The Transition Pathway Services (TPS) Model Demonstration is 5-year federal grant that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) received from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, in the U.S. Department of Education. The TPS aims to improve career and academic planning skills so that high school students with disabilities will be successful in achieving competitive integrated employment and post-secondary outcomes upon completion of their secondary education. MRC and partners will provide work based learning experiences and a menu of services to students. Through a person centered collaborative team based approach, students’ career goals are thoughtfully planned and supported.
MRC has dedicated TPS counselors in their Roxbury, Lawrence and Springfield offices serving the catchment areas in neighboring towns and cities. MRC will develop, implement, and evaluate a coordinated set of services and supports (listed below) provided by community partners, including independent living centers, career centers, pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) vendors, and more than a dozen local education agencies (LEAs).
MRC will support 651 students with disabilities over the life of the TPS Model Demonstration.
Transition Pathway Services Recruitment Video
Participating students have access to the following 10 identified TPS services and supports:
- Vocational Counseling
- Career Assessment
- Work Readiness Training
- Assistive Technology
- Transportation Coordination
- Benefits Counseling
- Family Support Transition Planning
- Peer Mentoring
- Customized job placement
- Work Experience (at least one paid)
Key project activities focus on:
- Increasing access for students with disabilities to comprehensive transition related supports, with a focus on work experience.
- Developing career discovery teams (CDTs) that bring together community partners to coordinate the delivery of TPS services and supports at the local level.
- Measuring impact of the TPS Model Demonstration by conducting formative, process and outcome evaluations.
- Based on the evaluation results, refining the TPS model in preparation for expansion to other MRC area offices and potential replication by other states.
Project partners include:
- MRC Offices (click here to see map of catchment areas)
- Roxbury Office
(Catchment area includes: Hyde Park, Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan and the South End of Boston)
- Lawrence Office
(Catchment area includes: Amesbury, Andover, Boxford, Bradford, Byfield, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Merrimac, Methuen, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, Rowley, Salisbury, and West Newbury.)
- Springfield Office
(Catchment area includes: Agawam, Blandford, Chester, East Longmeadow, Feeding Hills, Granville, Hampden, Huntington, Longmeadow, Montgomery, Russell, Southwick, Springfield, Tolland, West Springfield, Westfield and Wilbraham)
- Roxbury Office
- Independent Living Centers (ILCs)
- Northeast Independent Living Program - Lawrence
- STAVROS - Amherst
- Boston Center for Independent Living - Boston
- Career Centers
- School Districts in the Roxbury / Lawrence / Springfield MRC catchments areas
- Transition Specialists from the Federation for Children with Special Needs
- Transportation Coordinator
Students with disabilities age 16 who are two years from graduating high school and who live in the MRC office catchment areas are encouraged to contact MRC for more information. Students and their parents or guardians should contact Jennifer Stewart at the email or phone below.
As a TPS project partner, the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) will provide research and evaluation support, as well as technical assistance.
For more information, contact:
Jennifer Stewart, Statewide Transition Director
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Information about VR services for youth in transition: https://www.mass.gov/mrc-transition-services-for-students-and-youth
Funder Information: The TPS Model Demonstration is funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), in the U.S. Department of Education, Grant Award: H421B16000.