Skip to content

Archive for


South Central Calhoun Mini Grant

On April 22, 2013, Mrs. Karen Gorden, special education teacher at South Central Calhoun High School, took her junior and senior Career Club students on a 21st century skills field trip, thanks to the mini grant she received from our AEA Transition Department.  Her goal was to show the students a variety of  options that may help prepare them for success after high school.   The first place on their tour was a stop at IowaWORKS Center, where the available resources could help them with future employment needs,  The next stop was at Pizza Hut, where students experienced and discussed examples of necessary workplace skills, along with enjoying pizza for lunch!  Then they toured Iowa Central Community College, where they got to explore different vocational programs of study.  Their final stop was the POET Biorefining Plant near Gowrie, which gave the students an inside look at an ethanol plant.

Check out the PowerPoint of their adventure at:    AEA Transition Grant – SCC ppt

The day provided many eye-opening experiences for the students and teacher alike, and they hope they can do another trip next year!


International Association of Special Education 13th Biennial Conference

I am honored to be at the International Association of Special Education 13th Biennial Conference today in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada!  It is a beautiful city and I am staying on the campus of the University of British Columbia and those of you who know me know that I love being on college campuses and this one is unbelievable!  Mountains behind you and the ocean in front of you!  I am here with two dear friends  and respected former colleagues Dr. Elizabeth Ankeny of Augsburg College in Minneapolis and  Helen Beneke of Morningside College in Iowa.  We are co-presenting on “Transition Planning: ” The Scoop from Pre-Service Perspective to In-Service Training”.   Although this is not an Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency sponsored trip, it is an opportunity of a lifetime and I am so honored that they included me is this adventure and I am sure that I will bring back ideas and network connections that will be valuable for our transition work at Prairie Lakes!   This is a wonderful culturally diverse conference with presenters and participants from over 60 countries involved.  What a learning opportunity and I hope to blog/share more about presentations as the week goes by!  Diane Twait Nelsen-Prairie Lakes AEA Transition Chairperson