Special Populations Collaborative

Effective Practices for Students with Disabilities

Shasta College – Transition Services

Tom Morehouse, TMorehouse@ShastaCollege.edu

Target Population: Students with developmental disabilities. These students are also categorized as Developmentally Delayed Learners.

Goals: To provide services on the campus and in the community that prepare and maintain individuals for as high a level of independence as possible.

Description: The Transition Services Program offers course work that includes: career development, adapted computer skills, reading and math, human awareness, and life skills. Shasta College offers an environment for social skills training and for encouraging interpersonal maturity in an age appropriate environment. Transition Services are based upon the concept that disability is natural and it is beneficial for all students to learn how to relate within the rich diversity that is representative of the community.

Staffing: The program is coordinated by a full-time faculty member. The instructor is assisted on a part time basis by a paraprofessional and by student assistants who also work individually with the students.

Facilities, equipment, materials: Similar to other campus programs, the Transition Services instructor orders appropriate textbooks and workbooks for purchase by students through the college bookstore. The program works closely with other staff in securing appropriate classrooms each semester. There are no devoted classrooms for this program.

Costs, funding source: Funding for this program is provided by Shasta College and is based on the full time equivalent student funding mechanism available to all through the Chancellors Office. On occasion additional funding makes it possible to purchase additional supplies and materials.

Outreach and marketing: The instructor is a member of the Shasta County Coordinating Council that is an integral member of the State system for people with developmental disabilities. Much needed support for the program has been garnered from the community. Professionals representing referral agencies such as Far Northern Regional Center, the Department of Rehabilitation and the Coordinating Council serve on the Disabled Students Programs and Services Advisory Committee, and provide input to the program. The full time faculty member also serves as the Northern California Chair of the Developmentally Delayed Learner Interest Group of the state association. He often presents topics related to working with this population at statewide conferences.

Evidence of effectiveness: Informal measures of effectiveness are derived from various sources including: the number of students leaving for employment or other community based programs, who improve their residential status, who satisfy certificate requirements, and anecdotal information obtained from students, parents or care-providers.

Suggestions for replication: It is often difficult and sometimes controversial to serve large populations of students with developmental disabilities on community college campuses. It is rare that students with this disability are able to successfully participate in college level courses. The college encourages some students in this population to make this attempt, but most are unable to. Shasta College has placed high value on being responsive to the needs of all students and strives to maintain the program with appropriate level courses. By doing so they are responsive to the needs of the community and in a better position to accommodate the students.