Success for Occupational Area Readiness (SOAR)
The Success for Occupational Area Readiness (SOAR) Program is an initiative of Lively Technical College and The Leon County School District. The Leon County School District is committed to providing pathways to post-secondary education for all students. The district believes that it is important to address the need for postsecondary comprehensive programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The SOAR Program will be a collaborative partnership between the school district, Lively Technical College and community partners (Vocational Rehabilitation, Capital Region CareerSource, KEYS Big Bend). This partnership will provide inclusive post‐secondary technical education in state approved career certificate programs for persons with intellectual disabilities.
The program will provide direct support for students with trained personnel to assist with social skills, technical skills, interpersonal communication, and problem-solving skills. In addition, students will receive additional assistance for skills specifically related to their program of study. To ensure student success, students will have access to support structures designed to help the student meet his/her goals. Students will have access to the SOAR Program Coordinator as well as Student Services Staff, VR case manager, and/or relevant community support agency personnel. Students will create unique student success plans with the SOAR Program Coordinator designed to ensure student success.
The overall aim of SOAR is to provide career pathways to students with intellectual disabilities in an area that aligns with the student’s field of interest. The ultimate goal will be that 100% of students who enroll in SOAR will be able to secure gainful employment in their related industry.
Workplace readiness training will be provided by the program coordinator funded through grant dollars. The curriculum covered in the workplace readiness training will include self-advocacy, employment goals, work related soft skills, managing interpersonal relationships, personal productivity, workplace vocabulary, workplace required academics, managing personal finances, effective communication, effective decision making, critical thinking and effective use of technology.
Students will have the opportunity to select career training in one of six areas: Automotive Service Technology 1, Building Trades & Construction Design Technology, Nails Specialty, Facial Specialty, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration 1 and Fundamental Foodservice Skills. During their career training, students will be fully integrated with peers without disabilities. In addition, students will receive academic mentoring from a peer in their program of enrollment. The career training will cover workplace safety and the skills necessary for entry level employment in the chosen field. While attending the career training, students will have the opportunity to earn an industry certification related to their training which is recognized by local employers. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to apply for competitive employment.