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Movin’ On in Montana: Pre-employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)

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Authors: Martin E. Blair, PhD and Kaitlyn P. Ahlers, PhD Candidate

Movin’ On in Montana was a post-secondary education campus-based experience for Pre-ETS-eligible youth. Beginning in 2015, several state and federal funding sources, including funding from the required 15% Pre-ETS set-aside, supported a four-day, three-night on-campus experience for high school students. The overarching purpose was to introduce high school students with disabilities to the college experience and to help students recognize that college (e.g., university or technical college) is a possibility if they choose to pursue postsecondary education.

It provided students with disabilities with critical information regarding resources and supports to increase their likelihood of success should they enroll in college or other post-secondary education settings (e.g., technical or vocational education).

The University of Montana program addressed the following PreETS required activities:

  • Counseling on post-secondary educational programs (e.g., a campus experience designed to introduce students to academic and social expectations culminating in a personalized post-secondary education planning guide for use at subsequent IEP meetings).
  • Workplace Readiness (e.g., use of public transit, social skills instruction and practice, developing friendships, and time management).
  • Instruction in self-advocacy (e.g., interaction with and mentoring by college students with disabilities, instruction in self-advocacy and self-determination skills, and personal goal setting).

The first two years of the program were development/pilot years with significant program and evaluation revisions each year. The results presented here reflect the summer 2017 session.
 65+ high school age students have participated in since 2015.

Measures

  • Movin’ On Acceptability Questionnaire (MAQ), adapted from the Treatment Acceptability Questionnaire (TAQ; Krain, Kendall, & Power, 2005) for youth participants and family/ caregivers (pre and post Likert-scale items).
  • One year post-session follow up telephone interview with participants.
  • Staff/faculty focus groups.

Results/Outcomes

  • Participant Post-session MAQ, M = 45.6; SD = 6.0. Total possible score is 54, no difference from pre- to post-program, suggesting acceptability remained high.
  • Anxiety related to post-secondary education, pre- to post-program (t(17) = 1.982, p = .03), Decreased.
  • Participant knowledge related to post-secondary education, pre- to post-program (t(17) = -2.54, p = .02), Increased.
  • Highest rated activities: Biology lecture, campus tours (two year and four year), social activities.

Post-session Follow up

  • Immediately after: Highly Acceptable, Participants rated the likelihood they would enroll in four-year college higher than they did prior to the program.
  • One year follow up: Movin’ On positively affected decision to go to college (two or four year), 69% (16 interviews).

Next Steps

  • Improve pre-session connection to activities and expectations.
  • Improve follow-up mentoring after the summer campus experience.
  • Improve collaboration with the Montana State University-Billings version of Movin’ On.

Summer 2017 Participants

  • High school-age students (age 15-19 years) eligible for PreETS.
  • 19 students (10 female; 9 male) completed the program.
  • Mean age: 16.74 years.
  • Mean school grade completed: 10.93.
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