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Photograph representing student working on computer. Photograph representing mentor/student relationship using technology. Photograph representing student success in graduating high school and seeking employment.
Project Mission: Mentoring Through Technology to Promote Student Achievement

Iowa Paths, a Project Partner Go to Web site

About Us

Iowa Paths is a federally-funded systems-change project working to expand employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. This project is a cooperative effort between the Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Departments of Education, Human Services, Workforce Development and Human Rights.


Mission

Iowa Paths is based on the theory that where local effective teamwork develops, agency partners will have not only a better knowledge of services, but will also develop and strengthen professional relationships with their counterparts in other agencies to more effectively confront systems barriers. The overall goals of the project are:

  • To identify and reduce organizational barriers to competitive employment for targeted individuals with disabilities on public support through state-level interagency collaboration.
  • To identify and improve practices and processes for referring individuals with disabilities to various services in order to improve service delivery, tracking of client referrals, and employment outcomes.
  • To engage employers in providing employment opportunities to individuals through market-driven job development.


Reason for Involvement in this Project

Iowa Paths is working to identify barriers and to implement changes that will improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. In the early stages of this project, consumer focus groups were held throughout the state to identify such barriers. One key barrier identified by consumers relates to the issue of self-confidence and lack of a support system. We believe one strategy that could help to address this barrier is the creation of a statewide mentoring program. Through this program consumers with disabilities could draw helpful insights from professionals about job seeking, networking, and job-keeping skills.


Role in Connecting to Success

The Iowa Paths Systems Change Project, in collaboration with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, School-to-Work, Iowa Workforce Development, and Area Education Agencies, has acted as a facilitator to identify local communities willing to develop and test a model for e-mentoring in Iowa. At this point two local communities are receiving support to develop policies, procedures, and support/learning material. Iowa Paths will also assist in the development of a method of evaluation.


Contact Information

Barb McClannahan, Project Manager
510 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Phone: 515-281-0264
Fax: 515-281-4150
E-mail: bmcclannahan@dvrs.state.ia.us
Web: http://soe.drake.edu/iapaths/


Local Community Coordinators

Andrea Grupe, Project Manager
Making Connections
Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency
729 21st Street
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722-5096
Phone: 319-344-6569
Fax: 319-344-9951
E-mail: agrupe@aea9.k12.ia.us

Debbie Stevens, Coordinator
Success Center
124 North Market Street
Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577
Phone: 641-673-7629
Fax: 641-672-2047
E-mail: dstevens@oacdg.org

Tammy Rogers
Bettendorf Chamber of Commerce
2117 State Street
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722
E-mail: trogers@netexpress.net


Other Partners

The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
Achieve! Minneapolis
• Iowa Paths Systems Change Project
The Minnesota Department of Education
U. S. Department of Labor



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This page was last updated on October 2, 2007.