2017 Transition & Career Planning Conference

Igniting the Imagination of Many!

Join your colleagues for the 12th Annual Transition and Career Planning Conference.

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT


Ignite the Imagination! Please join us for the 12th Annual Transition and Career Planning Conference. We're excited to bring Lance Weiler, a storyteller, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and thought leader from the Columbia University Storytelling Lab. 

Who should attend?
•    School counselors 
•    College career advisors
•    Teachers 
•    Technical center coordinators 
•    Administrators 
•    Agency professionals working in schools 
•    School-to-work professionals 
•    High school special educators 
•    Vocational rehabilitation counselors
•    Enthusiastic Merchants of Hope

•    Vermont Student Assistance Corporation 
•    Vermont School Counselor Association

Committee Members
•    Erica Borthwick, VSAC
•    Andrew Brown, VSAC
•    Tara Howe, VocRehab VT
•    Toni Marra, Vermont AOE
•    Veronica Newton, Vermont AOE
•    Cathy Printon, VSAC GEAR UP
•    Sue Zamecnik, VocRehab VT

Workshop descriptions are not available on the Eventbrite registration form, so please review them here and choose your workshops before registering.

  8:00 am

Registration and coffee

  8:45 am

Welcome and announcements
Opening remarks by Scott Giles, President & CEO, VSAC

  9:00 am

Keynote presentation with storyteller, entrepreneur, and thought leader Lance Weiler: Ingniting the Imagination of Many

  10:00 am

Presentation with Andy Mosedale (Mosedale Integrated Solutions, MISmakers, Vermont Volume Reduction): Technology and Prototyping is a Creative Process

  10:45 am

Session 1 — Concurrent workshops

  12:00 pm

Lunch and networking

  1:30 pm

Session 2 — Concurrent workshops

  2:45 pm

Certificates and adjournment

Workshop descriptions are not available on the Eventbrite registration form, so please review them here and choose your workshops before registering.

Morning Presentations

Keynote: Igniting the Imagination of the Many

What do a little robot scientist from another planet, Sherlock Holmes, and Frankenstein have in common? They’re all characters within dynamic learning environments developed by the Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab. Since 2012, the Lab has harnessed narrative, play, design, and emergent technology as tools to encourage students to collaborate, embrace ambiguity, and ultimately prepare for the 21st century.

Join Lance Weiler, founding member and director of the Digital Storytelling Lab, as he shares insights from the front lines of shaping curriculum, and building hybrid learning-and-doing spaces that mix analog and digital.

Lance Weiler is a storyteller, entrepreneur, and thought leader. An alumni of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, he is recognized as a pioneer because of the way he mixes storytelling and technology. WIRED magazine named him “one of 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood.” Always interested in experimenting with new ways to tell stories and engage audiences, Lance has designed experiences that have reached millions of people via theaters, mobile devices, and online. In recognition of these storytelling innovations, BUSINESSWEEK named Lance “One of the 18 Who Changed Hollywood.”

He sits on a World Economic Forum steering committee for the future of content creation and is a founding member and director of the Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab. In addition, Lance teaches a course on the art, craft, and business of storytelling in the 21st century. Lance is currently developing a slate of film, TV, and gaming projects.

Presenter: Lance Weiler, Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab


Clarity When Technology Is Confusing

This is the motto of Andy Mosedale, founder of Mosedale Integrated Solutions, MIS Makers, and Vermont Volume Reduction. His mission is to develop creativity with industrial technology and discover old/new concepts in electronics industrial design and art.

Andy’s real passion is using coding and tinkering to get students excited in the classroom. He’ll be conducting a STEM demonstration to share his tinkering spirit with conference attendees.

Spend some time with Andy in the Morey Room following the keynote presentation. You may leave with some exciting new ideas to try with your students.

Presenter: Andy Mosedale, Integrated Solutions, MISmakers, Vermont Volume Reduction

Session 1 Concurrent Workshops

PLP: Develop the Power of Listening and Following Through on Student Interests

We'll discuss our High School Completion Program interview processes and the power of listening to students’ wants, needs, and desires in completing high school and transitioning to postsecondary education, career training, or work. We want to share what we do for transitions (transition packet) and why we consider transitions to be a vital tool in PLP success.

Presenters: Suzanne Pelletier, HSCP Plan Manager, Northeast Kingdom Learning Services; Annie Christoni, Transitions Coordinator, Northeast Kingdom Learning Services


The Story of You! Personal Narratives for Career Success

This workshop is a modification of a professional development course that I’ve taught for a young professional group. This group-focused session will be light on instruction and heavy on meaningful activities that will allow attendees to leave with a strong understanding of the Personal Narrative, ways to construct a unique personal story, and the effectiveness of a moving personal narrative in career development, education, and personal development.

Presenter: Michael Kingsbury, Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living, State of VT


Supporting Flexible Pathways through Personalized, Proficiency-based Learning in Afterschool, Summer, and Expanded Learning Programs

Flexible Pathways recognizes that learning happens anytime and anywhere. Over the past year, Vermont Afterschool has been working with 15 after-school and expanded-learning programs across the state to connect learning outside the school day to students’ personalized learning plans and proficiency-­based graduation requirements. This project has led to a deep exploration of after-school's role in partnering with school-day teachers; ways to align program offerings with proficiency-based graduation requirements; strategies to ensure that students are creating quality evidence and artifacts in after-school that can be used to support and build proficiency; and the policy implications for ensuring equity and access.

Presenter: Holly Morehouse, Executive Director, Vermont Afterschool


Aligning Work-Based Learning with Act 77

Learn how educators can deliver quality WBL opportunities for all Vermont youth that follow a Career Development Progression of (1) career awareness, (2) career exploration, and (3) career preparation and training. Understand the revised Vermont Standards for Work-Based Learning, the responsibilities of schools, and the essential roles of WBL coordinators for placing students in workplaces in meaningful ways. Experience individual and group activities as we explore topics of high interest, with a focus on rules and regulations surrounding internships, volunteer and unpaid training, best practices in developing training plans and measurement tools, and the connection of WBL to Act 77 Flexible Pathways.

Presenters: Bill Sugarman, Work-Based Learning Course Instructor, Castleton University & Regional Manager, VocRehab VT; Amy Tietjen Smith, Operations Manager, UVBEP


Pre-Employment Transition Services, Core Transition Teams, and Linking Learning to Careers: How Does This Relate To My Work in Supporting Students?

In this workshop, we’ll help to define pre-employment transition services and how they connect to our work with high schools across the state. We'll discuss the intention and implementation of core transition teams and will introduce Linking Learning to Careers (LLC), a new five-year initiative coordinated by VocRehab VT, along with Community College of VT and several state and national partners. This session will showcase a set of work-based learning, career development, and college exploration opportunities, some existing and some new, that are being provided to high school students with disabilities in all regions of Vermont. The LLC grant aims to improve employment and postsecondary outcomes for participating youth. As we support students in preparing for the transition to life after high school, whether it’s employment or additional training/education, how can we best partner with all the community and state agencies?

Presenters: Kali Brgant, Transition Counselor, VocRehab; Josh Hallock, Youth Employment Specialist, VABIR; Tara Howe, Transition Program Director, VocRehab; Rich Tulikangas, Director, Linking Learning to Careers; Elizabeth King, Career Services Pathways Manager


Fostering Connection in Middle School: Strategies for Promoting a College-Going Culture

This presentation will highlight effective, data-driven strategies to promote a collaborative, college-going culture within a middle school community. Participants will learn research-based methods of increasing student motivation. The presentation will include the development and utilization of interdisciplinary units, STEM initiatives, SMART goals, and self-assessment/reflection sheets. Attendees will also learn about effective partnerships between high schools, colleges, and community partners.

Presenters: Brian O'Farrell, School Counselor & Heather Skrabely, Science Teacher, St. Johnsbury School


Trends in the Vermont Economy

This workshop will provide an overview of current economic conditions, including employment by industry, occupational trends, and skills in demand. Participants will be better prepared to provide direct career services, as well as remain informed about the general economic landscape to assist in broad program decisions.

Presenter: Mathew Barewicz, Economic & Labor Market Information Chief, VT Department of Labor


Career Planning with Youth: Tips and Tools

This workshop is designed for staff working with youth. We’ll try out tools that our team has found helpful in our pre-employment transition work, including various inventories and assessments utilized by VR and VABIR staff. We’ll bring materials for the group to explore and will provide a space for group members to share what’s already working for them. The workshop will provide time to discuss benefits and challenges, access, and facilitation, and time to share additional resources.

Presenters: Amanda Kohle, Transition Counselor, VocRehab; Rocko Gieselman, Youth Employment Specialist, VABIR; Bonnie Haug-Cramp, VocRehab Counselor and Career Consultant for LLC Grant; Samantha Brennan, VocRehab Counselor and Career Consultant for LLC Grant

Session 2 Concurrent Workshops

Training Interns and Partnering for Success (TIPS)

Learn how schools are using the TIPS Internship Program to deliver quality work-based learning experiences for youth that meet all state guidelines: (1) apply towards Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements (PBGRs); (2) measure student proficiency based on the Vermont Education Quality Standards (EQS) Transferable Skills; (3) incorporate WBL experiences into student Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs); and (4) align with the Vermont Standards for Work-Based Learning. Explore the content of the TIPS pre-employment course and internship placement tools. Participants from Vermont high schools can sign up to receive 14 lesson plans and internship placement materials at no cost.

Presenters: Richard Tulikangas, Castleton University Work-based Learning Course Instructor & VocRehab VT Linking Learning to Careers Director; Lorin Durand, Program Manager, UVBEP


Connecting Dual Enrollment to Career Paths

This session will provide information about existing programs and opportunities and weave them together with a thread of gender equity, career awareness, and PLP implementation. Vermont's workforce is aging and retiring from jobs that can't be outsourced; meanwhile, Vermont's school age population is decreasing. This workshop will get attendees thinking about how dual enrollment and other opportunities (work-based learning, attainment of industry-recognized credentials, etc.) can be used to help students aspire to careers that exist in Vermont and beyond, rather than helping them aspire only to college enrollment. Attendees will increase awareness of gender segregation in the workforce and consider how it plays out in advising students in developing PLPs, from 7th grade all the way up to dual enrollment courses.

Presenter: Jay Ramsey, State Director for Career Technical Education, Agency of Education


What Does Graduation Look Like for Students with Disabilities?

Many general education and special education teams struggle with identifying the proper timing of graduation for students with a disability. Is graduation appropriate once they've met their local graduation requirements, or should they have received access to transition services? How do we quantify that access? How do we measure educational benefit in the context of transition services in the IEP? What if a student with a disability has no outside agencies or supports in place; is he or she ready to leave high school? How do teams navigate these tough decisions? This workshop will explore all of these questions, as well as highlight the wealth of transition and career preparatory options for students with disabilities around the state.

Presenter: John Spinney, Post-Secondary Transition Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Education


The Power of Collaboration: Integrating Career Development into Content Areas

Many hands may not make light work but, in our case, it made for meaningful work. The collaborative efforts of a Hazen Union language arts teacher, work-based learning coordinator, and VSAC aspirations coordinator resulted in the design of a career development unit for high school juniors, which was instrumental in helping many students define their future path. In this workshop, we’ll share our process, the curriculum we used, the skills we developed, and the use of proficiency-based grading through formative and summative assessments. We’ll talk about the power of the informational interview and the ways in which the community and classroom link was transformative for many students. The workshop will end with a panel of students who will share how this work helped them to make decisions about their future.

Presenters: Kelly Robinson, Language Arts Teacher, Hazen Union HS; Jen Olson, Work-Based Learning Coordinator, Hazen Union HS; Michelle Legere, Aspirations Coordinator, VSAC


Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) Process: Where We Are and Our Hopes/Plans for The Future

We’ll explain our past two-year initiative and existing PLP process. We’ll share resources relevant to our PLP development/implementation and describe the action research graduate course model we’re using. After an initial "check in" with participants to gather their questions, we’ll share our PBRG–PLP Google site and explain how it’s being used. We’ll describe how we’re using our advisory system to guide students in their PLP process. In addition to sharing information, we’ll have a "mini" student panel share their experience(s) and answer questions.

Presenters: Timothy Chamberlin, Director of Guidance & Counseling Services, Lake Region Union HS; student panel


Assistive Technology Resources for Transition

This discussion-based workshop will explore the ways that schools can access and best utilize the Vermont Assistive Technology Program and new Vocational Rehabilitation Assistive Technology Services to support students in their transition to work, higher education, and training programs. The session will provide opportunities to see demonstrations of AT tools, learn about a student assessment for AT Preparedness, and receive resources on best practices in AT and transition.

Presenters: Ben Wimett, AT Access Specialist and Tracy Roux, AT Access Specialist; Vermont Assistive Technology Program and the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion, UVM


Transferable Skills for 21st Century Learners

Communication, collaboration, creativity, innovation, inquiry, problem solving, and the use of technology are identified in the Education Quality Standards as Vermont's transferable skills. These broad skills and abilities are critically important for success in today's world, particularly in college and modern careers. During this workshop, we’ll explore resources that support the development of shared expectations for transferable skills. We’ll pay particular attention to clear and effective communication in order to come to a better understanding of what proficiency might look like. Finally, we'll recognize the expertise in the room and discuss what is currently happening in your educational systems.

Presenters: Pat Fitzsimmons, Proficiency-Based Learning Team Co-Leader, AOE; Susan Yesalonia, Health & Physical Education Specialist, Proficiency-Based Learning Team Co-Leader, AOE; Martha Deiss, Global Citizenship Specialist, Proficiency-Based Learning Team, AOE


Transition Toolkit for Youth with Disabilities

This workshop will offer a guided tour of a newly developed web resource on the topic of transition at Vermont Family Network, funded by Vocational Rehabilitation. Participants will be introduced to the toolkit and discuss existing needs for professionals in transition planning for youth with disabilities.

Presenter: Martha Frank, Family Consultant, Vermont Family Network

Workshop descriptions are not available on the Eventbrite registration form, so please review them here and choose your workshops before registering.

Directions: Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT

Questions: Email printon@vsac.org 

Workshop descriptions are not available on the Eventbrite registration form, so please review them here and choose your workshops before registering.