Resources - Student Development
Academic Evidence-Based Practices
National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) summarizes evidence-based practices that support academic learning including mnemonics (memory aids), peer assistance, self-management, technology and response prompting.
Johns Hopkins University Best Evidence Encyclopedia
Reliable, unbiased reviews of education programs for reading and math at all levels including high school, English Language Learners and struggling learners.
What We Know About How People Learn (pdf)
2002 issue of the California Journal of Science Education exploring, in accessible language, how children learn, learning styles and strategies that encourage students to deepen their understanding.
Career Awareness and Exploration
This Web site helps individuals explore career opportunities to make informed employment and education choices. It also features user-friendly occupation and industry information, salary data, over 450 career videos, education resources, self-assessment tools, career exploration assistance and talent development resources for today's fast-paced global marketplace.
Career and Education Planning Toolkit
This resource contains modules on Understanding the Workplace, Self Awareness, Exploring Careers, Goal Setting & Decision Making, Workplace Skills, Career & Education Planning, and Job Search.
Career Guidance and Exploration
From the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), this topic explores how families and professionals can support youth with disabilities through the various stages and components of preparing for, obtaining, and succeeding in employment. It reviews strategies and tools for understanding employment-related interests, skills, abilities, and aptitudes; outlines necessary steps for résumé or curriculum vitae preparation; and provides resources for learning about workplace accommodations.
Employment Transition Plan Template and Instructions
Project 10 developed an Employment Transition Plan Template and Employment Transition Plan Instructions with the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS) to guide school district staff in the completion of the employment transition plan, which is required by section 1003.4282(11)(2)(a-d). This plan must be completed for any student with a disability for whom the individual educational plan (IEP) team has determined that mastery of academic and employment competencies is the most appropriate way for a student to demonstrate his or her skills. It is recommended that school districts build flexibility into the plan to ensure student mastery of competencies and success in the workplace.
Please note: Districts are not obligated to use this template. The template is available in Microsoft Word which enables users to modify the plan to fit the need of the student.
The following resources can be downloaded from the Documents & Files box on the right side of this page.
- Employment Transition Plan Template (doc)
- Employment Transition Plan Instructions (pdf)
The employment plan template and instructions may also be found on the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) BEESS Secondary Transition website.
Exploring Career Information
This Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site helps users identify careers in their areas of interest. It also provides information on what the job is like, the preparation required, pay scales and job openings and outlook.
Florida Virtual Campus
The Florida Virtual Campus is Florida's online learning resource center containing information on online postsecondary courses and programs, financial aid, college and career readiness planning.
This online planning tool enables Floridians to explore careers, identify personal preferences for future employment and learn about the educational requirements for specific professions.
Occupational Outlook Handbook (2015)
OOH provides information regarding hundreds of jobs such as the training and education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, what workers do on the job, and working conditions. It also provides job-searching tips and information regarding the job market in each state. The OOH is updated every two years.
Course Scope and Sequences Supporting Career Awareness and Exploration
The following resources can be downloaded from the Documents & Files box on the right side of this page.
High School Career Preparation Scope and Sequence (7980110)
The purpose of this scope and sequence is to support teachers implementing High School Career Preparation (Course Number 7980110), which includes activities and resources.
High School Career Experiences Scope and Sequence (7980120)
The purpose of this scope and sequence is to support teachers implementing High School Career Experience (Course Number 7980120), which includes activities and resources.
High School Career Placement Scope and Sequence (7980130)
The purpose of this scope and sequence is to support teachers implementing High School Career Placement (Course Number 7980130), which includes activities and resources.
Supported Competitive Employment Scope and Sequence (7980150)
The purpose of this scope and sequence is to support teachers implementing Supported Competitive Employment (Course Number 7980150), which includes activities and resources.
Preparation for Entrepreneurship/Self-Employment Scope and Sequence (7980040)
The purpose of this scope and sequence is to support teachers implementing Preparation for Entrepreneurship/Self-Employment (Course Number 7980040), which includes activities and resources.
National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) Community-Based Instruction
This web page from NTACT contains information on evidence-based practices and lesson plans using community-based instruction (CBI) to teach the following:
- Communication Skills
- Community Integration Skills
- Employment Skills
- Grocery Shopping Skills
- Purchasing Skills
- Safety Skills
Non-paid Community-Based Vocational Educational (CBVE) Programs
This Technical Assistance Paper from the Florida Department of Education Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services contains helpful guidelines, recommendations and best practices.
Work-Based Learning Opportunities for High School Students (2013)
This report describes the work of the National Reseach Center for Career and Technical Education's (NRCCTE) Technical Assistance (TA) Academy to gather information on best practices in work-based learning (WBL). WBL helps students to apply academic and technical skills as well as develop employability skills.
Discovery is a process for getting to know a student by collecting information about his or her interests, strengths, environments or activities where they are at their best, supports that are effective for them and present levels of performance. Information is gathered through a series of activities, interviews and observations at home, school and in the community as well as with people who know the student well. A Vocational Profile is created to provide direction to career development activities and to share information for job development. Discovery is an alternative strategy to more traditional or standardized forms of vocational evaluation. The Rural Institute at the University of Montana website contains in-depth information regarding the Discovery process and has a link to the "Steps of Discovery."
Customized Career Planning
Additional Discovery resources on the Rural Institute at the University of Montana Web site include examples Vocational/Personal Profile Forms, Customized Employment Meeting Forms, and information regarding creating representational portfolios.
Mississippi Model Youth Transition Innovation (MYTI)
MYTI was one of seven Social Security demonstration projects designed to assist young people to become employed through transition interventions from school to work, thereby reducing reliance on public benefits. The Discovery process was embedded within the project. Although the project has ended, a description of the project and forms are still available through Michael Callahan, the creator of the Discovery process.
Independent Living Skills
Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessments (ACLSA)
Free life skills assessments in English, French, and Spanish are available online for the following life skill areas:
- Career Planning
- Daily Living
- Home Life
- Housing and Money Management
- Self Care
- Social Relationships
- Work Life
- Work and Study Skills
This National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center Web page contains evidence-based practices and lesson plans for teaching the following:
- Academic Skills - Math, Reading, Science and Social Studies
- Employment Skills - Employability/Soft Skills and Specific Job Skills
- Life Skills - Communication & Social Skills, Community Access, Finance, General Life Skills, Purchasing, Nutrition, Recreation & Leisure, Safety and Self-Determination
The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
This webpage contains an extensive list of independent living skills resources, geared primarily to individuals with vision impairments.
Virtual Center for Independent Living for West Virginia
The Mountain State Centers for Independent Living created this site that includes online skill development resources on topics such as the following:
- Health and safety
- Money management
- Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act
Advancing Student Achievement Mentoring Program Grants
The Actuarial Foundation makes awards to schools and groups to develop viable mentoring programs involving actuaries in the teaching of mathematics to children in private and public schools. Collaboration among school systems, local actuarial clubs, corporations and other stakeholders in education is encouraged in order to enhance the chances of success, particularly on a long-term basis. Maximum award is $30,000.
Community Tool Box, Youth Mentoring Programs
The Community Tool Box is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. This section of the Community Tool Box features sections on building mentoring programs, recruiting and training mentors, as well as building relationships and monitoring mentoring programs.
Dropout Prevention Programs and Strategies
Mentoring Programs from the Florida Department of Education, are highlighted as follows:
- Best Buddies Florida Program
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Program
- Black Male College Explorers
- Boys and Girls Club Mentoring Services
- Communities In Schools of Florida
- Learning for Life Program
- Take Stock in Children
- Florida State Alliance of YMCAs
National Dropout Prevention Center/Network, Mentoring/Tutoring
This website features an overview of mentoring, including a rationale for and the impact of mentoring. This page also features key elements of successful mentoring programs and a link to related resources.
PACER Center, Dropout Prevention
This website features several resources related to student dropout prevention, including an information sheet entitled “Dropout Prevention and Youth with Disabilities: The Role of Mentors” (2009) as well as links for additional information.
This report from the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition describes how youth mentoring provided by caring adults can help both youth and adults with professional development, growth, and support - as well as benefit the overall community.
Paid and Non-Paid Work Experience, Employment, and Supported Employment
APD Supported Employment
This section of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities Web site contains information about APD’s five-year employment initiative, Business Leadership Networks, Florida Benefits Information Resource Network (FBIRN), Let’s Get Everyone to Work videos and APD success stories. Links are also provided to the APD Job Search Website.
Career Guidance and Exploration
This National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) topic explores how families and professionals can support youth with disabilities who are preparing for, obtaining and succeeding in employment. it reviews strategies and tools for understanding employment-related interests, skills, abilities and aptitudes; outlines necessary steps for résumé or curriculum vitae preparation; and provides resources for learning about workplace accommodations.
ThisNCSET topic explores schools and employer partnerships that provide opportunities for youth to learn about work and prepare for future careers.
Employment Supports and Accommodations
ThisNCSET topic explores workplace adjustments employers can make to accommodate people with disabilities so that they can successfully access the workplace and perform their job tasks.
This site contains employment success stories, presentations on getting a good job, information regarding Social Security work incentives (including PASS plans) and a mini-course on self-employment. There are also discussion boards for students, family members and professionals involved in transition.
This NCSET topic explores the benefits of providing youth with opportunities to learn at job sites in their communities through the use of internships, workplace mentoring, service learning, and other strategies.
DECA School-Based Enterprise
This website contains information regarding School-Based Enterprise (SBE) best practices, ideas for SBEs, videos of successful SBEs, a list of approved SBE vendors and a guide for starting and managing SBEs.
Who's Minding the Store? A Guide for Educators Working with School-Based Enterprises: Activities and Strategies for Creating and Operating Innovative and Productive Learning Experiences
This curriculum module from the National Center for Research in Vocational Education (NCRVE) and REAL Enterprises guides a class through the development and maintenance of a school-based enterprise. It provides tools and exercises on topics such as keeping student interest high, creating "intrapreneurial ventures," recruiting new student employees and integrating the enterprise with other disciplines.
Center for Self-Determination
The five principles of self-determination and more.
Person-Centered Planning Education Site
Cornell University site explains that person-centered planning is an approach to empowering people with disabilities to define the direction for their own lives through the development of a set of methods and resources. The focus is on people and their needs, and not on the systems that may or may not be available to serve them. Provides online self-study courses to learn the basics of person-centered planning. Each course provides an introduction and overview of the topic, an activity and quiz for learner self-assessment, and a list of in-depth readings, links, and resources.
Self-Determination Course Description
From the Florida Department of Education.
Self-Determination for Middle and High School Students
National Center on Secondary Education and Transition topic exploring how self-determination, which results from the development of self-esteem, self-awareness, and other positive learning skills, helps children and teens learn to exercise personal control over their lives.
Self-Determination for Postsecondary Students
National Center on Secondary Education and Transition topic exploring how self-determination—the combined skills of self-awareness, self-advocacy, self-efficacy, decision-making, independent performance, self-evaluation, and adjustment - can contribute to an individual’s ability to establish and achieve his or her own goals during and after higher education experiences.
Self-Determination Synthesis Project
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with a grant from the Office of Special Education Projects/U.S. Department of Education, is conducting a review and synthesis of the knowledge base and best practices related to self-determination (SD) and self-advocacy (SA) interventions. The intent is to improve, expand, and accelerate the use of this knowledge by the professionals who serve children and youth with disabilities and the parents who rear, educate, and support their children with disabilities.
Autism at-a-Glance: Supporting Communication in High School
This issue of Autism at-a-Glance, developed by the Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (CSESA), focuses on understanding and improving the communication skills of adolescents on the autism spectrum. The content specifically targets the needs of students who are able to communicate conversationally. Examples are provided in the context of academic courses and teacher and peer relationships.
Autism at-a-Glance: Supporting Functional Communication in High School
This website was designed by the Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (CSESA) to support high school staff and family members in understanding and improving the communication skills of adolescents on the autism spectrum. The content was developed to specifically target the needs of students who have more significant communication needs.
Making (and Keeping) Friends: A Model for Social Skills Instruction
This Indiana Resource Center for Autism (IRCA) article on addressing social skill deficits in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) provides a five stage model for social skills instruction with particular emphasis placed on an emerging intervention strategy, videotaped self-modeling (VSM).
National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) - Student Development
This NSTTAC web page contains a number of resources for teaching social skills, leisure skills, job-related social/communication skills, and more.
Teaching Social Skills
This information brief was created by Christine D. Bremer and John Smith at NCSET.
Check & Connect
Check & Connect promotes student engagement with school, reduces dropouts and increases school completion. It originated from a partnership of researchers, practitioners, parents and students led by the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota. Florida has implemented this model in multiple districts.
Effective Practices and Predictors Matrix
The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) has developed a matrix of effective practices and predictors of student success. Many of these identified practices have lesson plan starters.
Exploring New Territories: Technology Resources for Struggling Students and Students with Disabilities - 2010 Version (pdf)
Students disengage when they can't access instructional materials and activities. This online publication from FDLRS contains information and resources for Universal Design for Learning; North Star Guide to Technology Planning; appropriate and accessible instructional materials; resources for reading, math, science, and other classes including e-learning; computer access; assistive technology; standardized testing accommodations; and BEESS technology services. Technology solutions for "continuity of learning" challenges due to pandemics and natural disasters are also addressed.
Pacer Center, Dropout Prevention Project
PACER Center collaborates with state and national agencies and organizations to address dropout prevention for students with disabilities, with a focus on encouraging effective parent involvement with their transition-aged youth.
Secondary Transition Roadmap for Families (pdf)
This Project 10 resource will assist families to become familiar with graduation and post-school options available to students with disabilities. This twelve-page booklet, Secondary Transition Roadmap for Families, shares easy-to-follow directions that guide families and students toward transition destinations- to graduation and beyond.
This resource can be downloaded from the Documents & Files box on the right side of this page.
Student Engagement (ppt)
Student Engagement is a PowerPoint presentation created by Amy Reschly, Ph.D., and James Appleton, Ph.D., and provides information on theories, strategies, models, studies, data reports and the Student Engagement Instrument (SEI).