Menta Academy Dekalb Transition

900 E Garden St, DeKalb, IL, USA
Contact: Selma Azdaic

The Menta Academy Dekalb Transition program is designed to prepare students for the post secondary opportunity that best meets their adult goals.  Students can work towards transition to college and technical schools, the trades such as automotive restoration, branches of the military, or gainful employment in the field of their choice.  Menta Academy utilizes the language of the workplace to emphasize the connections between their current learning environment and the expectations typical of the workplace.  There is a strong focus on job development and placement in entry level positions that will lead to gainful employment after high school.  

The goal of the transition program is to develop and facilitate skills necessary for young adults, ages 17 to 22, to handle the challenges of life transitions in a safe and nurturing environment. They are submersed in an environment rich in career exploration, skill development, health and wellness, behavior regulation, and independent living. Facilitators are committed to providing meaningful real world experiences, individualized for each young adult to maximize their level of independence.

All individuals experience transitions throughout their lives. Students and the staff who support them, explore various options in current or new environments in order to  determine the best match. For some youth, such as those with disabilities and others who face significant educational and vocational challenges, policy mandates and innovative practices are needed to ensure they learn the skills necessary to  reach optimal outcomes in the transition from one life role or environment to the next.

For those students that need more intensive transitional services a continuum of support is established once students have earned necessary credits and demonstrated self-management of behaviors, they then are taught to generalize classroom skills in a community setting. This continuum of placements within Menta allows students to acquire and practice new skills and behaviors in a safe environment. As students progress from a Menta classroom to transition services and then on to adult life, they are assessed on learned skills and behaviors through various methods.

Students advance through the continuum when they consistently no longer need intensive supports and can successfully demonstrate learned employability skills such as:

  • problem solving
  • effective communication
  • time-management
  • self-advocacy
  • community integration and transportation
  • adaptive living skills
  • related work behaviors such as grooming, hygiene, communication skills, following dress codes and workplace schedules, completing tasks, and taking initiative

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, students with disabilities may receive public education services until their 22nd birthday. While some students may continue to work towards a high school diploma, program options for 18 to 22 year olds generally focus on achieving Individual Educational Plan (IEP) transition goals. The ultimate goal of transition is the last day of school should resemble the first day of the rest of an individual’s life.

In 2014, our excellence in transition planning was awarded Illinois state recognition. The overarching goal is transition, be that reintegration, employment, post secondary learning or vocational training designed to enable a young adult to be a fully functioning, participating member of the community. Students, teachers and staff, and family members are all important participants in the on-going transitioning process that includes high expectations and thoughtful planning.

Program participation allows students to diversify their training and increase endurance and stamina while working progressively longer periods of time on site with the teacher, paraprofessional, or transition coach.   

Anticipated student outcomes of the transition program are:

At least 100% of the young adults participating in the program will leave the program with competitive employment.
At least 100% of the young adults entering the program will successfully complete the program.
At least 100% of the young adults entering the program will be able to coordinate and advocate with service providers independently.
At least 100% of the young adults entering the program will develop capacity to locate and access resources independently.
All students entering the program will show improved functioning in two or more life areas/transition domains (educational opportunities, employment and career, living situation, community-life functioning, and Personal Effectiveness and Well-being).

900 E Garden St, DeKalb, IL, USA, 41.922666, -88.7457164

Selma Azdaic


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To learn more about Menta Academy Dekalb Transition, please contact us.