In 2013 the New Hampshire Department of Education (NH DOE), Bureau of Special Education was awarded a $3.8 million State Personnel Development Grant (Next Steps NH) from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The goal of Next Steps NH has been to increase the number of students with disabilities and/or at risk of dropping out of school that are college and career ready in NH.
The project has provided professional development and coaching to 16 selected New Hampshire high schools for the purpose of increasing the graduation rate of students with disabilities, and students at risk. This has been done through implementing evidence-informed transition planning practices that help students prepare for college, career, and adult life.
College and career readiness is not only an academic endeavor. Schools, students, and families must plan and work together to ensure successful transition. With this in mind, the NH DOE worked collaboratively with partners at New Hampshire Parent Information Center, New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation, regional intermediaries and other established professional development providers so that the activities developed by schools could be sustained over time.
The website nextsteps-nh.org is part of the project and houses all of the tools and resources developed as part of the project. The site is designed to help various users navigate its content by interest area:
- Students looking for resources to help to plan for life after high school, can access various tools and resources through the Student Portal.
- Educators and parents looking to help students plan for life after high school, can access various tools and resources through the Educator and Parent Portal.
- Mentors for students in the community helping prepare students for life after high school, can access tools and resources through the Community Partners Portal.
In addition, there are various Transition Tools available as well as a valuable Transition Planning Framework. The project site is updated as tools and resources associated with the project are developed and become available. Visit nextsteps-nh.org.