Target

Transition from to school to work

Participants

Students with mental retardation at a rehab institute

Technique

The number one priority of the rehab center is to acquire the attention and interest of local businesses. This is done through correspondence and personal meetings with local businesses and managers. Then students were referred to the businesses depending on functioning levels (cognitive, physical, and social), and vocational interests. The student is then told what is expected of them and is presented with a folder with information in it so they can look it over and remember it. The student then goes for their first interview with their special education teacher acting as their job coach. The student then takes weekly 1-hour visits to the business to observe and get more hands-on learning. Four words used by the job coach are: 1)WATCH: to direct the students attention to something important 2)TELL: to get the student to repeat back what has been said 3)SHOW: to direct students hands-on knowledge of what is going on 4)WORK: to indicate that the process of being observed is over. After six weeks of participation, the student is evaluated by his or her business supervisor. They are evaluated according to three criteria: mastered, mastered with difficulty, or not yet mastered. A business lunch is then set up for the student, the teacher, and the business manager to discuss the evaluation and to make recommendations about what the student can work on.

Evaluation

Students use a check list to rate completion and mastery of responsibilities. The teacher and business supervisor work together to evaluate students' strenghts and weaknesses and what parts of the job have been mastered and what parts need work by using a work skills sore card.

Source

Telepak, T. (1995). The local business community: A natural resource for transition from school to work. Teaching Exceptional Learners, Spring, 60-64.

Developer

Benji Morrell, ETSU


Target

the completion of job applications by students with learning disabilities

Participant

33 high school students with learning disabilities, with 16 being taught learning strategies and 17 being taught traditionally

Technique

A first-letter mnemonic device was developed to facilitate students' recall of the strategy steps. This resulted in a six-step strategy called "SELECT." Students first Survey the entire job application and look for the Emphasized words that indicate the type of information requested. The students then look closely at the items on the job application for Location cues that indicate where the requested information is to be entered. Then they carefully Enter the information requested in the appropriate location. After completing the application, the students Check to see if the information is accurate and that the application is complete. Finally, the students Turn the completed job application into the appropriate individual. Then the special education teacher used a five-step procedure to teach the students the job application strategy during a 1-hour instructional session. First, the teacher discussed the goal of the job application strategy instruction procedure and why it is important to know how to accurately complete a job application. Second, an overhead transparency was used to introduce and discuss the six-step job application strategy. Third, using an overhead transparency, the teacher modeled the job application strategy be completing a standard job application while "thinking out loud." Fourth, students were required to verbally practice the job application strategy steps, including self-questioning statements, until they were memorized. Finally, students independently completed a job application. The traditional instruction consisted of the discussion of the importance of what the students were doing in the lesson, the filling out of the application with the teacher, and the independent completion of the application by each student, but there were no strategies used and the procedure was not introduced step-by-step.

Evaluation

The researchers evaluated the progress of the students by comparing the number of errors and holistic ratings on the job applications between the two types of instructional conditions. The students who received learning strategy instruction made significant lower numbers of information omissions (mean of 0.63) and location errors (mean of 0.025) than students under the traditional instruction (mean of 5.35 for omissions and 1.35 for location errors). Also, these students received higher holistic ratings on their job applications (mean of 4.46) than did their counterparts (mean of 3.37).

Source

Nelson, R., Smith, D., & Dodd, J. (1994). The effects of learning strategy instruction on the completion of job applications by students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 27, (2), 104-110.

Developer

Joanna D. Carter, ETSU