Faculty of Schooling and Well being Professions Staff Earns STAR Grant to Assist Youth With Disabilities
Marin McGrath From left, Faculty of Schooling and Well being Professions college members Suzanne Kucharczyk, Brent Thomas Williams and Sheida Raley.
A Faculty of Schooling and Well being Professions college workforce, together with companions throughout Arkansas state companies, not too long ago acquired a $9.9 million grant to assist enhance the financial self-sufficiency of Arkansas’ 14- to 18-year-old college students with disabilities.
The U.S. Division of Schooling grant is considered one of 20 throughout the nation centered on bridging the hole for youth with disabilities from highschool to profession success and impartial dwelling. Brent Thomas Williams, an affiliate professor who has labored within the school rehabilitation counseling program for greater than 20 years, is the principal investigator for the grant, referred to as Seamless Transition for Arkansas (STAR). Suzanne Kucharczyk and Sheida Raley, each particular training specialists within the school’s Division of Curriculum and Instruction — which prepares future lecturers — are co-principals.
Kucharczyk, the interim division head for curriculum and instruction, stated, “Funding for STAR will rework our state’s capability for interagency collaboration in shaping the longer term lives of youth with disabilities by increasing sources by Profession Councils.”
By means of the five-year challenge interval, the school will pilot, refine and implement the challenge whereas additionally amassing and analyzing knowledge.
The grant proposal famous that regardless of a long time of analysis and efforts throughout techniques, youth with disabilities navigating the transition-to-adulthood interval usually haven’t got the lives they need and proceed to be underemployed in comparison with their friends with out disabilities.
Williams emphasised that “STAR will facilitate Pre-Employment Transition Providers (Pre-ETS) for 600 youth with disabilities in among the most under-resourced areas of the state. Past the availability of companies, STAR, in contrast to most mannequin demonstration tasks, will develop a sustainable infrastructure that can proceed to cut back the marginalization and disenfranchisement youth in these areas expertise nicely after the challenge’s funding has ended.”
The workforce’s imaginative and prescient has three predominant targets to assist enhance post-school success for Arkansas youth with disabilities. The overarching purpose is to assist these college students discover aggressive employment. Williams stated the state of Arkansas is nicely poised to make a big impression on outcomes of youth with disabilities on account of its ongoing engagement with the Nationwide Technical Help Heart on Transition: The Collaborative, efforts of the Arkansas PROMISE Mannequin Demonstration Challenge and collaboration with Faculty of Schooling and Well being Professions college.
The STAR challenge leverages these strengths by an revolutionary collaboration mannequin aimed toward concentrating on help within the state’s high-need areas to:
Improve youth profession and school preparation and expertise alternatives by the event of further pre-employment transition service suppliers (Pre-ETS) and enhanced engagement of state Facilities for Impartial Dwelling (CILs);
Improve the data and abilities of youth, households, suppliers and different neighborhood companions by web-based and in-person studying modules aligned with post-school final result predictors and scaling up efforts for community-level useful resource mapping; and
Set up and implement an revolutionary, built-in collaboration mannequin by coaching of Transition Navigators and empowerment of youth leaders co-leading community-led Profession Councils, and use of the ECHO Mannequin and helps to supply case-based, ongoing, interagency skilled growth to companions throughout the state.
The STAR challenge was developed in partnership with the Arkansas Division of Schooling, Arkansas Rehabilitation Providers, Arkansas Facilities for Impartial Dwelling and the U of A, with help from faculty districts, together with Magnolia, Lakeside and Lake Hamilton, in addition to Workforce, Companions for Inclusive Communities (UCEDD), NTACT:C and regional neighborhood schools.