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Elmhurst Life Skills Academy at Elmhurst College

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1 Elmhurst Life Skills Academy at Elmhurst College
Learning for a Lifetime Developing a Career Strand for Students with Developmental Disabilities Elmhurst Life Skills Academy at Elmhurst College Good morning! Thank you for attending! My name is Kristin Boxall, and I am a Career Development Coach for Elmhurst Life Skills Academy at Elmhurst College. Elmhurst College is in in Elmhurst, IL. We are located about 20 miles West of Chicago. Elmhurst College is a private liberal arts college with about 3000 students. Many students with developmental and learning disabilities have the desire to go to college, but may not be ready or able to fully participate in a traditional college program. Elmhurst Life Skills Academy (ELSA) is a viable option for students that learn differently. ELSA provides young adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to participate in a college-like program in a supportive and inclusive environment. Our students have to complete mandatory work assignments as part of the various career courses they take during their time in the ELSA program. It is my job to find local businesses and organizations to host our students in a variety of work situations. This is my colleague, Rob Graber. He is a Job Coach for the ELSA program.

2 Kristin Boxall ELSA Career Development Coach
Learning for a Lifetime Kristin Boxall ELSA Career Development Coach Rob Graber, Educational and Job Coach

3 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 We have a lot of information to share with you this morning. Before we get started, I wanted to go over the Learning Objectives for today’s session. Go through objectives. Rob and I have put aside 15 minutes at the end for questions. So, if you have a question, please write it down and you can ask it at the end. If we are running ahead of schedule in our presentation, we can stop and take a few questions then as well.

4 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! Collaboration with Ray Graham—Monarch Program Students living in apartments in Elmhurst, IL Learning for a Lifetime

5 The ELSA Class of 2009!

6 What are the key areas of the ELSA program?
Academics (5 strands in curriculum) Social and recreational experience Career exploration and work experience Rob, Would like to present this information to the group?

7 ELSA Key Area Number 1 Academics

8 5 Academic Strands Literacy Social Issues Independent Living
Math/Technology/Science Career

9 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

10 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

11 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

12 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

13 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

14 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

15 Social and Recreational Experiences
ELSA Key Area Number 2 Social and Recreational Experiences

16 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

17 Career exploration and work experience
ELSA Key Area Number 3 Career exploration and work experience Career Exploration and work experience is the last and most important in my opinion area of the ELSA program. I will present to you more specific information about the career courses and the work components to each course. We will also touch on job our program uses job coaches to help students become independent in the work place.

18 Freshmen Career 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. We will start with our Freshmen. Freshmen start relatively slow when it comes to the career component of the program. Students begin with a course called Introduction to College Life to help get them acclimated to being a part of a college campus. Many of the topics and assignments in the course can relate to work in some way or another. For example, planning, time management, and organization skills. In the Spring, Freshmen take Career Exploration and Development. The main objective of this course teach students the difference between a job and a career and what does it mean “to work.” Students also look at different industries, jobs, and careers and research trends and the skills and education or training to secure such jobs. Students are not expected to work during this course, however, many of our students at all levels have jobs in their communities.

19 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 Here are some examples of some of the assignments Freshman complete. Each week, there are new journal entries posted on the courses Blackboard. The journal entries are used as an opportunity for the students to reflect on the course and their general college experiences. Students are expected to complete a self-directed plan. Each student chooses a skill or behavior that needs improving, set a goal, and specifies steps for improvement, identify resources that will them work on the and achieve their goal, and submit documentation that shows the progress the student is making towards their goal. A written report is turned in upon the due date. Each student is expected to become involved in the Elmhurst College life by joining a student organization or club on campus. Students identify the organization or club that they are interested in becoming involved. The student identifies his or her strengths and interest which will help with their integration into the club. Students research their organization and identify key people. Students prepare presentations about the clubs they are joining and explain how becoming involved in the organizations will help them become part of college life. Students choose a variety of jobs and careers to research. They then present the information to their fellow students.

20 Sophomore Career 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. Sophomore year is when students begin mandatory work assignments as part of their career courses.

21 Examples of Sophomore Assignments
Researching and reporting on career options and opportunities Research Employment Ads Informational interviews Job Observations Written correspondence

22 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

23 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

24 Junior Career Courses Courses Description
Career Development & Planning I (Fall) Career Development & Planning II (Spring) 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. Process of developing skills necessary for employment in the community. Communication, decision making, resume, portfolio, career interests, and strengths.

25 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

26 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

27 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 Internship II (Spring) Students reflect on their January internship placements. Students walk through the steps necessary for their own job search.

28 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

29 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

30 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

31 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

32 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

33 Questions? Thank you for your interest in Elmhurst Life Skills Academy and attending this session.

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