2018 Transition & Career Planning Conference

Readiness from the Inside Out

Join your colleagues for the 13th Annual Transition and Career Planning Conference.

Thursday, May 17, 2018
Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT


Please join us for the 13th Annual Transition and Career Planning Conference. This year's conference, Readiness from the Inside Out, will feature keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Murphy, who will share her work on readiness and metacognition. Also this year: a full-day strand on Trauma Informed Practices with Kym Asam of the Northeastern Family Institute.

And join us for a free pre-conference viewing and discussion of the documentary film Resilience with Dr. George Till,on Wednesday, May 16, at 5:00 pm. 

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 State GEAR UP 
•    Vermont Agency of Education
•    Vermont School Counselor Association 
•    Vermont Voc Rehab 

Committee Members
•    Margo Austin, VSAC GEAR UP
•    Erica Borthwick, VSAC
•    Martha Frank, Vermont Vermont Family Network
•    Toni Marra, Vermont AOE
•    Cathy Printon, VSAC GEAR UP
•    Anna Telensky, VSAC GEAR UP
•    Rich Tulikangas, VocRehab VT

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

  8:15 am

Registration and coffee

  8:45 am

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

  9:00 am

Keynote presentation, Readiness from the Inside Out: Reinforcing the "4th R," with keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Murphy, Executive Coordinator for Educational Outreach and Faculty, Arizona State University.

  10:15 am


  10:30 am

Concurrent workshop session 1 or conference strand on Trauma Informed Practices (must pre-register)

  11:45 am

Lunch and networking

  12:45 pm

Concurrent workshop session 2 or return to Trauma Informed Practices

  2:00 pm


  2:15 pm

Concurrent workshop session 3 or return to Trauma Informed Practices

  3:45 pm

Certificates and adjournment available at the registration table

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

Morning Presentation

Keynote: Readiness from the Inside Out: Reinforcing the "4th R"

Today, the traditional educational system focuses on data—local, state and national test scores; grades; graduation rate; drop-out rate; school label … and the list goes on. As educators, we know that this data is directly correlated to the social and emotional factors that play a role in the lives of our students. Social-emotional well-being equates to better academic performance—we all know this. Why, then, does our primary focus remain on the 3 Rs … reading, writing, and arithmetic? Why are we not placing emphasis on a skill that, based on solid research, can lead to improved academic performance? Why are we not demanding the addition of a 4th R … reflection? Specifically, self-reflection. 

The principles behind Johari’s Window can be explored and implemented in various student settings, including high school counseling curriculum and college infrastructure, to afford students meaningful reflection that leads to meaningful college and career preparation. This is accomplished by focusing on a skill we fail to train our students to master: metacognition, thinking about how they think and feel. We teach methods for improving a student’s critical thinking, rhetorical analysis, creative thinking, comprehension, and problem-solving skills; but we rarely, if ever, work with our students to develop and master the art of self-reflection. Acknowledging the relationship between student success and the value of a student’s metacognitive skills can increase academic, interpersonal, and emotional resiliency for college and career success and retention. Research clearly demonstrates that college and career readiness encapsulates far more than traditional cognitive skills and, as educators, we must recognize that true success involves the whole student and is multidimensional. 

This keynote presentation will address the ways in which Johari’s Window can serve as a structure for infusing self-reflection and metacognition into classroom activities with students. Conference participants will:

  • explore critical non-cognitive skills necessary for college readiness and retention
  • learn about best practices that can enhance understanding of ways to develop programs/curriculum that infuse the fundamental principles of Johari’s Window
  • be guided through a series of activities that can be incorporated into your classroom curriculum, workshop series, and/or small group presentations in a variety of settings
  • receive copies of all activities shared within the keynote address

ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Dr. Jennifer Murphy, Ph.D., NCC

Dr. Jennifer Murphy currently serves as an executive coordinator for Educational Outreach with Access ASU and as a faculty member within the College of Integrated Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University. She is also an adjust faculty member at Scottsdale Community College. Dr. Murphy collaborates with university and school district leadership, staff, students, and parents to supplement, enhance, and expand college readiness efforts within local junior and senior high schools in Arizona.

s a former high school counselor for 15 years, Dr. Murphy focuses her college readiness outreach on increasing the metacognitive skills of students to build grit and resiliency for postsecondary success by exploring and strengthening emotional intelligence, while focusing on the core areas based on the Johari's Window psychological tool. As a faculty member at Arizona State University, Dr. Murphy’s of emphasis/research include emotional intelligence, mindset, and the practical application of Johari's Window as a self-discovery and professional team-building tool. As a result, several Arizona school districts have hired her to provide professional development and school-wide staff trainings in these areas. 

Dr. Murphy has served as a conference presenter at both local and national events, including the 2018 NPEA Conference, the 2018 Arizona ACT Conference, the 2017 National NCAN Conference, and the 2016 Arizona School Counselor's Association Conference. She also works as a corporate trainer with the Maricopa Corporate College, where she focuses on the areas of emotional intelligence in the workplace and cultivating effective teams. Dr. Murphy has recently been contracted by an Arizona school district as a private consultant to assist in the redefining of high school counseling department roles, responsibilities, policies, and procedures.

All-Day Strand

Keynote: Trauma-Informed Practices: Neuroscience and Applicability


NFI Vermont has developed a trauma-informed program that explores 7 core components critical to developing trauma-informed organizations. This workshop will provide an overview of these core components, with a primary focus on the ways in which chronic and protracted exposure to stressors during critical brain development can derail child development across multiple domains. These impact areas are often referred to as the “7 domains of impairment.” During this foundational training, 5 out of the 7 domains will be explored: biology and the brain, behavior, attachment and relationship, cognition and learning, and affect and feelings. Practical strategies for providing individual, group, classroom, and system interventions will be taught and practiced in order to support the strengthening and development of resilience, executive functioning skills, emotional regulation, and healthy relationships. In addition, we’ll examine the secondary impact that developmental trauma can have on adults and other clients. Participants will leave with an increased understanding of the neuroscience behind the impact of developmental trauma, increased capacity to implement practical strategies for mitigating the impact of developmental trauma on client functioning, and heightened awareness of the need for self-care when working with clients with traumatic content. 

Presenter: Kym Asam, LICSW Regional Director of Schools and Clinical Programming, Northeastern Family Institute 

Session 1 Concurrent workshops or all-day strand

Nurturing Practices for a Healthy and Sustainable Core Team


Maintaining healthy local Core Transition Teams isn’t an easy undertaking; the work requires ongoing efforts on behalf of numerous people. Perhaps as a natural consequence, Core Team member attrition throughout the school year is all too common. Many of us grow tired from the deluge of other work commitments and forget the essential purpose of Core Team collaboration. To help keep our Core Teams strong in Vermont, this presentation will introduce attendees to one team’s way of managing the demands of this ongoing commitment, and will engage participants in experiential activities that explore the conceptual and practical implications of what it means to stay connected. There will be an opportunity to share the challenges you face and and the solutions that have worked for your team. Together we’ll work to come up with solutions to problems around engagement and commitment in each unique community. Come relish in the privilege and potential that lies within inter-agency connection made possible by Core Transition Teams.

Presenters: Kate Stevens, Transition Counselor, VocRehab Vermont; Darcy Oakes, STEPS Program Coordinator, Southern Vermont College; Judy Carriere, Transition Coordinator, Kindle Farm School; Corey Ickes, DS Employment Manager, Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services

Keynote Follow-up


Today, the traditional educational system focuses on data—local, state, and national test scores; grades; graduation rate; drop-out rate; school label … the list could go on. As educators, we know that this data is directly correlated to the social and emotional factors that affect the lives of our students. Social-emotional well-being equates to better academic performance—we all know this. Why, then, does our primary focus remain on the “3 Rs”… reading, writing, and arithmetic? Why are we not placing emphasis on a skill that, based on solid research, can lead to improved academic performance? Why are we not demanding the addition of a “4th R”… reflection, specifically self-reflection?

Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Murphy, Executive Coordinator Educational Outreach ACCESS ASU, Faculty, Arizona State University

Burlington City and Lake Semester at Burlington High School


This workshop will share the process used in designing Burlington City and Lake Semester at Burlington High School. Burlington City and Lake (BCL) is an intensive, immersive, place-based semester program that will begin in the fall of 2018. We’ve been designing BCL with students, community partners, and teachers for more than a year in order to offer students another path toward proficiency-based graduation expectations at BHS. BCL will be based in downtown Burlington, providing students with an exciting opportunity to pursue their education in the real-world environment of their hometown. Students will build community by engaging in their community, and will gain global citizenship skills as they explore natural and cultural systems. As they connect their education to the unique people and places of Burlington, students will find new purpose as learners and citizens, and will develop a powerful sense of agency and stewardship. During the session, we’ll discuss proficiency-based education and ways to create community partnerships for learning outside of the school. We’ll share our journey, including barriers and successes, and we hope to continue to learn with attendees of our workshop. 

Presenter: Signe Daly, Project Team Manager, Burlington High School

Creating Effective and Sustainable High-Quality, Expanded School Learning Opportunities


Using the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont as a model, this workshop will define key components of a high-quality, expanded school learning opportunity and will identify GIV outcomes that are lasting and positive. As a group, we’ll discuss what students are learning from these opportunities and ways to incorporate this learning back into the classroom and our school community. We’ll also explore programming ideas that can meet the needs of both our students’ interests and the workforce development needs of the state. Come prepared to share your ideas and thoughts on this topic so we can all come away having learned achievable action ideas for progress and improvement.

Presenter: Susie Moakley, Program Manager, The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont 

The Vermont Economy: What’s the Buzz on Jobs and Skills in Demand


Join Mathew for this annual discussion on national and state economic trends, highlighting industry, occupation, and skill information that will assist in working with individuals interested in their future.

Presenter: Mathew Barewicz, Economic and Labor Market Information Chief, Vermont Department of Labor

The Mosaic Student Summit Process: Leveraging Strengths, Raising Aspirations, Getting Results


The Mosaic Student Summit, a planning tool designed to help teams engage in long-range planning for students, is focused on amplifying strengths and supporting areas of challenge opportunities for growth. The Mosaic Student Summit is founded on the premise that we excel by amplifying strengths, not by fixing weaknesses. Stories that highlight students’ moments of greatest success and joy in learning, whether academically or socially, offer invaluable insight for creating effective and meaningful instruction. As we discover our students’ unique strengths and abilities, we discover meaningful ways to engage them in active learning and enhance their classroom and community experiences. The Mosaic Student Summit Process is a celebration of the student. It’s an ideal tool to use when: 

  • your team needs clarity and direction in future program planning
  • students are at critical transition points or milestone junctures (changing grade levels or schools, graduating, or moving into adult services, for example)
  • you want to strengthen (previously strained?) relationships among team members or introduce new members to the team

Presenter: Michelle Irish, Director of Innovation Development & Schools, Mosaic Learning Center

Session 2 Concurrent workshops or all-day strand

Training Interns and Partnering for Success (TIPS)


The statewide TIPS Internship Program is managed by Careers CLiC and funded primarily by the McClure Foundation, the Vermont Department of Labor, and VSAC GEAR UP. Join us to learn how the TIPS program is:

  • advancing college and career readiness for over 300 Vermont students in 29 high schools
  • measuring student attainment of transferable skills outlined in the Vermont Education Quality Standards
  •  applying towards proficiency-based graduation requirements incorporating work-based learning experiences into student personalized learning plans;
  • engaging more than 160 employers statewide
  • aligned with Act 77 and the Vermont Agency of Education Work-based Learning Standards 
  • delivering high-quality work-based learning experiences for youth that meet all state guidelines

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: Kathi Terami, Executive Director, Careers CLiC; Amy Tietjan Smith, Operations Manager, Careers CLiC

Schools, VocRehab, VABIR, and Linking Learning to Careers (LLC) as Partners to Support Transition for Students with Disabilities


The workshop will illustrate the supports and services that can be offered to students. The group will split into 4 groups that will follow four theoretical 10th graders in a mainstream school through the transition process. The goal is to highlight primary messages (effective communication, the right supports at the right time, and the different pathways to careers) with active engagement from all participants. All student biographies for the groups will be demographically similar. 

Presenters: Kara Haynes, Transition Counselor, Bennington VocRehab; Diane Torres, Young Adult Counselor/LLC Career Consultant, Bennington VocRehab; Melissa RobideauYouth Employment Specialist, Bennington VABIR; Robbe Mara, Local Special Educator/Work Based Learning Coordinator

Vermont Profile of a Graduate 


As Vermont moves towards a proficiency-based and personalized system of education, we need to develop a shared understanding of the skills, abilities, and knowledge that all students need in order to be successful in life after graduation. This workshop will be an opportunity for educators to contribute to that image by refining the Vermont Profile of a Graduate. Participants will examine potential jobs of the future in order to help us think beyond our current expectations. We’ll discuss and identify the skills, knowledge, and abilities that are essential for a successful life in the 21st century for all of Vermont’s young adults. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and having you contribute to this work. 

Presenter: Pat Fitzsimmons, Proficiency-Based Learning Team Leader, Vermont Agency of Education

STEM Pathways: A McClure Foundation Project 


STEM Pathways is an after-school, work-based program that is currently supporting 45 rural high school students who are teaching STEM experiences (with a focus on engineering) to elementary youth at five 21st-century Community Learning Center programs in Vermont. Teens are trained in STEM content, facilitation skills, job expectations, and strategies in order to support elementary youths’ emerging social emotional development. Teens are paid by the after-school program to attend STEM trainings, participate in job skill coaching, and shadow after-school staff. After an introductory period, teens are paired and team-teach up to 10 weekly sessions of the after-school version of the nationally recognized Engineering is Elementary curriculum, Engineering Adventures. Teens will work an average of 25 hours with youth and participate in more than 30 hours of training, coaching, and peer reflection. All teens will complete the PEAR (Partnerships in Education and Resilience; visit thepearinstitute.org) retroactive survey measuring transferable skills, as well as career pathways, confidence in teaching STEM, and their emerging STEM identity. This session will explore the elements of the program, highlights, challenges, and opportunities for scaling up and replication. 

Presenter: Tracy Truzansky, Project Manager for Training and STEM Initiative, Vermont Afterschool, Inc.

Raising Aspirations: A Vermont Perspective 


Employers tell us that 70 percent of the jobs of tomorrow will require a postsecondary degree or credential. Yet, the postsecondary aspirations, retention, and completion rates of Vermont’s youth indicate that without action, we’ll fall well short meeting these workplace needs. Increasing aspirations and postsecondary attainment is critical to Vermont’s economic and civic vitality. Join us to learn where Vermont stands and how together we can dispel the myths about postsecondary education and create opportunities for Vermont youth to gain access to and ultimately complete a program that helps each of them fulfill their hopes and dreams.

Presenter: Tom Cheney, Director, 70X2025VT

Gender: It’s Complicated 


High school and college students today are reading, writing, talking, and living their own genders and sexualities in ways that go beyond ideas once explored only by philosophers and scientists. These young people are exploding three gender myths that my generation took for granted:

  1. Gender is binary (either man or woman).
  2. Gender and sex are interchangable (e.g., male genitals = boy/man).
  3. Gender is fixed (stays the same throughout your lifetime).

In order to work well with today’s young adults, education professionals need to understand what’s wrong with the form language we see too often, “Sex/Gender: M or F (circle one).” There have always been people who did not fit into this dichotomy, and today systems and public dialogue have begun to grapple with more complex notions of gender identity. Education professionals must strive to be at the forefront of this social revolution if they hope to provide meaningful guidance to the young people who rely on them. This workshop will provide participants with up-to-date information and opportunities for colleagues to work individually and together to deepen their understanding and strengthen their skills relating to gender identity.

Presenter: Dot Brauer, Retired, Former Director, UVM LGBTQA Center 

Session 3 Concurrent workshops or all-day strand

Unleashing the Power of Partnership for Learning 


The workshop will explore how the M3 initiative trains and supports youth as peer-to-peer messengers during advisories to share the latest research on mindsets, metacognition, and motivation. We’ll examine how youth team with adult partners to create a culture shift in their schools that supports student engagement and self-efficacy, builds intrinsic motivation, and fosters a growth mindset for both educators and students. We’ll also discuss how this work creates a bridge between learners and teachers, fostering shared responsibility for learning and increased student ownership. Additionally, the workshop will explain how adult team members advocate for a shared “language of learning” that is sustainable and becomes part of the learning culture over time. 

Presenters: Helen Beattie, Executive Director, UP for Learning; Bruce Perlow, Associate Director, UP for Learning; Karen Scott, Administration and Program Director, UP for Learning

The Maker Mindset: Strategies for Promoting a Growth Mindset through Making and Makerspaces 


The maker moment has recently bubbled to the surface in schools and communities, both rural and urban. Maker education fosters the “maker mindset,” a growth mindset, by encouraging curiosity, creativity, tinkering, collaboration, and iterative learning. In the makerspace environment, participants learn to think divergently while taking risks in creative problem-solving, providing an authentic preparation for navigating real-world complexity. This workshop explores the methodology of the makerspace, discussing current and (future) community maker opportunities, while exploring and investigating advancements on the technical horizon. We’ll also provide strategies and experiential activities to assist educators, mentors, and community and business leaders in promoting the maker mindset in their communities and individual group environments. Participants will have the opportunity to share their own best practices and generate new ideas with practical applications toward increasing motivation and higher achievement for students.

Presenter: Andy Mosedale, Mosedale Integrated Solutions

Exploring the Possibilities of Job Corps: College Isn’t for Everyone 

HIGH SCHOOL and general focus

Job Corps program, a national program in existence for more than 50 years, is a technical training program for moderate-income youth ages 16–25. The program offers a high school diploma or GED for those who didn’t receive either. Residency on campus is provided, and nine trade options are available in Vermont. Job Corps has over 125 different locations across the country to accommodate interests if they’re not available in Vermont. We work with community partners to offer work-based learning opportunities. Knowledge is power!

Presenter: Alicia Grangent, Center Director, Northlands Job Corps

Leveraging College and Community Partnerships to Enhance Educational Pathways 


This workshop examines exploratory learning and exposure across various grade levels. We’ll discuss strategies for strengthening and expanding strategic school-community partnerships, as well as provide specific examples of programs and events to align with personalized learning plans.

Presenter: Betsy Dunham, Director of Career Development Internships, Southern Vermont College

Building Relationships, Relevant Learning, and Student Choice 


In this workshop, participants will learn how a group of teachers at Burlington High School developed a new way to end each school year. The Year End Studies, or Y.E.S. session, was developed to provide all students with new learning opportunities that they may not otherwise have been exposed to in a different educational setting. Y.E.S. promotes new relationships between students, teachers, and community members, offers curriculum that is not typically offered during the earlier part of the school year, and provides students with a choice in the learning they’ll engage in for two weeks. During Y.E.S., students create new relationships, discover new interests, dig deeper into their passions, and celebrate and sharing their learning.

Presenters: Gretchen Muller, Year End Studies Co-coordinator, Burlington High School; Colby Skoglund, Year End Studies Co-coordinator, Burlington High School

TIPS Program Models in High Schools Across Vermont 


Hear from work-based learning coordinators, intermediaries, and others around the state who are collaborating with and customizing the TIPS Internship Program to fit the needs of their own high schools and regions. Participants will select from multiple round tables to have small-group conversations with professionals in the field of work-based learning and will learn how:

  • TIPS lesson plans are delivered in different formats
  • internship placements are managed in various regions
  • student proficiency of transferable skills is measured
  • work-based learning experiences are incorporated into personalized learning plans 
  • employers are engaged in both the TIPS career readiness course and internships

See the morning workshop description for more details on the TIPS program. Attendees can select either or both workshops.

Presenters: Kathi Terami, Executive Director, Careers CLiC; Loren Durand, Program Manager, Careers CLiC

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.