school to career transition services

Eventually, students need to take all they’ve learned at school and apply it to life. As a teacher you recognize when it’s time for academics and daily life to meet. It’s the critical transition when skillful support is needed to help students take what they’ve learned at school and find meaningful employment.

At Looking Upwards, we offer an innovative, experience-based program for the transitioning student. We take special needs students into real-life situations and coach them in the skills they’ll need for success. From employment, to daily living, to building connections in the community, we work intensively with students. We help them gain mastery of the skills you’ve identified are essential for their graduation.

Vocational development lays the foundation for the future. Through work experience, students gain vital skills and confidence. They have the chance to build a resume and explore job options in their community. We offer students the opportunity to:

  • Sample different work settings
  • Clarify interests and goals
  • Build a resume
  • Learn job search skills
  • Practice for employment interviews
  • Develop on-the-job skills
  • Learn how to communicate in the workplace
  • Build employment networks in their community

“Soft Skills” are essential. Our transition coaches are trained to assist students to master those “soft skills” that they’ve begun in the classroom. These are the skills that make it possible for students to find success and satisfaction in their endeavors. For instance, our coaches support students to:

  • Take responsibility
  • Manage time
  • Understand the workplace culture
  • Learn to navigate social situations
  • Develop connections in the community
  • Handle stress
  • Maintain an awareness of safety
  • Access appropriate resources

Choosing a destination is important.  So is having the tools to get there. Throughout our services, we assist students to take from their experiences a growing knowledge of what they like and don’t like. We help students chart a course for their futures and have the tools they’ll need for life.

What to expect: 

  • We create partnerships with schools towards meeting students’ IEP transitional goals.
  • We may create a partnership with the Office of Rehabilitative Services (ORS) to support students’ progress with vocational plans.
  • The student’s transition program will be tailored to the student’s needs.
  • For students who are still working on academic goals, a flexible off-campus schedule can be built.
  • These services are available during the school-year and in an extended school year summer program.
  • Placement in internships or job experiences will match the student’s interests and skills.
  • Students may receive individualized job coaching to support their skill development.
  • We will provide consultation with employers to assist them in best supporting a student’s success.
  • You can expect a written report on the overall experiences and accomplishments of each student, including recommendations for next steps in career development.

Who is eligible:

  • Students age 14 to 21 who are referred by their school department or ORS.

Who to contact:

  • For more information about options in our school year, year round or summer work program, contact our School Services Coordinator, Tristan Pennell, at 401-293-5790 ext. 316 or Email Tristan
  • For all ORS-related services, contact Jill Olson-Crowley at 401-293-5790 ext. 316 or email Jill