Individualized Educational Services is excited to let you know about our START program that will launch Fall 2021 for students STARTing their adult lives!
What is START?
START is a blend of soft and hard skills to help high school juniors & seniors and college students start their transition into their adult lives. As you may have heard, “adulting” is hard. 15 years ago, we used to say that students would learn these as part of the null curriculum. Yes, null, as in nothing. Educators knew that there was a group of skills that students would learn in order to be successful. It was more or less walking quietly in a line behind the teacher. With the growing neuro-diverse population, researches from across disciplines have been identifying what these skills actually are and why the are so important. Executive Functioning skills is a quick name drop, but there are so many more domains.
Social, Technical, Academic, & Recreational Tutorials
We anticipate never having the same conversation twice with our START groups! The reason is that every set of students will have a different set of strengths and needs! We created the START acronym to set out our program goals:
- Social: Help students learn to interact with others and themselves. Social skills instruction to practice conversational skills, reading emotions, non-verbal language and more will help know how to better understand society and successfully navigate it. For the self, students will learn how to identify body sensations to describe physically and emotionally what they are experiencing and develop skills to help problem solve what they need to do should they need to adjust their physical or emotional state.
- Technical: Students may need the technical skills in order to become ready for their future lives! While technology is ubiquitous for students of all ages, not everyone knows how to send a professional email or have a polite text message conversation. With the deployment of mobile technology, students may not have had a chance to learn keyboarding nor application specific skills (like word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software).
- Academic: There numerous skills needed to be successful in academic settings. Note taking, summarizing, synthesizing and more all go above and beyond the traditional recall from elementary settings, especially with the Common Core Standards and college expectations. We’ll also cover communicating with teachers and peers.
- Recreational: One of the most overlooked skills in our graduating students is how do they keep themselves busy with all of their newly found free time? Transitioning from a daily high school program to a part time college program can be scary for all since there is so much more time to fill. Successful individuals know how to keep themselves purposely occupied for self development and improvement. We’ll talk about places to go out in about in the community and nature.
- Tutorials: We’re mindful that we’re an education business, not therapists. Many of these domains to have significant overlap with social-emotional services, but they are not intended to replace them; if there are specific needs we will be happy to give you a referral. What well will do is help group members set goals and find ways to achieve what they want to accomplish.
Our Near Term START Goal
We’re hoping to develop a cohort of staff and students that can learn START skills in the 2021-2022 academic year to start a college cohort at Santa Barbara Community College (SBCC) in the 2022-2023 school year! Cohort members can enroll in the same class and section with an IES instructor to receive additional supports to find success in college level academics! We’re hoping to spur the high school dual enrollment trend where students choose to enroll in college classes to earn full year high school credit from one semester of a high school class.