Student development practices emphasize life, employment, and occupational skill development via school-based and work-based learning in addition to student assessments and accommodations.
The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center has identified 25 evidence-based practices in student development. They include teaching:
(Test, Fowler, Kohler, & Kortering, 2010; Test, Fowler, Richter, White, Mazzotti, Walker, Kohler, & Kortering, 2009).
Resources related to these evidence-based
practices are listed below on the topics of academic learning; student engagement; mentoring; career awareness and exploration; community-based instruction; paid and non-paid work experience, employment, and supported employment; the Discovery Process; school-based enterprises; social skills, and independent living skills. For a information on self-advocacy and self-determination click here.
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.
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 is a PowerPoint presentation created by Amy Reschly, PhD, and James Appleton, PhD, and is accessed through the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center Web site.
Exploring New Territories: Technology Resources for Struggling Students and Students with Disabilities - UPDATED 2010 Version
Accessible 2009 versions available at http://www.fdlrstech.com/handouts.htm
Students disengage when they can't access instructional materials and activities. This on-line publication from FDLRS contains information and resources for Universal Design for Learning; North Star Guide to Technology Planning; appropriate and accessible instructional materials; resources for reading, math, science, and other classes including e-learning; computer access; assistive technology; FCAT accommodations; and BEESS technology services. A new section deals with technology solutions for "continuity of learning" challenges due to pandemics and natural disasters. (Large file: 5.46 MB)
This report from the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition describes how youth mentoring provided by caring adults can help both youth and adults with professional development, growth, and support—as well as benefit the overall community.
Mentoring and Student Assistance Initiatives
This "Family and Community Development" Web page from the Florida Department of Education highlights several mentoring programs including
Best Buddies Florida Program
E-Buddies Program (sponsored through Best Buddies)
Big Brothers Big Sisters Program
Boys and Girls Club Mentoring Services Program
Girl Scouts of Florida "Get Real" Mentoring Program
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.
Florida CHOICES and CHOICES Explorer
CHOICES is a career exploration and information system for students that includes resources for parents such as the Parent Primer on Career Exploration and resources for educators, including the Choices Planner. Designed for Florida residents, CHOICES allows students to
- assess their interests and abilities,
- match their interests and needs to over 650 careers,
- view detailed occupational profiles,
- see 300 one-minute video clips, and
- build a portfolio to keep track of their resume and letters.
Florida Virtual Campus (FACTS.org)
The Florida Virtual Campus is Florida's online learning resource center containing information on online postsecondary courses and programs, financial aid, college and career readiness planning, and information that was previously available on FACTS.org. Students who have electronic Personal Education Plans (ePEPs) may access them on the Florida Virtual Campus website through January 2013.
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.
Career and Education Planning Course Outline
This resource contains modules on Understanding the Workplace, Self Awareness, Exploring Careers, Goal Setting & Decision Making, Workplace Skills, Career & Education Planning, and Job Search.
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.
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
Employment skills using community based instruction
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
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.
The Florida Provider Network in Supported Employment
This training resource center is free to Florida residents. Resources include a training calendar and discussion boards.
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.
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.
Employment and Supported Employment Resources
This section of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities(APD) Web site contains information about supported employment training, asset development and financial literacy, Business Leadership Networks, success stories, and assistance in maintaining benefits while working. Additional links include
- Able Trust
- Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute
- Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST)
- Florida Association for Persons in Supported Employment
- Florida Developmental Disabilities Council
- Going to Work: A guide for Individuals with Disabilities
- National Consortium for Health Systems Development
- National Disability Institute
- Supported Employment in Florida
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Workforce Florida (and the Agency for Workforce Innovation)
- Social Security Administration, specifically Employment Support for People with Disabilities, Impairment
Related Work Expenses (IRWE), the Student Earned Income Exclusion, and SSI
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.
This PowerPoint presentation was part of an April 2008 training conducted by Michael Callahan and sponsored by Partners in Transition. Click on "Implementing Discovery."
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.
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
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
- understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act
The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
This Web page contains an extensive list of independent living skills resources, geared primarily to individuals with vision impairments.
Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) Program Florida
This ILRU Program Web site has a feature to assist individuals with disabilities find a Center for Independent Living in their area in Florida.
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
- Daily Living
- Home Life
- Housing and Money Management
- Self Care
- Social Relationships
- Work Life
- Work and Study Skills
Test, D.W., Fowler, C.H., Richter, S.M., White, J., Mazzotti, V., Walker, A.R., Kohler, P., & Kortering, L. (2009, August). Evidence-based practices in secondary transition. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32, 115-128. Available at http://www.nsttac.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdf/pdf/ebps/ExecsummaryPPs.pdf
Test, D.W., Fowler, C., Kohler, P., & Kortering, L. (2010, August). Evidence-based practices and predictors in secondary transition: What we know and what we need to know, Executive Summary.(Revised). Charlotte, NC: National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center. Available at http://www.nsttac.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdf/pdf/ebps/ExecsummaryPPs.pdf
| The development of this website was funded by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg
through a grant by the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services,
Florida Department of Education (2010 - 2011, 291-2621A-1C008).