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Iowa’s Super Senior Program:Building Satisfying Careers through Person Centered Planning & Intensive Community-Based Training A Partnership between: Grant Wood Area Education Agency, Goodwill Industries of SE Iowa, & The University of Iowa Center for Disabilities & Development
Why Super Seniors? • Students with disabilities in the middle range often fall through the cracks after high school • Surveys of recent Iowa City graduates showed less than desired employment outcomes for students in SCI programs (Self-Contained with Integration)
Factors Contributing to Disappointing Employment Outcomes • Insufficient work experience • Poor job matches • Lack of assistance in finding, learning and keeping a job
9 High Schools in Rural, Urban and Suburban Iowa School Districts Transition services designed to produce long-term employment outcomes through: Person-centered planning, Extensive community based training and Individualized supports for finding, learning and keeping a job Funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs What Can We Do About It? Iowa’s Super Seniors Program
Senior year Inventories/Assessments Person Centered Career Planning (PCCP) Job shadows/tryouts w/updated PCCP Extended work experiences w/updated PCCP Ideal Job Match ID’d Super Senior (5th) Year 20-40 hr/wk paid internship, with coaching & employer support Additional courses/job training tailored to ideal job Off-site support/training /counseling Time limited follow-along support Graduation; Maintenance of Job into adulthood SS Elements & Process
Career Counseling Resume Writing Assistance Job Applications Interview Skills Travel Training Linkages to Community Resources Social Security Benefits Planning Assistance Additional Super Senior Services
Meet Earl:A student who did not have career goal • Earl is 19 years old. • He lives in a rural community with his family. • He refused all work experience offered at his high school. • He is working on getting his driver’s license.
Earl’s Super Seniors Story Making an Informed Career Choice • Prior work experience: helping his family at flea markets and antique shows. • Earl had unique knowledgeof antiques and collectables. • To capitalize on these skills, we arranged a working interview at an antique mall. • Earl was hiredon the spot for a temp job. • He worked 40+ hours per week • Earl earned $6 per hour. • After 6 months,the temp job ended. • Earl learned he enjoyed keeping things clean/organized and being around antiques. • Could we put this info to workfor Earl?
Earl’s Super Seniors Story Part 2 • Staff learned of a possible openingat the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, where his knowledge of antiques would seem to be a good fit. • Earl interviews and is offered a job: 28 hrs/wk at $11.38/hour • Here he cleans and maintains the facility& conducts daily checks to ensure cleanliness. • Benefits of this job – more $, close to home, working with antiques and opportunity for promotion! • Most importantly,Earl tells us that “he loves it!” • Earl saves most of the money he’s earned to purchase a house. • Over $7,000has been put away so far!!!
What Made SS Work for Earl? 1. RELATIONSHIPS, RELATIONSHIPS RELATIONSHIPS! • Relationship developed through career planning with both Earl and his family; • Relationship developed through job shadows; and • Relationship developed through the job development and on-the-job training components. 2. BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES AROUND HIS INTERESTS!
Meet Bob:A student still struggling to be successful • Bob is 18 years old • He’s had numerous jobs, most lasting 2-3 months. • Bob’s a capable worker and people like him. • He was on the verge of dropping out of school when referred to us. • Bob’s family and school are supportive and want him to succeed. • His drivers’ license is suspended for the first 6 months in the SS program
Bob’s Super Seniors Story • Career Planning – • Bob’s dream job is to work in construction or something outdoors where he can make a decent wage ($9-12/hour) • He wants to earn enough to get his own apartment and get his fines paid off to get his license back. • A Job Shadow Leads to a Job–A Good First Step • Arrangements are made for Bob to earn HS graduation credits by working. • After a 1 day job shadow, he’s offered a job. • Bob gains full-time (plus) employment at a local concrete company earning $10/hour with benefits. • His employer is happy with Bob’s work • Bob loves his job!
Making Wise Choices: A Challenge for Bob • 6 weeks later, Bob is caught smoking marijuana & fired. • A clean drug test would enable him to earn his job back • We arrange an unpaid internship at a construction company – where his work is rated as “excellent”. • Bob takes his drug test to return to his job at the concrete company. • Bob was so confident he would pass the test, that he smokes marijuana later that day. • The drug test contained traces of marijuana
Bob’s SS Saga Continues • Bob has learned his lesson--he vows no drugs on the job again. • We find work at another concrete company—Bob earns $10/hour; works 40+ hours/week. • 10 days later, Bob walks off the job after fighting with a co-worker. Employer reported that he was a “poor” worker. • After few weeks of individual job seeking, Bob was assisted in getting a job as a delivery helper for a regional ice company. • Employer praises Bob’s work. After 45 days, Bob disappears. No one can find him. • Bob had been arrested for driving w/o a license and had spent 5 days in jail. . . . . No license until 21 now. • Bob is working to pass a drug test, with placement support to be offered at that time.
Did SS Work for Bob? • On the plus side:He finished high school, had valuable work experiences and connected with adults committed to helping him succeed • On the minus side: we weren’t able to achieve stable, long-term employment. • Challenges we face in helping Bob succeed: • Getting Bob to take greater ownership and responsibility. • Helping Bob to understand the nature of his disability and habits. • Activating the family to help Bob understand the natural consequences of his behaviors. • Overcoming long-standing behavioral patterns. • Not having outward signs of a disability but functioning with significant limitations.
Concrete Finishing Drywall Carpentry Welding/Heavy Equipment Metal Prep/Painting Masonry Graphics Pharmacy Technician Security Officer Automotive Retail Animal Care Telemarketing Childcare Food Service Health Care Janitorial Computer Repair SS Outcomes: Jobs Obtained
Pre/Post SS Employment Outcomes:Hours/Week Worked 30.1 27.8 25.9 9.5 8.1 6.9
Pre/Post SS Employment Outcomes:Hourly Wage $7.56 $7.30 $7.08 $3.16 $3.17 $3.13
Pre/Post SS Employment Outcomes:Monthly Wages $930 $843 $770 $263 $220 $184
Unexpected Challenges • The degree to which students lacked prior work experience • Substance abuse/mental health issues • Insurance coverage • 5th year program participation IEP’s • Family capacity to support students
We Can Provide: Site Visit Opportunities Phone/E-mail consultation Written Information Funding Information Mini-Grants (2003/4) Contact Information: John Nietupski, SS Director Jnietupski@aea10.k12.ia.us 319.399.6442 800.798.9771 ext 6442 4401 Sixth Street SW Cedar Rapids, IA 52404-4499 Interested In Starting Your Own Super Seniors Program? Super Seniors is supported in part by grant # H324R010020 and H324M010097 from the US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs to Grant Wood Area Education Agency. No official Endorsement of the opinions expressed here should be inferred