Society ELSA Key Area Number 2 Social and Recreational Experiences Social and Recreational Experiences Peer Mentor Program consisting of Elmhurst College and ELSA students Committee meeting each week Plans social and recreational activities Promotes decision making, planning, and leadership skills for ELSA students Students can join clubs, attend games, etc. Builds social network especially with typical Elmhurst College students ELSA Key Area Number 3 Career exploration and work experience Freshmen Career Courses Courses Description Introduction to College Life (Fall) Designed to introduce students to promote success in college. Focus on goal setting and motivation, learning styles, life on campus, and strategies to learn effectively. Career Exploration and Development (Spring) Designed to learn about career paths and discover more about vocational interests and aptitudes. Topics include: career paths, employment and the world of work. Examples of Freshman Assignments Complete weekly journal entries on Blackboard Complete a self-directed action plan Become involved in Elmhurst College life by joining a student organization or club Researching and reporting on career options and opportunities Research various career clusters Start to identify pathways Sophomore Career Courses Courses Description Career by Design (Fall) Students continue to develop various skills necessary in learning about career paths and vocational interests and aptitudes. Keyboarding, general office skills, and informational interviewing are introduced. Career and Community Skills (Spring) A continuation of Career by Design. Students participate in on and off campus Job Observations. Examples of Sophomore Assignments Researching and reporting on career options and opportunities Research Employment Ads Informational interviews Job Observations Written correspondence Sophomore Work Component—Fall Informational Interviews Students find someone to interview on their own Students prepares lists of relevant questions Benefits of Informational Interviews Explore careers and clarify career goals Expand professional network Build confidence in interviewing skills Access to up-to-date career information Sophomore Work Component—Spring Job Observations 2 job observations—one on campus, one off campus 4 hours total, 1 hour per week for 4 weeks What is a job observation? Short-term Students observes people working in the workplace Students take notes and journal Hands-on work in some cases Includes an informational interview Student receive handbook Purpose of job observation Exposes students to a variety of jobs and careers Helps students learn what skills and education is needed to do certain jobs Helps students make informed choices about pursuing a certain job or career path Junior Career Courses Courses Description Career Development & Planning I (Fall) Continue the process of career exploration, developing communication, writing and computer skills necessary for employment. Students begin field experience on campus or in the in community. Career Development & Planning II (Spring) Process of developing skills necessary for employment in the community. Communication, decision making, resume, portfolio, career interests, and strengths. Examples of Junior Assignments Complete job application (paper and on-line) Conduct informational interview Research company of where they will be working Mock interview Presentation of job placement Resume writing and building Thank you correspondence Junior Work Component—Field Experiences 2 Field Experiences (Fall and Spring) 32 hours total—4 hours per week for 8 weeks Placements are based on students’ career/job interests Job application and mock interview Training and/or orientation Job shadowing Task analysis/supports/job coaching Students work independently Senior Career Courses Course Description Career Internship I (Fall) Students prepare for their January internship placement. Developing skills for landing and keeping a job and conflict resolution in the workplace. Building and maintaining a resume and job portfolio. Practicing Interviewing Skills Actual Internship (January) Students intern at various companies/organizations Career Internship II (Spring) Students reflect on their January internship placements. Students walk through the steps necessary for their own job search. Examples of Senior Assignments Complete job application Conduct informational interview Research company Mock interview Attend Internship Workshops Resume writing and building Thank you correspondence Presentation of job internship Create a network Senior Work Component--Internship Internships take place in January Minimum of 9 hours per week for 4 weeks Internship sites are pre-determined Areas of career or job interest Students attend 2 Internship Workshops Time cards and journals Job coaching and supports Presentation to fellow students Internships--January 7 students interning this January Music Clerk at a music store Filing Clerk in Human Resources Department Activities intern at nursing home Assistant animal care intern at zoo Activities intern at learning center Clerical intern at hospice agency Classroom helper in a kindergarten program Role of Mentors and Job Coaches at Internship Sites Review of Functional Assessment Goals and target areas Train student on-site Provide support as needed Task analysis Break down tasks Provides lists or visuals if necessary Work with host toward independence Finding Placements in the Community Local and family owned businesses Not-for-profits with volunteer programs Present information at Service Organization meetings Letter with follow-up Just walk in Sell program and students Questions? Thank you for your interest in Elmhurst Life Skills Academy and attending this session.