Objective: The objective of this program is to keep students engaged and interested in attending school by utilizing a vocational based curriculum. This program will allow students the opportunity to explore vocations that they may not otherwise have access. By engaging students in trade crafts such as construction, electrical work, plumbing, solar energy, and drafting. Our mission is for students to begin to see the value of completing high school and receiving a diploma while obtaining a certificate from our Construction Tech Program.
Need: Many of our kids have the idea that there is no hope for them and no opportunities. By participating in this program it is our hope that they will see that there are options for their future. Students just need to reach out and grab them. Many of the students in Alt Ed and particularly those with disabilities have a much greater likelihood of dropping out of school or being incarcerated.
National studies and reports have repeatedly documented that compared to their non-disabled peers, students with disabilities are less likely to receive a regular high school diploma, drop out twice as often, enroll in and complete post-secondary education programs at half the rate, and are employed at approximately one-third the rate (32% compared to 81%) (National Center for Education Statistics, 2000; National Council on Disability, 2003; National Longitudinal Transition Study-2, 2005).
The National Organization on Disability reports similar findings:
Their most recent survey, released June 24, 2004, indicates a continuing trend from previous surveys conducted in 1986, 1994, 1998, and 2000:
- People with disabilities remain twice as likely to drop out of high school (21 percent compared to ten percent).
- Only 35 percent of people with disabilities reported being employed full or part time, compared to 78 percent of those who do not have disabilities.
- Three times as many people with disabilities live in poverty, with annual household incomes below $15,000 (26 percent compared to nine percent).
Research also indicates that youth transitioning from out of home placements, whether through the juvenile justice or foster care system are not completing high school, enrolling in postsecondary education institutions, or obtaining meaningful employment. The Network on Transitions to Adulthood reports that 12% of formerly incarcerated youth had a high school diploma or GED by young adulthood.
Transition-age youth are not acquiring the academic, vocational, social, and self-determination skills they need to successfully obtain postsecondary education and training and/or employment (Lane and Carter, 2006). After leaving high school, most transition-age youth do not receive adequate services designed to help them acquire the skills they need to successfully pursue postsecondary education and training and/or obtain competitive employment (Davis and Hunt, 2005).
Research suggests that transition-age youth who have emotional and behavioral disabilities do not perform well those skills judged to be most critical to job success by employers (Carter and Wehby, 2003). Carter and Wehby (2003) found that employers tend to rate the job performance of adolescents who have emotional and behavioral disabilities lower than those adolescents rate themselves. Employers also tend to rate the importance of various work behaviors differently than those adolescents rate those work behaviors. Data from the National Longitudinal Transition Survey – 2 also indicate that students who have emotional and behavioral disabilities are less likely to take occupationally specific vocational education than students in the general population (Wagner and Cameto, 2004).
Instruction Time: Students will attend a vocational class one day a week for two class periods. The instruction time will correspond with the classroom schedule at CLC Tech to ensure no interruptions of pulling students or replacing students in the middle of the period. To offset the loss of instruction time we plan to pull the students out of P.E and the class that follows. We will supplement lost instruction time for the class they miss by spending the last 30 minutes, of our time, teaching the lesson the students will miss in there scheduled class.
Goal: Our main focus is to give students access to career opportunities that would not normally be available to them. We will have students complete a portfolio at the end of the semester that will prepare them to enter the Jobs Plus program or the workforce after graduation. Additionally, we would like students to gain a better understanding of the importance of an education as well as creating good attendance habits that can be utilized in the work force.
Evaluation: Weekly tracking of attendance at school will be monitored to insure students are attending class on an everyday basis. At the end of the program we hope to show, by percentage, an increase in the number of students who remain in school and furthermore to increase the number of students who receive their high school diploma. Further studies could include a tracking of students who actively enter the job market and or enroll in some other form of schooling or job training.