A group of students and parents tour one of the job sites at SCC in Milford with the CRAVE teacher, Michalla Schartz. Here the students learn to read an event map to set up the room in the manner that was requested as well as welcome those coming to the event for the day.
A student using Zoom on the computer visits with Marsha Silvey, Vocational Rehabilitation counselor, who is assigned to serve the Exeter-Milligan school district. They are talking about self-advocacy while at college since it is up to him to let teachers know that he has a disability and accommodations that help him learn.
By Anita Mueller, Exeter-Milligan Special Education Instructor
On or before a student identified with a disability turns sixteen, they are required to have a transition plan included in their Individual Education Plan. This includes a post-secondary goal for education/training, employment, and if necessary, independent living skills. As part of their transition plan, the special education student can meet with a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor from the Nebraska Department of Education about once a month to talk about what they want to do after high school. Since COVID, the counselor has had to meet with students through Zoom rather than coming to the school making it more difficult to really get to know the students. Depending on students' interests in the Transition to Work Inventory, the counselor shares internet sites to view different jobs within the career cluster that ranked the highest or talks about different colleges or workers unions offering training needed to do that specific job.
Students with disabilities can be served by the school until they turn twenty-one. There are a couple of programs in our area that help provide the life skills/job skills to ensure that these students truly learn the skills that they need to become successful employable adults. The first program is CRAVE (Career Readiness and Vocational Education) at SCC in Milford and coming soon to Seward. Students can attend this program from 1 to 3 years to learn pre-vocational skills to successfully secure and maintain employment. Students can learn custodial work, kitchen work, dining services, Residential Hall services, Office Assistance-filing, simple data entry, shredding, answering phones, escorting guests, and Landscaping/grounds work. Students at CRAVE also have the opportunity to take classes while at SCC if the student/family wants to pay for them. The second program available is Project SEARCH and their curriculum includes the following areas: Career Exploration, Money Management, Goal Setting, Job Seeking Skills, Employability Skills, Healthy Life Choices, Communication, Social Skills, and Job Specific Skills. These both provide non-paid job experiences and classroom time to work on skills to get and keep a job, including writing resumes, cover letters, interviewing, self-advocacy, and problem-solving skills at work.