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Posts from the ‘Postsecondary Options’ Category


**SIGNIFICANT CHANGES to the SAVE (4+) Program at ILCC/Emmetsburg for next Fall

Please read the message below from SAVE Coordinator Michelle Kogel.  There are significant changes to the SAVE program starting next fall.  If your districts had prospective students heading there for next year, you may need to check with Michelle to see if their status has changed/ or if this is still an appropriate option for the student based on the program changes.  Please let us know if you have any questions.


There are changes within the housing department for fall 2018.

There will no longer be a structured dorm setting available to students.


The only housing option available for fall is the independent dorm setting. Students will eat meals in dining services and have the same expectations as all students living within the housing environment.


Additionally it is important to note that in the past, the college has offered a structured dorm setting which included breakfast and lunch eaten as a group rather than in dining services along with a school night evening curfew. This option will no longer be available for the 2018-2019 academic year.


SAVE is notifying school districts in order for IEP teams to be aware of this change.

MIchelle Kogel’s  contact information is below:


When we know more, we will keep you posted.


ASVAB: There’s an App for that!

asvab-passMy, how times have changed!  There seems to be an app for almost everything!  And, if you happen to know a student who is thinking that the military is just right for them, they can now practice for the ASVAB test with the help of an app!   But, unlike the days of old,  a high school diploma is required to enter most military branches today.

The ASVAB test consists of eight sub-tests, so taking practice tests helps the student have a better idea of what to expect, which can increase their final test score.

The list of apps is too long to even begin to list, even just for the free ones.  There are apps for Android/Google Play or for iPad/iPhones, depending on your need.

Of course, there are also free practice tests online as well, such as ASVAB Practice Test Online  or  ASVAB Practice Tests just to name a few!  And there are many options to purchase various study guides as well.

Bottom line, it is important for students to know that each branch of the military has a required AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test) score.  The AFQT score will determine whether they qualify to enlist in their particular branch of service.  The ASVAB test also produces several line scores, which are different for each branch of service. Line scores determine which military jobs the students are qualified for, so the higher their score, the more job opportunities they have.

Students who are determined that the military is right for them should  meet with the military recruiters when they come visit the school.  The High School Guidance Counselor can arrange for a specific recruiter to come, and then the recruiter can explain the requirements and expectations for that specific branch of service.

As students begin to explore post-secondary options, let’s help them understand all the facets involved…. simply by helping them know the steps that they need to take!





Job Interests Picture Inventory & Strengths, Interests, & Preference Visual

The Job Interests Picture Inventory is another great tool you can use with your students that may need a visual cue on possible employment options.Job interests picture inventory pic

This form was created by a fellow teacher, so a special thanks for both his creativity AND his willingness to share!  Helping and learning from others…. now that’s what we want to model for our kids, right?  🙂

So, since he showed us a great example, if there are other careers that you want your students to have to choose from, you now have a guide for creating one on your own.

You could do something similar by using pictures from a computer program like Board Maker, etc. to make a visual representation to help your students determine their strengths, interests & preferences.  Click Strengths, Interests, Preferences Picture Options for yet another great sample that was shared!

Keep all your great ideas coming!  Together, we can help make our kids/student’s transition as seamless as possible!





New Year = FAFSA time for College-Bound Seniors

First of all, we hope you all transitioned smoothly into the New Year!  (although as I write this, I am not a big fan of our first blizzard of 2015!)

So, this post is dedicated to those seniors who suddenly only have one short semester (or 1 & 1/2 trimesters) left before graduation!  Was that an audible groan I just heard?  It’s hard to imagine that it will be here before you know it!!

For college-bound seniors, it is important for your families to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)The web link has lots of great information, including:

  • Online Application
  • Deadlines
  • School Search Codes
  • FAFSA Filing Options
  • Announcements

Parent(s) and the student will both need to apply for an electronic pin.  Your electronic personal identification number  (PIN) will serve as your identifier to allow access to personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems and will act as your digital signature on some online forms. If you do not already have a PIN, you can request one online by clicking APPLY FOR PIN. Your pin number will stay the same for your entire educational career, so be sure to keep it in a safe place!

The sooner you can complete this form, the better.  The catch?  You must have your taxes done prior to completing the FAFSA.  This make the process much easier since the FAFSA application will direct you specifically to put which line item from your taxes where on the FAFSA form.  And as with all scholarship money, it gets divvied up on a first-come, first-served basis by colleges, so the sooner  you get the FAFSA submitted, the better!

Many schools have Senior FAFSA night, where the High School Guidance Counselor will help explain the process.  Please contact them if you have any questions regarding this application process.



O*NET – a great classroom resource!

So, how many of you have students who seem to have an unrealistic transition plan?  As a freshman/sophomore, they still have time to explore more options, but as your students enter their junior year, it is critically important that they understand their abilities need to fit together with the required skills for their desired career.

If you have never used O*NET Online, this site can help students understand some of the skills and abilities they will need for their intended career path.

There are two basic ways to research possible careers:  one is quick and easy, and provides basic job information; the other is also quick, but provides much more job-specific detail.

The quick way for your students to explore possible careers is by typing their career choice  in the box shown herONET - I want to be a....e:

This will take them to a page where they have three options:  They can search by a specific career, by the related industry, or even by answering some questions to help determine possible careers that match their interests.  This gives them some quick and easy information on a possible career.

Now, if your students want more in-depth  information regarding a specific career, then you need to direct them to the box shown below:

ONET Search OccupationsWhen they type their specific career in this box, they will get a much more detailed list of information regarding their intended career.  It gives lists for each career in the following areas:

  • Tasks
  • Tools and Technology
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • and many, many more!

This provides a great talking point to help the student see if their abilities and skills are a good fit for their chosen career.   It can show them areas that they may need to work on while still in high school to help make their transition to postsecondary training go more smoothly.

The O*NET site has a great wealth of information that is easy for both you and your students to access, and provide a valuable discussion for transition planning.  Have them highlight the skills/abilities that they feel that are strengths, as well as marking those that they feel could be problem areas.  Discuss possible options they have to improve those areas.

If  you have any questions about using this O*NET site, please contact your transition coordinator.  And encourage your students to dig deep as they explore their options!

~ Elaine Cook


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!


Thanks Sean & Karen, and Landmark College!

We have a wonderful training last Wednesday, April 10th, in spite of the winter weather up north!  Sean Roy, from the PACER Center, and Karen Thompson, from the ASK Resource Center offered a wealth of information to help us think outside the box when it comes to work opportunities for our students.  It was great to work in groups and to have time to brainstorm.

Sean shared an excellent resource from Landmark College for parents and students, that has a simple checklist to see if students are prepared for the challenges of college level work.  The guide is called “Guide to Assessing College Readiness:  for Parents of College-Bound Children with Learning Disabilities or AD/HD.”  It breaks the questions down into five categories with five questions each:  Academic Skills, Self-Understanding, Self-Advocacy, Executive Function, and Motivation and Confidence.

To give you a taste, the five questions in the Academic Skills category are:

1. Can you read up to 200 pages in a week?
2. Do you have a system for taking notes?
3. Can you write a paper of 10 or more organized pages that refers to two or more sources?
4. Do you have a system for preparing for tests and exams?
5. Can you clearly summarize a college-level reading assignment?

This resource is a great way to open up a conversation with your child/student.  Check it out, and use it whenever you need it.  And thanks to Landmark College for developing such a great tool!


Transition: fitting all the pieces together!