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For VR Counselors


Pre-Employment Transition Services

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 1984 amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and now requires vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies to set aside at least 15% of their federal funds to provide Pre-Employment Transition Services to students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services.

The Aggies Elevated program is built on a solid knowledge base of WIOA and VR requirements. Staff include the project’s Co-PI who holds a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling, and a CRC/Utah LVRC who is also a doctoral student in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Pre-ETS are provided to Aggies Elevated students in the following courses & supports:

  • Career Exploration I & II classes (Year 1 students)
  • Internship I & II classes (Year 2 students)
  • Career-Related Social Skills class (Year 2 students)
  • Orientation to Adult Learning & Independent Living class (Year 1 students)
  • Navigating Adulthood class (Year 2 students)
  • Independent Living Seminar (all students, all semesters)
  • Self-Determination class (Year 1 students)
  • MyCLIMB (My Career Ladder to Independence, Maturity and Balance) Person-Centered Plan (all students, begins 2nd semester)
  • Peer mentoring/educational coaching support (all students, all semesters)
  • Partnership with the local Independent Living Center (all students)
  • Partnership with the Disability Law Center for voter registration & information (all students)
  • Friendship/employment skills CBT group (all students)
  • DBT-based Skills System for emotional self-regulation (all students)
  • Participation in inclusive USU courses at the 1000, 2000, and 3000 level (all students)
    • Students enroll in all courses for a grade and credit, and have the option change to to Audit or Pass/Fail if needed.
  • Inclusive residence hall living (Year 1 students. Year 2 students have the option of living off-campus).

REQUIRED Pre-ETS provided by Aggies Elevated 

  • Job exploration counseling
    • The administration of vocational interest inventories (Career Exploration I)
    • Career counseling based on those results (In individual counseling sessions with CRC/LVRC)
    • Identification of career pathways of interests to the students (In Career Exploration I)
    • Exploration of the labor market (Career Exploration I)
    • In-demand industries and occupations (Career Exploration I)
    • Non-traditional employment options (Career Exploration II)
  • Work-based learning experiences
    • Job shadowing (Career Exploration II)
    • Informational interviews (Career Exploration I)
    • Paid internships (Internship I & II)
    • Non-paid internships (Internship I & II)
    • Service learning (Navigating Adulthood)
    • Paid work experience (Internship I & II)
    • Non-paid work experience (Internship I & II)
    • Volunteering (Navigating Adulthood)
  • Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or post-secondary education programs
    • Aggies Elevated is currently a federally designated Comprehensive Transition Program
    • Aggies Elevated is currently funded by the U.S. Department of Education as a Transition and Post-secondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) model demonstration program.
  • Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living (These skills are taught every day in every interaction with program staff and mentors, as well as in the CBT/Friendship Skills Group and the DBT-based Skills System for Emotional Self-Regulation Group.)
    • Communication
    • Positive attitude
    • Teamwork
    • Problem-solving
    • Talking/writing
    • Cooperation
    • Active listening
    • Decision making
    • Conflict resolution
    • Body language
    • Empathy
    • Professionalism
    • Good manners
    • Supporting others
    • Being respectful
    • Good hygiene
    • Time management
    • Healthy lifestyle
    • Using a cell phone
    • Using transportation
    • Money management
    • Nutrition/meal preparation
    • Accessing community
    • Services & supports
    • Community participation
    • Civic responsibility
    • Community safety
    • Developing friendships
    • Appropriate dress
    • Appropriate behavior
    • Financial literacy
    • Orientation and mobility skills
    • Job-seeking skills
    • Understanding employer expectations for punctuality and performance
    • Other soft skills necessary for employment 
  • Instruction in self-advocacy (Primarily in Self-Determination, MyCLIMB Person Centered Plan, mentoring, individual interactions with program staff)
    • Self-awareness 
    • Disability understanding 
    • Disability disclosure 
    • Decision making
    • Goal setting
    • Evaluating options
    • Identify independence 
    • Accommodations 
    • Request & utilize accommodations
    • Know your rights and responsibilities
    • Self-determination
    • Know how to request & accept help 
    • Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
    • Taking a leadership role 
    • Creating own support plans
    • Assertiveness
    • Listening to others’ opinions 
    • Monitor own progress 
    • Positive self-talk
    • Peer mentoring

Additional authorized Pre-ETS provided by Aggies Elevated

  • Implement effective strategies that increase independent living and inclusion in their communities and competitive integrated workplaces.
    • Cumulative 92% post-graduation employment rate.
    • 71% of graduates live apart from family members.
    • 100% of graduates live as independently as possible in their situations.
  • Develop and improve strategies for individuals with intellectual and significant disabilities to live independently, participate in postsecondary education experiences, and obtain and retain competitive integrated employment.
    • Cumulative 92% post-graduation employment rate.
    • 71% of graduates live apart from family members.
    • 100% of graduates live as independently as possible in their situations.
  • Provide training to vocational rehabilitation counselors, school transition staff, and others supporting students with disabilities
    • Aggies Elevated is a training site for pre-service special education teachers, rehabilitation counselors, and social workers.
  • Disseminate information on innovative, effective, and efficient approaches to implement pre-employment transition services
    • Aggies Elevated staff participate in the Utah Transition Action Team, a partnership of state agencies, local education agencies, developmental disability agencies and other stakeholders whose goal is to improve outcomes for transition-age youth in Utah.
  • Apply evidence-based findings to improve policy, procedure, practice, and the preparation of personnel
    • Aggies Elevated is a training site for pre-service special education teachers, rehabilitation counselors, and social workers.
  • Develop model transition demonstration projects.
    • Aggies Elevated is a TPSID model demonstration project.
  • Establish or support multistate or regional partnerships that involve States, local educational agencies, designated State units, developmental disability agencies, private businesses, or others
    • Aggies Elevated staff participate in the Utah Transition Action Team, a partnership of state agencies, local education agencies, developmental disability agencies and other stakeholders whose goal is to improve outcomes for transition-age youth in Utah.
  • Disseminate information and strategies to improve the transition to postsecondary activities of those who are traditionally unserved
    • Aggies Elevated staff participate in the Utah Transition Action Team, a partnership of state agencies, local education agencies, developmental disability agencies and other stakeholders whose goal is to improve outcomes for transition-age youth in Utah.

WIOA Common Performance Measures

  1. Percentage of program participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the 2nd quarter after program exit:
    1. May 2016 graduates: 64%
    2. May 2017 graduates: 100%
    3. May 2018 graduates: 60% as of July 1, 2018
  2. Percentage of program participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the 4th quarter after program exit:
    1. May 2016 graduates: 100% as of October 1, 2018
    2. May 2017 graduates: 100%
    3. May 2018 graduates: 80% as of October 1, 2018
  3. The median earnings of participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program:
    1. 100% of Aggies Elevated graduates who are in competitive, integrated employment are earning at or above minimum wage.
  4. Percentage of participants in a postsecondary education or training program and received a credential/certificate during the program or within one year after exit OR received a diploma or equivalent from a secondary education program while in program or within one year of exit AND who were employed or enrolled in an education or training program leading to a recognized postsecondary credential within one year after exit:
    1. 100% of Aggies Elevated students received a recognized post-secondary credential at graduation.
    2. 28% (4 of 14 graduates) are pursuing additional education or training
  5. Percentage of participants, who during a program year, are in an education or training program that leads to a recognized postsecondary credential or employment and who are achieving measurable skill gains toward such a credential or employment:
    1. 100% of Aggies Elevated students are in an education program leading to a recognized post-secondary credential.
    2. 100% of Aggies Elevated students achieve measurable gains toward the credential as evidenced by letter grades in credit-bearing classes, noted on a college transcript.
  6. Effectiveness in serving employers.
    1. With a cumulative 92% post-graduation employment rate, the Aggies Elevated program effectively serves employers by providing comprehensive pre-employment transition services to students with intellectual disabilities.