Transition from high school to postsecondary
The Copper Country ISD provides many services to assist students who receive special education services and their families with making decisions about life after high school. This programming is coordinated by a transition coordinator, employed by the ISD, who works with local school districts and community agencies.
The transition coordinator provides professional development to teachers and attends Individual Education Plan meetings for special education students in all of the local school districts. They are able to provide teachers and families with connections to local resources as needed. The transition coordinator also attends monthly meetings with the local school guidance counselors to gather and share information about services, curriculum, assessments, scholarships, post-secondary schools, training opportunities, accommodations, personal curriculum and other supports for students with disabilities.
An important part of the role of the transition coordinator is to work with community agencies to provide supports to our students beyond those they receive in the school setting. The transition coordinator is a member of the Copper Country Community Transition Council (CCCTC) that helps to create events and opportunities for students with special needs. This council consists of teachers from the Learning Center and Community Transition Program and local schools, as well as representatives from local and state agencies such as Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Copper Country Community Mental Health, Goodwill Industries, Oakhouse, State of Michigan Transition Services and Superior Alliance for Independent Living (SAIL).
Each winter, meetings are held with high school juniors and seniors who receive special education services to provide information about Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). This allows students and parents to ask questions and learn about the services offered, such as assistance with college or certification programs, housing and employment.
In the spring students are interviewed for placements with MRS and SAIL for summer work-based learning jobs in the local communities and state parks. It’s a great way for students to learn the skills necessary to be employed because each small group of students has a job coach with them. After the placement this past summer, one of the students was hired by the park.
The transition coordinator is also a member of the planning committee for the area-wide “Transition Meet and Greet” event and the annual “Interviewing Workshop.” The Meet and Greet is a gathering of local agencies and businesses that provide services for independent living, recreation and leisure, transportation, finances, education and employment. Parents and high school students are able to visit with these service providers at the Copper Country Mall.
Each March, an “Interviewing Workshop” is held at MTU for high school juniors and seniors. Students participate in three sessions including mock interviews with volunteers from local businesses, the Reality Store hosted by Business Professional Women and an activity focusing on soft skills such as handshaking, phone calls, appropriate dress and independent living skills. Before lunch, there is an etiquette lesson. Students have been offered interviews and received job offers from this event.
The role of the Copper Country ISD transition coordinator is an integral part of servicing the students in our local community and schools. This is just another example of the Copper Country ISD fulfilling its mission to “Support a Lifetime of Learning.”