National Center on Secondary Education and Transition Skip navigation links and search engine to go to main content.

Site Index | Site Tour

    or   Search Tips

NCSET: Creating opportunities for youth with disabilities to achieve successful futures.

State Contacts
Web Sites

E-mail a link to this page to someone you knowE-News

December 2011 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


The OSEP Spanish Glossary Project
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has published a Spanish Glossary with over 200 IDEA-related terms translated from English to Spanish. The glossary was developed collaboratively and included the perspectives of Parent Centers and families of children and youth with disabilities representing various Spanish speaking backgrounds and home countries.


USDOL, Facebook, and Workforce Organizations Launch Social Jobs Partnership
U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis, has announced a partnership between The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL); the online social networking company Facebook, Inc.; National Association of State Workforce Agencies; Direct Employers Association; and National Association of Colleges and Employers to provide employment resources to job seekers. As part of the partnership, Facebook has created a “Social Jobs Partnership” Facebook page highlighting available training programs, educational opportunities, and job search resources. Partner organizations will conduct in-depth survey research on how job seekers, college career centers, and workforce recruiters use social networks; explore how job postings can be shared on Facebook and through other social Web sites; and distribute educational materials about the utility of social networks to recruiters, government agencies, and job seekers.

Calls to Participate


Harvard Family Research Project Seeks Out-of-School Time (OST)/Expanded Learning Program Directors to Pilot Afterschool Evaluation 101
The Harvard Family Research Project is seeking out-of-school time (OST)/expanded learning program directors to pilot Afterschool Evaluation 101: How to Evaluate an Expanded Learning Program. To be released in December 2011, “Afterschool Evaluation 101” will be a tool designed to facilitate OST program evaluations. Program directors who are either in the beginning stages of planning an evaluation, or already in the process of conducting one, and who think Afterschool Evaluation 101 could help inform their evaluation, and are willing to provide feedback on their experience using it, are invited to apply. The Project will offer a small stipend in thanks. Deadline for applications: December 20, 2011.


NCWD/Y Seeks Participants for Guideposts for Success Feedback Survey
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Y) is conducting an online survey to learn whether and how individuals and organizations use the Guideposts for Success, a national framework that identifies what all youth need for successful transition to adulthood. The survey is online at the link. Deadline for responses: December 22, 2011.


Participants Sought for Survey on Mentoring Services for High-Risk Youth
The National Mentoring Partnership, Global Youth Justice, and the National Partnership for Juvenile Services are conducting a survey to improve the design and delivery of mentoring services for youth at risk for delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse, truancy, and other problem behaviors. Results will be included in a research report and in training and technical assistance materials, which will be free and available online. The survey is funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Mentoring and juvenile justice professionals working in detention, corrections, probation, dependency courts, delinquency courts, and teen court/youth court diversion programs are encouraged to participate.


PEPNet Training Institute at AHEAD 2012
The PEPNet 2.0 Training Institute (PTI) is seeking proposals for presentations for the first ever PEPNet 2.0 National Conference, to be held in conjunction with the Association of Higher Education and Disabilities (AHEAD) 2012 Conference in New Orleans, LA, July 9-14, 2012. Papers should address issues related to enrolling, retaining, and instructing students who are deaf or hard of hearing or to the varying communication needs of, and methods used by, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, such as oral transliteration services, cued language transliteration services, sign language transliteration and interpreting services, and transcription, Information about the PEPNet Training Institute at AHEAD 2012 in New Orleans is now posted. Deadline for proposals: January 5, 2012.


U.S. High School Students: Spend a Funded Semester Abroad
Through international exchange, youth with disabilities have the power to dispel stereotypes and challenge personal assumptions about cultures in other parts of the world. Through the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, 55 American high school students, ages 15-18.5, can apply for a scholarship to study in a country with a significant Muslim population, including Egypt, Ghana, India, Malaysia, Morocco, and others. The program encourages students with disabilities to apply to attend high school and participate in cultural and leadership activities in a YES program country in the 2012-13 school year. Deadline: January 11, 2012.

^ Top of Page ^

The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Preparing for Postsecondary Education  (2011)
NCSET Web Topic
This NCSET Web Topic, directed at students, teachers, and parents, provides an overview of self-advocacy, rights, responsibilities, and other issues students with disabilities need to think about when considering postsecondary education. Like all NCSET Web topics, it includes an introduction, frequently asked questions, related research, emerging practices, Web sites, and additional resources.

Other National Resources


America’s Literacy Directory  (2011)
Online Directory
“America’s Literacy Directory” is an online data directory to help learners find local literacy programs that provide help with reading, writing and math skills, GED preparation and testing, English as a second language programs, and citizenship or civics education.


Autism Internet Modules  (2011)
These modules on a variety of topics were developed by the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence in partnership with others to provide information on the assessment and identification of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), recognizing and understanding behaviors and characteristics, transition to adulthood, employment and numerous evidence-based practices and interventions.


Casey Family Programs Updates Providing Effective Financial Aid Assistance to Students from Foster Care and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth  (October 2011)
“Providing Effective Financial Aid Assistance to Students from Foster Care and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (Version 2.0)” has been updated by NASFAA, The California Community College Chancellor’s Office, and Casey Family Programs to comply with the current FAFSA. It provides information for anyone who helps youth from foster care and unaccompanied homeless youth to secure financial aid for postsecondary education or training programs on how to respond to the 2011-2012 FAFSA questions 52-57 that determine federal financial aid dependency status for these students. Also included is a section on sensitive communications, developed with input and guidance from students. This guide will is useful for college financial aid professionals, independent living coordinators, guidance counselors, financial aid counselors, social workers and advocates who are helping youth to secure the maximum allowable financial aid.


Casey Family Programs Updates Supporting Success: Improving Higher Education Outcomes for Students from Foster Care  (December 2010)
“Supporting Success: Improving Higher Education Outcomes for Students from Foster Care (Version 2.0)” provides program development information and tools for college student support services, administrators, advisors, financial aid counselors and advocates. Background information, recommendations, strategies and model program examples are provided to assist colleges in improving their support for students coming from foster care.


Centers for Youth with Disabilities, Parents, and Professionals Working in Transition and Employment Planning  (2011) PDF document
Research Briefs
The “VR Research in Brief” series is designed to summarize current research findings in topics of expressed interest by the TA Network membership. The briefs analyze the implications of the research findings for vocational rehabilitation service providers, partners, and systems, and are prepared by experts in the field in coordination with the NTAC. “Centers for Youth with Disabilities, Parents, and Professionals Working in Transition and Employment Planning” provides information on Rehabilitation Services Administration Parent Training resources. Available in pdf (290 KB, 3 pp).


Communities of Color and Public School Reform: Findings from Qualitative and Quantitative Research Conducted May-June 2011  (2011) PDF document
Research Report
In “Communities of Color and Public School Reform: Findings from Qualitative and Quantitative Research Conducted May-June 2011,” the Campaign for High School Equity found that African-American and Latino parents and caregivers perceived high dropout rates and low college attendance as problems and were highly committed to ensuring the educational success of their children, but were unaware of the larger public school reform movement. The parents’ commitment to the goals of a strong education and college degrees for their children offers an opening to engage them in a collective, coordinated effort to hold the educational system accountable for more effective and inclusive reforms and innovations. The research is available in pdf (194 KB, 53 pp).


Community Schools Strategy Made Easy  (2011)
The Coalition for Community Schools has released “Scaling Up School and Community Partnerships: The Community Schools Strategy,” an interactive web-based tool to help school and community leaders at different points in planning for, implementing, and sustaining a community schools strategy to understand the community school strategy and learn about building a system of community schools. The guide draws from the work of local community schools initiatives that directly affect student achievement, attendance, family engagement, and other factors. It presents end-state benchmarks for scale-up, and includes stories from successful community school systems, as well as videos of community leaders talking about scale-up, literature on scale-up stories, and answers to questions about each scale-up stage, using LinkedIn.


Crime during the Transition to Adulthood: How Youth Fare as They Leave Out-of-Home Care  (2011)
The transition to adulthood is complex period for all youth, and may be particularly difficult for youth aging out of the child welfare system. In “Crime during the Transition to Adulthood: How Youth Fare as They Leave Out-of-Home Care,” Chapin Hall researchers examined criminal behavior and criminal justice system involvement among a sample of 732 youth in three states transitioning from out-of-home care to adulthood, findings that foster youth, like their peers, engaged in less crime over time as they move into adulthood. While foster youth reported more crime than their peers as they approached the transition, by age 19 and 21 there were few differences between the groups, yet foster youth remained much more likely than their peers to be arrested. The report called for renewed efforts to minimize the placement instability that often characterizes the lives of those in care.


Department of Education Answers Questions on Secondary Transition in Updated Guidance  (June 2009) PDF document
Q&A Document
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has issued “Questions and Answers Document on Secondary Transition” to provide guidance on identifying postsecondary goals in training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living. Available in pdf (32.8 KB, 7 pp).


Department of Justice Video on Tribal Youth and Their Communities  (October 2011)
Public Service Announcement Video
The U.S. Department of Justice has released “That’s My People,” a public service announcement video on the issues that tribal youth identified as important to address with their tribal leaders. “That’s My People” was developed and filmed at the 2011 National Intertribal Youth Summit at the Santa Fe Indian School in Santa Fe, NM, and is available online.

^ Top of Page ^

What's Happening

Other National Events


Lunch with an Expert: Autism and Challenges of the Holiday Season
Web-based Event
December 6, 2011
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM   (Eastern)
The Special Learning Webinar Series will present “Autism and Challenges of the Holiday Season.” Holiday fun and excitement can be challenging, what with rushing, shopping, cleaning, traveling, etc., and especially so for families with children with Autism. Jennifer LaLuzerne, a Clinic Director at Step by Step Academy, Inc., will discuss coping with these challenges.

How to Use the Early Warning System Middle Grades and High School Tools to Keep Students on Track for Graduation
Web-based Event
December 7, 2011
3:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
The National High School Center’s new Early Warning System Middle Grades (EWS MG) Tool and enhanced Early Warning System High School (EWS HS) Tool are Microsoft Excel-based tools that use data such as attendance, course failures, grade point average, credit accumulation, and behavior to identify middle grade and high school students who show early warning signs that they are at risk for dropping out of high school. The Center is sponsoring webinars on the use of these tools. In “How to Use the Early Warning System Middle Grades and High School Tools to Keep Students on Track for Graduation,” National High School Center staff will provide an in-depth demonstration of the EWS MG and EWS HS tools, highlight key features of the tools, and take questions. Deadline for registration is December 5, 2011.

Hybrid Learning Pushes Personalization Forward
Web-based Event
December 7, 2011 - December 8, 2011
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
Hosted by, this webinar on Hybrid Learning Schools will discuss how to use technology, especially blended learning, to personalize education and raise student achievement. Schools are moving beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to education toward greater efforts to differentiate learning for each student, and many educators are using technology to help personalize learning, blending face-to-face instruction with electronic resources, from online courses complete with online teachers to digital curricula that enhance or reinforce classroom learning. These approaches must be carefully planned to maximize the benefits of digital content and online courses.

Strategies for School Turnaround: School and District Level Perspectives
Web-based Event
December 8, 2011
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp webinar series will discuss “Strategies for School Turnaround: School and District Level Perspectives,” on strategies at the school and district level to improve the most struggling schools. Presenters include two researchers and a practitioner from the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Expanded Learning Opportunities: A More Comprehensive Approach to Preparing High School Students for College and a Career
Web-based Event
December 12, 2011
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM   (Eastern)
The nation’s dropout rates and achievement gaps show that the American education system needs to better prepare students to meet postsecondary and career demands. Nearly three out of ten students fail to graduate from high school within four years, and jobs of the 21st century often require advanced knowledge and skills that. Expanded learning opportunities can help provide the flexibility in the planning and practice of when, where, from whom, and how students learn to prepare them to succeed in the changing economy. The Alliance for Excellent Education’s webinar highlighting its new issue brief, “Expanded Learning Opportunities: A More Comprehensive Approach to Preparing High School Students for College and a Career,” will explore how expanding the learning opportunities for high school students can help schools improve outcomes for students and address the barriers that hinder students from graduating.

Stories from the Field: Putting Early Warning Systems into Practice
Web-based Event
December 14, 2011
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM   (Eastern)
The National High School Center’s new Early Warning System Middle Grades (EWS MG) Tool and enhanced Early Warning System High School (EWS HS) Tool are Microsoft Excel-based tools that use data such as attendance, course failures, grade point average, credit accumulation, and behavior to identify middle grade and high school students who show early warning signs that they are at risk for dropping out of high school. The Center is sponsoring webinars on the use of these tools. In “Stories from the Field: Putting Early Warning Systems into Practice,” presenters from California and Virginia will discuss their experiences rolling out early warning systems and will take questions. Deadline for registration is December 12, 2011.

Inclusion: Information and Strategies You Can Use
Web-based Event
January 12, 2012
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM   (Eastern)
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) will present “Great Expectations: Meaningful Participation in General Education Settings,” in its series on “Inclusion: Information and Strategies You Can Use.” This webinar will present evidence-based strategies to facilitate the participation of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the general education curriculum and provide strategies that can be used across grade levels and with students with diverse needs

The Ins and Outs, Ups and Downs of Mentoring: Highlights from Two Emerging Programs
Web-based Event
January 18, 2012
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
This webinar, ssponsored by Think College, will offer information on mentoring programs, presented by two directors of programs for students with intellectual disabilities. Topics include Mentors and their different roles, Recruiting and Training Mentors, Matching Mentors and Students, Supporting Mentors, Benefits of Mentorship, and Assessment of Mentor Programs, as well as web and print resources on mentoring.

Effective District Planning: Insights from Successful Districts
Web-based Event
January 26, 2012
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
“Effective District Planning: Insights from Successful Districts” will discuss WestEd’s soon-to-be-released report, “Effective District Planning and the Required LEA Plan: Insights from Successful Districts.” Staff from selected study districts will join the authors to share key elements in planning and implementing improvement efforts to increase student achievement.

Finding Jobs for Students with Intellectual Disability: Where Do You Start?
Web-based Event
March 7, 2012
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
Without strategies and structure, the process of finding jobs for students with intellectual disabilities can seem daunting. This webinar, ssponsored by Think College, will offer information on the process of creating opportunities for students by. The first step is getting to know the students, with strategies for turning assessment and discovery options into skills for selling students to the perfect employer. Strategies for approaching employers, learning the skills to customize positions, and determining information needed to negotiate with employers.

Our World, Our Future National Service-Learning Conference
April 11, 2012 - April 14, 2012
Minneapolis, MN
Sponsored by the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) and youthrive, the Upper Midwest Affiliate of PeaceJam International, will hold “Our World, Our Future,” the 23rd Annual National Service-Learning Conference® and youthrive PeaceJam Leadership Conference, April 11-14, 2012, a service-learning professional development opportunity, for youth and practitioners involved in the service-learning movement. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Back on Track: Pathways through Postsecondary Jobs for the Future
Jobs for the Future works with districts, states, national youth-serving networks, intermediaries, and community colleges to reengage youth who are off track to graduation or out of school and put them on a path to postsecondary success. The JFF Web site offers a comprehensive range of services, tools, and resources.


SparkAction is an online journalism and advocacy center by and for the child and youth field. Its site and e-newsletters are a one-stop shop for news and tools to make a difference in the lives of children and youth, gathering and synthesizing the best information on a range of child and youth issues across the development spectrum, from organizations and leaders across the country.


The Center for Public Education
The Center for Public Education (Center) is a resource for information about public education and its importance to the well-being of the nation. The Center provides up-to-date research, data, and analysis on education issues and explores ways to improve student achievement and engage public support for public schools. The intended audience includes school board members and other policymakers, educators, community leaders, parents, and everyone concerned with children’s education. The Center is an initiative of the National School Boards Association (NSBA).



LD OnLine Newsletter
The LD OnLine Newsletter offers news about learning disabilities and ADHD information, events and advice, with articles, multimedia, columns, first person essays, children’s writing and artwork, a comprehensive resource guide, forums, and a Yellow Pages referral directory of professionals, schools, and products. The site offers information and resources on childhood, the transitions from school to college and from school to the workplace, and on the issues faced by adults with learning disabilities. LD OnLine is a national educational service of WETA-TV, the PBS station in Washington, DC.

^ Top of Page ^

Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


FY 2011-2012 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.


FY 2011-2012 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation: Christopher Columbus Awards
The Christopher Columbus Awards Program combines science and technology with community problem-solving. Students work in teams with the help of an adult coach to identify an issue they care about and, using science and technology, work with experts, conduct research, and put their ideas to the test to develop an innovative solution. Maximum award: $25,000 Foundation Community Grant and an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World to attend the program's National Championship Week, plus a U.S. Savings Bond of $2,000 for each student team member. Eligibility: middle-school-age (grades 6-8) children; teams do not need to be affiliated with a school to enter. Deadline: February 6, 2012.


Disney’s Planet Challenge
Disney’s Planet Challenge (DPC) is a project-based learning environmental competition for classrooms in the U.S. DPC teaches kids about science and conservation while empowering them to make a positive impact on their communities and planet. Maximum award: teacher, $6,000; classroom, $10,000. Eligibility: any classroom, grades 3-8, in a public or private school in the United States. (Second Grade classes can participate if in combination with a 3rd grade classroom.) Deadline: December 23, 2011.


EPA: Urban Waters Small Grants
Urban Waters Small Grants fund research, studies, training, and demonstration projects that will advance the restoration of urban waters by improving water quality through activities that also support community revitalization and other local priorities. The funding is part of the Urban Waters program of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve, and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Maximum award: varies. Eligibility: states, local governments, territories, Indian Tribes, and possessions of the U.S. (including the District of Columbia), public and private universities and colleges, public or private nonprofit institutions, intertribal consortia, and interstate agencies. Deadline: January 23, 2012.


Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Accepting Book Grant Applications From School Libraries
The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, a fund of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, seeks to promote love of reading by providing books and reading materials to the school libraries and students that most need them in the United States and its territories. Schools where a minimum of 50% of the student body qualifies for free or reduced-price lunches are eligible to apply for LBF regular grants. The foundation gives selection preference to schools in which 90% or more of the students receive free or reduced-price lunches. Grants of up to $6,000 are available to update, extend, and diversify libraries’ book and magazine collections. Only one application per school is allowed per year. Deadline: December 31, 2011.


Muzak Heart and Soul Foundation Invites Applications from Music Education Programs for Music Matters Grants Program
The Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation’s mission is to support music education. Through music education, a child can better achieve his/her full potential and stimulate personal and educational growth. Music Matters Grants for 2012 will focus on financial need in school and non-profit music programs throughout the United States. Grants will be awarded in April of 2012, with funds distributed by the end of 2012. Grant amounts for this cycle are up to $6,000 each and are made on an annual one-time basis. Programs should serve students in grades K-12. Deadline: February 17, 2012


National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award
The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award honors out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America's young people, particularly those from underserved communities. This award recognizes and supports excellence in programs that open new pathways to learning, self-discovery, and achievement. Maximum award: $10,000. Eligibility: programs initiated by museums, libraries, performing arts organizations, universities, colleges, arts centers, community service organizations, schools, businesses, and eligible government entities. Deadline: January 31, 2012.


Target Launches $5 Million Giving Competition with “Ellen DeGeneres Show”
Target will distribute $5 million in grants of $100,000 each to elementary and secondary schools recommended by viewers of the “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” as part of its pledge to distribute $1 billion in support of education by the end of 2015. To participate, viewers must submit through the show’s Web site the name of a school that needs help and a compelling story that explains why the school should receive a grant. From those submissions, Target will select fifty schools to receive a grant, which can be used for new books, upgraded technology, and other efforts designed to improve the school's learning environment. In addition, two schools will be featured on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show.” No deadline for application listed.


eCYBERMISSION is a web-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics competition in which students compete against other students in their grades for state, regional, and national awards. Teams consisting of 3-4 students and a team advisor work to solve problems in their community using the scientific method, scientific inquiry, or engineering design process. Maximum award: $24,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds. Eligibility: students grades 6-9. Deadline: December 16, 2011.


Youth Service America Offers Sodexo Youth Grants for Community Hunger Projects
Youth Service America and the Sodexo Foundation have announced they will award a hundred Sodexo Youth Grants of $500 each to youth-led service projects in the United States that address the issue of childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Day (April 20-22, 2012). The grant program seeks to fund service projects that engage students’ peers, friends, families, neighbors, Sodexo employees, and other community members in creative youth-inspired solutions to ending childhood hunger in their communities. Applicants must between the ages of 5 and 25. Deadline: January 17, 2012.

^ Top of Page ^

End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
You are welcome to copy and paste portions of this E-News issue into your own e-mail newsletter; however, please credit the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition E-News and link to as follows: “Excerpted from NCSET E-News, an electronic newsletter of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), available online at NCSET is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.”

Contributing to E-News
If you have information on new products, resources, funding opportunities, and conferences or training events and want to contribute these to a future E-News issue, please e-mail the information to or see Suggest an Item for E-News for more information.

Purpose of the Listserv
E-News features resources, activities, products, and funding information from around the country. E-News is dedicated to assisting youth, parents, educators, service providers, and administrators to stay connected and informed about secondary education and transition issues.

To Subscribe or Unsubscribe
To subscribe go to To unsubscribe (or remove yourself) from this list, please go to

E-News Disclaimer
The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition disseminates E-News to enhance public access to information about secondary education and transition activities. Our intention is to provide resources that are current and accurate. Although every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we can make no guarantees. We will, of course, make every effort to correct errors brought to our attention.

E-News was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Cooperative Agreement No. H326J000005). However, the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, or any of the six partners of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Note: There are no copyright restrictions on this document. However, please credit the source and support of federal funds when copying all or part of this material.

^ Top of Page ^

Publications  |  Topics  |  E-News  |  Events  | State Contacts

Web Sites  |  About NCSET  |  Home  |  Search

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
Institute on Community Integration
University of Minnesota
6 Pattee Hall
150 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis MN 55455

© 2001-2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Online Privacy Policy

This page was last updated on November 29, 2017.