Crossing the Bridge to Effective Case Management: An Innovative Training Model Linda Keller, Ph.D., CRC, LPC Moira Przybylowski, M.S., CRC Julia Smith, Ph.D., CRC, LPC Dona Fuerst, M.A. Sheila Hoover, M.A., CRC
About WOU’s RCE Program • Small university in rural setting • RCE program in Dept of Special Ed • 3 Tenured faculty, 1 full time Adjunct • RC Cohort • RCD Cohort
About WOU’s RCE Program • 30 years in existence • Recipient of RSA grant support for 29 years • Began as an RCD program • 1990 added RC general option • 1999-2004 offered a distance learning cohort under CSPD long-term training • CORE accreditation since 1985
WOU’s RCE’s Graduates 2000-2006 STATS • Average number of students: 28 • 11 % students represent minority populations • 22 % students have disabilities • 98 % placement rate (2 % unable to work due to medical reasons) • 20-30 % students hired BEFORE graduation • 50 % of graduates hired by State VR
VR involvement: RCE Admissions RCE Advisory Council CORE/Program Eval Field training materials Guest Speakers Job Shadow Sites Internship Placement WOU involvement: State Rehab Council Membership OVRS Quarterly RCD/HH meetings RIPD Joint training ventures Ethics Medical Aspects History of Partnership
Building thePartnership Why have rehabilitation educators and state agencies chosen to partner in training graduate students? Formal partnership meeting 11/2003 Identify ways to strengthen existing opportunities in preparing qualified rehabilitation counselors to best serve people with disabilities from a variety of backgrounds to achieve independence and suitable employment.
Building the Partnership • Commitment to share resources • Commitment to continue with what’s working • Commitment to BUILD on partnership opportunities
Benefits of Partnership • Strategic planning • Promotes networking • Helps us look outside our own organization • Increased resources • Shared vision of counselor preparation
Designing a Solid Plan Linda 10
Refining the Blueprint Agreed to CO-DESIGN two new courses: • Advanced practicum course • Case management course
Why Case Management? RCE Advisory Council recommended: • Design a course with real world application • Include practicing professionals • In design • In actual provision of training • Include application of • Case management theory • Practice • Techniques (CORE standard)
Modeling the New CORE Standard SECTION C(e): General Curriculum Requirements, Knowledge Domains, and Educational Outcomes states: “the program shall provide ongoing opportunities throughout the course of study for interactive and collaborative experiences with individuals with disabilities in a variety of roles and settings”
Reinforcing the Connections Dona/Sheila 15
The Case Management Course • Developing course outline • Based on existing training from Washington DVR and Oregon OVRS • Taught by former VR counselors now working at administrative level in state VR • Emphasis on field-based scenarios from real cases (names changed for confidentiality)
The Case Management Course • Spans the entire VR process • Scenarios based on actual clients • Special focus on eligibility and IPE development • Emphasis on effective case documentation and decision making
The Case Management Course Sample exercise: Daria • Group process builds negotiation skills • Incorporates theory taught in previous coursework • Mimics peer-support case staffing/review common in the field • Requires students to view consumer’s needs holistically
Voices From the Bridge Moira 15
“The case management class opened my eyes to what VRCs really do on the job.” “I was able to walk into my internship with a competent knowledge…I required very little additional instruction to prepare me for my daily case management tasks.” Michelle Smith, WA DVR Counselor
Michelle Smith, WA DVR Counselor “I was surprised by the eligibility process. I had assumed [it] would be pretty black and white but soon realized it is not…discussing this in a group setting helped me grasp the ethical challenges that come with determining eligibility while in OOS.”
“The case management class provided a basic foundation of tools that I was able to understand and use during my internship at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Office.” Mahala Sloan, Alaska VR Counselor
“I enjoyed the hands-on work and the projects that were provided.” “I was able to apply my knowledge from this course to my internship.” Mahala Sloan, Alaska VR Counselor
“The class provided some of the most meaningful exposure to the VR process in the rehabilitation counselor program.” “[It] was a most essential class in preparation for vocational rehabilitation services delivery.” Amberly Ruck, Vocational Consultant
“The familiarization of ORCA ‘best practices’…played a large role in bridging the gap between the graduate program and work as an intern…and made [agency-based training during internship] easier to grasp or master.” Amberly Ruck, Vocational Consultant
Beyond the Bridge Julia 10
Advantages for Students • Capstone course • Last course before formal internship • Utilizes collective knowledge/skills from major RCE coursework • Jump start for internship – ready for cases • Hands-on opportunity with a “real life” automated case load • Ability to compare/contrast two different state agencies: one in order of selection (OOS) and one not in OOS
Advantages for VR State Agencies • Students arrive in the field with basic skills • Collaboration strengthens both the DSU and the training program • Easier to assess students’ potential as employees • “Hot topics” in the field are included in students’ professional development
Advantages for WOU RCE Program • Application of "best practices" from the field • New CORE standards support direct application to persons with disabilities • Evidence of partnering for RSA grants • Shared resources and expertise • Just plain "fun"
Lessons Learned • Expect the unexpected • Plan for the unexpected • Continuous quality improvement • Refine and update (surveys) Remember to have fun!
Changes for Future Course Offering • Move class for “lab day” to the state agency site (on-site computer usage) • Run through individual student ORCA case load the week before and the day before “lab day” • Continue to develop the course content based on feedback from former students • Adapt content to keep current with best practices, Federal Regulations, CORE Standards and other influences
How Will YOU Build Bridges? • What can you take to your home state? • Any ideas on what you might try to implement?