Setting Goals, Facilitating Change
Building State Capacity Summit
"Students need to learn from each other and have new experiences when they start thinking about the future. Can we develop an annual statewide transition camp for students who are deaf or hard of hearing?"
"Everyone’s always talking about college planning, but some of my students aren’t interested in that. What if we focus on transition options and opportunities for students who are not going to college?"
"We really need everyone – educators, VR staff, parents, community agencies, and students – to be involved in transition planning. How can we do this?"
These are just bits and pieces from some of the conversations that took place on January 27-29, 2014, when pepnet 2 hosted its third Building State Capacity Summit in Denver, Colorado. The overall goal of the Summit Series is to enhance successful transition outcomes for students who are deaf or hard of hearing when they leave high school, whether it is successful matriculation in a postsecondary setting, or satisfying/rewarding employment. One way to mitigate barriers that inhibit these successful outcomes is by effecting positive change in the way current services are provided. Each state team was expected to:
- identify a tangible change practice,
- set goals, and
- draft a time-referenced action plan.
State team members represent a diverse group of stakeholders, including those who represent deaf education, vocational rehabilitation, and parents. Additional team members may include representatives from:
- transition services,
- postsecondary programs,
- community-based agencies that work with youth,
- independent living centers, or
- teacher preparation programs.
Although each team is limited to up to five members at each annual Summit meeting, the team may include a larger constituency when finalizing and implementing the plan. For additional information about how your state is addressing this challenge, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also take advantage of some of the resources developed through the Summit like the Improving Post-School Outcomes through Data-based Decision Making webinar by Dr. Dawn Rowe, Project Coordinator, from the National Post-School Outcomes Center at the University of Oregon. This webinar was initially broadcast as part of the Summit Webinar Series in January 2014, but it is now available for viewing by everyone.
This webinar includes short video segments and related documents on three main topics:
- Transition indicators
- Assessing and interpreting postsecondary outcome data
- Engaging stakeholders for positive transition outcomes
We all share the desire to increase the educational, career, and life choices available to youth who are deaf or hard of hearing. Improving services and creating opportunities begins with knowing as much as we can about students’ experiences. You can probably answer these questions about the students in your program, or those individuals who are on your caseload:
Did the student complete high school with a regular diploma?
Was he actively involved in the IEP process?
Does she have appropriate, measurable postsecondary goals?
One year after leaving high school, is he enrolled in a postsecondary program or competitively employed?
However, we need to know how to obtain and utilize information about all youth who are deaf or hard of hearing in our states. The more we can use data to support our ideas, the better our case will be to create and sustain programs and services that lead to successful outcomes.
To view this webinar, log into your pepnet 2 account, click on “My pn2”; the webinar is listed under Opportunities.