Cassville offers work program for students with disabilities

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
University of Missouri PETS Specialist Amanda Jackson teaches Cassville High School freshman and sophomore students how to build a great resume through the PETS program, which stands for pre-employment transition services. Jackson visits the school district every three weeks, spending time with students as a group and individually about their future goals. Contributed photo

Transition services program will train students in 5 key areas

Cassville High School, in conjunction with the University of Missouri and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, is now offering pre-employment transition services (PETS) to freshman and sophomore students who are not yet eligible for the same services through Vocational Rehabilitation.

The program is supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and focuses on training students ages 16-21 with disabilities to ensure they receive skills and training to obtain their education and career goals.

University of Missouri PETS Specialist Amanda Jackson helps a Cassville High School student with an assignment during class. The PETS program helps freshman and sophomore students with disabilities who are not yet eligible for vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for and transition into their future career paths. Contributed photo

"I first learned of the MU PETS program at a workshop this fall," said Bob Deffenbaugh, Cassville High School transition coordinator. "The PETS program is designed to help our students with the transition from high school to work or college."

PETS focuses on providing hands-on support in five key areas: job explorations, work-based learning, counseling for post-secondary education, workplace readiness and instruction in self-advocacy, including peer mentoring.

"Our students involved in the PETS program will complete job shadowing, mock interviews and counseling that will benefit them when they leave CHS," said Jeff Swadley, principal. "We are excited to offer this valuable resource to our students and we hope they will take full advantage of this learning opportunity."

University of Missouri PETS Specialist Amanda Jackson visits the district every three weeks, and spends time speaking with students as a group and individually, about their future goals.

Transition Coordinator Bob Deffenbaugh and University of Missouri PETS Specialist Amanda Jackson oversee the PETS program, which stand for pre-employment transition services. Deffenbaugh said the program is designed to help freshman and sophomore students with disabilities make the transition from high school to work or college. Contributed photo

"It has been great getting to know the students and faculty at CHS," she said. "I would like to say thank you to Mr. Deffenbaugh for getting pre-employment services started at CHS, as well as to the office staff for always being so helpful."

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