What is Transition Pathway Services (TPS)?
The TPS Model Demonstration is a 5-year federal grant that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission received from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, in the U.S. Department of Education. It is a work based learning project that aims to enhance the competitive integrated employment and post-secondary enrollment outcomes of high school students with disabilities. There are currently 238 students participating (approx. 80 in each surrounding area of Lawrence, Roxbury and Springfield). The project utilizes a transition service model that coordinates vocational rehabilitation services, high school career planning, independent living peer model supports, and business engagement strategies throughout the last two years of the student’s high school experience. Work Based Learning Experiences (WBLEs) are customized around the student’s skills, interests and local opportunities using a team approach.
What are Work Based Learning Experiences (WBLEs)?
Work Based Learning is an educational approach or instructional methodology that uses the workplace or real work to provide students with the knowledge and skills that will help them connect school experiences to real-life work activities and future career opportunities. Examples of WBLEs include: paid internships, volunteer opportunities, job shadowing, informational interviews, employer presentations, office tours and so much more – be creative! Initial supports, on-going job coaching, and transportation assistance is available for students as needed during their WBLEs.
How can employers help?
This program relies heavily on real work experience and we need the help of employers in our community who are willing to provide any form of WBLEs for our students. The type, length and frequency of WBLEs are up to you – give an hour, a day, a week, a month or … a full internship experience, averaging 25-60 hours, with wages funded by TPS!
- Students are expected to complete two WBLEs (one paid) during the project so any opportunities you can provide are greatly appreciated.
- The sky is the limit on ideas and commitment level. TPS staff and employers will collaborate on what will work best for their students/company - including logistics.
- TPS will pay the student’s salary (at minimum wage) and cover liability insuran Students are hired by a staffing agency who pays the student’s wages weekly.
- Students attend mandatory work readiness training and soft skills sessions that cover various topics considered important in making employment successf
- Students are provided with initial and ongoing job supports as needed.
- Communication between TPS staff and employers is crucial, on-going and