The Plymouth State College School of Graduate Studies, received over $205,000 in grant funding to work with, and develop statewide programs in career transitions for students, teachers and displaced technology professionals.
“Our mission is outreach,” states Dennise Bartelo, associate vice president for graduate studies, “both statewide and in the local schools. Each of these grants enables us to research educational needs in specific areas so PSC can be helpful in developing programs to bridge the gaps and assist people in meeting their education and career goals.”
A $148, 685 Secondary Transition Grant has been awarded by the New Hampshire Department of Education to develop a pilot program in collaboration with Keene State College, the College for Lifelong Learning and Rivier College. The focus of the pilot is on transitions after high school for students with educational disabilities. Currently the program is working with Kerry Schnell, director of special education at Plymouth Regional High School, to help students explore their interests, skills and career development needs to make the transition to college or the work force. The program will move to the Governor Wentworth Regional School District next.
PSC’s Dr. Kathleen Norris, director of graduate programs and certification, is using funds from another grant, Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers for Technology, to also target transition planning for secondary special education students. The $13,905 grant awarded by the New
Hampshire Department of Education is being applied by PSC graduate students seeking certification in special education to turn integrated thinking maps into transitional plans for special education students. As a result of their work, they will be producing a digital video exhibit for the Apple Learning Interchange, an Internet based resource for teachers.
A $43,351 Career Change Project Grant for the New Hampshire Workforce Opportunity Council focuses on career transitions of displaced Internet and technology workers, by helping them obtain certification as computer technology teachers or in secondary education. This program is a collaborative effort with the New Hampshire Technical Institute and Project Lead the Way, a pre-engineering program.
PSC is also providing the programming for School Administrators Leading with Technology, a program of the New Hampshire State Department of Education funded by a Bill Gates Foundation grant. Twenty school administrators from the North Country and Lakes Region each receive a free laptop computer and attend four work sessions at PSC. Dr. Jeff Murray, graduate studies outreach coordinator, and Dr. David Hyerly, a visiting professor, teach the sessions that seek to help administrators use technology in planning, problem solving and curriculum development. As Murray puts it, “I come up with the problems and the participants use David’s Thinking Maps, a graphic organizing tool, to solve them collaboratively.”