Two new transition programs now available through ADRS Lakeshore
The ADRS Lakeshore office is offering two new transition programs this fall.
The E3 and SET programs are intended as supplements to the college prep and job readiness workshops offered each summer.
E3 – which stands for engage, educate, and equip – launches Friday, Sept. 28, and provides high school and community college students with the skills necessary for employment, said Sabrina Wren, a rehabilitation specialist at ADRS Lakeshore.
The four, 90-minute workshops will continue with sessions in October, November, and December, rotating to cover topics like time management, reading and writing skills, career exploration, and note- and test-taking.
E3, Wren said, is designed to build on some of the lessons learned in the summer transition programs.
“This gives students study skills assistance while school is in session,” she said.
If participants have had a vocational evaluation, Wren said she can explore career interest test results and use E3 sessions to explain how they can be useful tools for researching career choices.
“I am going to not only explain what goes into making a career choice but also give them tools they can use to search,” she said. “They spend a lot of time getting the testing, but sometimes when you talk to them one on one, they don’t remember. They get overwhelmed and don’t realize that a piece of it is career-oriented.”
Day sessions this fall will target college students, while the December classes will begin at 3:30 p.m. and cater to high schoolers, she said.
The program is helpful to all parties because it allows Wren to manage a growing caseload as well. One-on-one meetings with clients will continue, but E3 will allow the students to get ahead of the game.
In initial meetings, Wren said she was often explaining which jobs were in demand and how to make a career choice based on these factors. Now, this can be done in one large session.
“We can give them some tools to do some self-research, because that is the key to independence,” she said. “If I can teach them to do some research themselves, then the next appointment we have could accomplish much more.”
The Student Employment Training (SET) program will also make its debut in high schools across the state in September.
ADRS Lakeshore Rehabilitation Specialist Samantha Wadsworth, who worked with ADRS Lakeshore staffer Shaneika Thomas to create the program, said the program will assist counselors by providing services that better prepare students for the job search process.
“We decided to try something that was more comprehensive and brought together job readiness and social skills training that could also be done in three to five sections so that we could try to make sure that we could get to as many schools as the counselors needed,” she said. “It’s in response to the need for (pre-employment training) services.”
SET will be divided into three sections, titled “Ready, Set, Go.”
During the “Ready” portion, students will begin to understand how their first impression can affect employment prospects.
Wadsworth said this can include body language and actions during an initial meeting or interview. This session allows students to evaluate themselves and work on the social skills necessary to create a positive first impression.
The “Set” segment will focus on the completion of job applications and tips for interviewing.
“Go” provides guidelines for proper conduct when employment is secured. This includes behaving professionally, being a good employee and coworker, and providing good service to customers.
Wadsworth said the SET program will allow counselors to reach more students in less time and without interfering with classes.
“It will help us try to expand our reach,” she said. “We can get to more schools and work with more groups by offering this as a comprehensive program.”
Thomas will begin the program in September in the Wiregrass, with Shannon Robinson in Birmingham, and Christy Montgomery in north Alabama. Other staff members will come on board as needed.
The program will continue throughout the school year.