Today@Sam Article

New SHSU Center To Provide Support For Transition Services

May 3, 2017
SHSU Media Contact: Juila May

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The new Eleanor and Charles Garrett Center on Transition and Disability Studies will sponsored a one-day symposium in Houston on June 19. Among the topics that will be discussed are how to develop the continuum of services for adult students 18-21 to lessons learned from the perspective of rural and suburban school districts.

Approximately 8.5 percent of the more than 5.5 million students in Texas schools receive special education services, such as support in general education classes and specialized instruction. 

However, the disability also impacts adult life. Many individuals with disabilities have difficulty getting a job, attending postsecondary education, or being independent adults. To help facilitate positive post-school results for students, federal law requires school districts and other public education agencies to provide transition services.

Recently, the Sam Houston State University College of Education received approval to establish the Eleanor and Charles Garrett Center on Transition and Disability Studies. The center will be the first of its kind in Texas to have a dedicated focus on the practitioner aspects of transition services and will serve as a dedicated gateway of information for transition team members including educators, students with disabilities, their families, and agencies and community partners. 

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Dr. Vickie J. Mitchell

“We saw the need in the state of Texas to have a center dedicated to transition services, which are services provided in public schools to support the education of children with disabilities and facilitate the transition from public education to employment, postsecondary education or training, and, if appropriate, independent living skills,” said Vickie J. Mitchell, the Eleanor and Charles Garrett Endowed Chair in Special Education at SHSU and the co-director of the Garrett Center.

“Although there are universities in Texas that have centers dedicated to the field of disability studies, research and even transition research, there is not a center dedicated to practitioner transition issues,” Mitchell said. “There is a lot of information, but no central place for individuals who must access a multitude of websites in Texas or across the nation. Our goal is to have our website up and running on September 1 and grow our website resources over time for stakeholders in any role of transition services.” 

In addition to the website and other communication platforms, the Garrett Center will offer workshops and conduct research to improve services and outcomes for both children, youth and adults with disabilities. Currently, the Garrett Center has a Twitter account @GarrettCenter that is tweeting information regarding current bills in the legislature related to special education and transition. 

Additional leaders at the Garrett Center are co-director Jaimie Betancourt Durán, associate director Corinna Villar Cole, and assistant director Leena Landmark. 

​“​Public education is supposed to result in something for all children, including children with disabilities,” Mitchell said. “The goal of the Garrett Transition Center is to play a key role in supporting public schools to provide transition services, at all grade levels, that facilitate positive post-school results for children with disabilities.” 

One of the first events, will be the “18+ Symposium” on June 19. The one-day symposium is sponsored by the Eleanor and Charles Garrett Center on Transition and Disability Studies and will be held at the Region 4 Education Service Center in Houston. Session topics range from how to develop the continuum of services for adult students ages 18-21 to lessons learned from the perspective of rural and suburban school districts. To register, go to www.esc4.net and look for Session ID 1232373.

For more information, contact Vickie Mitchell at vmitchell@shsu.edu or call 936.294.3911.

 

 

 

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