School of Training and Well being Professions Group Earns STAR Grant to Assist Youth With Disabilities
Marin McGrath From left, School of Training and Well being Professions school members Suzanne Kucharczyk, Brent Thomas Williams and Sheida Raley.
A School of Training and Well being Professions school workforce, together with companions throughout Arkansas state companies, just lately 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 Training grant is one in every 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, known as Seamless Transition for Arkansas (STAR). Suzanne Kucharczyk and Sheida Raley, each particular schooling consultants within the school’s Division of Curriculum and Instruction — which prepares future academics — 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 long run lives of youth with disabilities by increasing sources by Profession Councils.”
By way of the five-year challenge interval, the school will pilot, refine and implement the challenge whereas additionally accumulating and analyzing information.
The grant proposal famous that regardless of many years of analysis and efforts throughout techniques, youth with disabilities navigating the transition-to-adulthood interval typically 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 Companies (Pre-ETS) for 600 youth with disabilities in a few of the most under-resourced areas of the state. Past the supply of providers, STAR, in contrast to most mannequin demonstration tasks, will develop a sustainable infrastructure that may proceed to cut back the marginalization and disenfranchisement youth in these areas expertise properly after the challenge’s funding has ended.”
The workforce’s imaginative and prescient has three foremost aims 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 properly poised to make a big affect on outcomes of youth with disabilities as a consequence of its ongoing engagement with the Nationwide Technical Help Heart on Transition: The Collaborative, efforts of the Arkansas PROMISE Mannequin Demonstration Undertaking and collaboration with School of Training and Well being Professions school.
The STAR challenge leverages these strengths by an progressive collaboration mannequin geared toward focusing on assist 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 Unbiased Residing (CILs);
Improve the data and expertise of youth, households, suppliers and different group companions by web-based and in-person studying modules aligned with post-school end result predictors and scaling up efforts for community-level useful resource mapping; and
Set up and implement an progressive, 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 Training, Arkansas Rehabilitation Companies, Arkansas Facilities for Unbiased Residing and the U of A, with assist from college districts, together with Magnolia, Lakeside and Lake Hamilton, in addition to Workforce, Companions for Inclusive Communities (UCEDD), NTACT:C and regional group schools.