“LIFE Academy” program to offer pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities

Calcasieu Parish School Board
Calcasieu Parish School Board(KPLC)
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 10:40 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish School Board, McNeese State University, and SOWELA Technical Community College have announced a partnership program aimed at providing access to pre-employment transition services to students with significant developmental and intellectual disabilities.

The LIFE Academy program outlines specific goals for these students as they prepare for life after school:

  • Career Education and Development: Career education, on-the-job training, and possible internships.
  • Academic Instruction: Observe and learn under college professors along with CPSB teachers.
  • Personal Development: Coaching and modeling social skills, financial instruction.
  • Social and Community Engagement: age-appropriate social activities, introduce them to college activities.
  • Independent Living: Life skills instructions including laundry, vacuuming, washing dishes, personal hygiene, etc.

Students are selected for the program based on set criteria and an application process.

Currently, ten students are enrolled at McNeese and ten are enrolled at SOWELA. CPSB provides transportation for these students to and from their educational sites and job sites. Students in the program receive college IDs and can participate in extracurricular functions. Basic materials are provided for students as well as lunch.

The schools say their plan is to grow LIFE Academy, expanding capacity and opening it up to even more eligible students. The target focus for students currently enrolled is for them to obtain a job in their credentialed area before turning 22 years old.