“LIFE Academy” program to provide pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – The Calcasieu Parish School Board, McNeese State University and SOWELA Technical Community College have announced a partnership program to provide access to pre-school transition services. employment for students with significant developmental and intellectual disabilities.

The LIFE Academy program sets specific goals for these students as they prepare for life after school:

  • Education and career development: Vocational training, on-the-job training and possible internships.
  • Academic education: Observe and learn with university professors and CPSB teachers.
  • Personal development: Coaching and modeling of social skills, financial instruction.
  • Social and community engagement: age-appropriate social activities, introduce them to college activities.
  • Independent living: Instructions on life skills including laundry, vacuuming, washing dishes, personal hygiene, etc.

Students are selected for the program based on established criteria and an application process.

Currently, ten students are enrolled at McNeese and ten are enrolled at SOWELA. The CPSB provides transportation for these students to and from their teaching sites and employment sites. Students in the program receive university ID cards and can participate in extracurricular activities. Basic equipment is provided to students as well as lunch.

The schools say their plan is to expand LIFE Academy, increase capacity and open it up to even more eligible students. The goal for currently enrolled students is to obtain employment in their area of ​​expertise before reaching the age of 22.

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