SALT LAKE CITY— TFS Scholarships (TFS), the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding, has launched a free online toolkit to provide counselors, families and students with resources to help improve the college scholarship search process. The toolkit, available at tuitionfundingsources.com/resource-toolkit, provides downloadable resources and practical tips on how to find and apply for scholarships.
The launch comes in celebration with Financial Aid Awareness Month when many families are beginning the FAFSA process and researching financial aid options.
“We hope these resources help raise awareness around TFS and the 7 million college scholarships available to undergraduate, graduate and professional students,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “Our goal is to help families discover alternative ways to offset the rising costs of higher education.”
The resource toolkit includes flyers, email templates, newsletter content, digital banners and table toppers which are designed to be shareable content that counselors, students and organizations can use to spread the word about how to find free money for college.
The newly revamped TFS website curates over 7 million scholarship opportunities from across the country – with the majority coming directly from colleges and universities—and matches them to students based on their personal profile, where they want to study, and stage of academic study. By tailoring the search criteria, TFS identifies scholarships that students are uniquely qualified for, thus lowering the application pool and increasing the chances of winning. By creating an online profile, students can find scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid. About 5,000 new scholarships are added to the database every month and appear in real time.
Thanks to exclusive financial support from Wells Fargo, the TFS website is completely ad-free, and no selling of data, making it a safe and trusted place to search.
TFS Scholarships (TFS) is an independent service that provides free access to scholarship opportunities for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Founded in 1987, TFS began as a passion project to help students and has grown into the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding. Today, TFS is a trusted place where students and families enjoy free access to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in college funding. In addition to its vast database that’s refreshed with 5,000 new scholarships every month, TFS also offers information about career planning, financial aid, and federal and private student loan programs as part of its commitment to helping students fund their future. Learn more at tuitionfundingsources.com.
Meet Jeff Staley. Jeff is from Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and is currently studying computer and information technology at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
Before graduating from Poolesville High School, Jeff earned 15 college credits from coursework in algebra, calculus, analytical geometry, and statistics. Jeff was accepted into The West Virginia Autism Training Center’s College Program for Student’s with Autism Spectrum Disorder following his junior year of high school. For five weeks, between the months of July and August, The College Program hosts a high school summer transition program, in which students who have been accepted by Marshall University take one college class of their choice, live in the residence halls, and participate in social skill development workshops and activities led by peer mentors and mental health counselors.
For the past 10 years, students have reported that this experience helped to ease the transition from high school to college by providing them with newfound self-confidence, autonomy, and understanding of the expectations of advanced learning.
Jeff spent the summer following his junior year of high school earning an additional three college credits in general psychology. During this summer experience, Jeff learned how to balance free time, live away from home, create and maintain peer relationships, and navigate a college landscape. Many people with autism spectrum disorder find comfort and reassurance in experiencing the physical layout of a new environment in advance, guided by a trusted professional who understands how anxiety producing establishing a new routine can be. Proper planning and anticipation of a change in routine can help alleviate the stress and anxiety related to it. The College Program recommends visiting a variety of college campuses to find out the types of supports that may exist to help with academic demands, social opportunities, and residence life needs.
An impressive 94 percent of students who have received services from The College Program have graduated or are currently on track to graduate from Marshall University.
The College Program is dedicated to create safe spaces for people with autism spectrum disorder throughout campus, in the community, and on the job. The College Program’s Allies Supporting Autism Spectrum Diversity movement works to educate people who wish to provide a safe and accepting environment for individuals living with autism spectrum disorder. The one-hour training provides participants with the opportunity to better understand challenges with social communication and provides practical ways in which to best communicate with someone on the autism spectrum. Many people are still afraid to talk to someone with autism because they don’t know what to say or how to best interact. Our advice? Don’t shy away. Invest time in learning more about how autism affects someone’s daily life. Oftentimes, they will thank you for it. Knowledge decreases the fear factor and leads to an environment where everyone can experience a life of quality.
People with autism, such as Jeff, can feel empowered by talking about how the disorder affects daily life. These conversations are at the crux of creating an inclusive campus culture. Neurodiversity is becoming better understood and sought after on campuses throughout the nation and beyond the graduation stage as employers are now seeking to hire people with autism. Employers are beginning to see the benefits of hiring someone with autism because they have established creative interviewing practices so that the candidate’s skill set is emphasized over their potential inability to maintain small talk.
Every June, for three weekdays, The College Program offers an employment preparedness workshop where participants have the opportunity to learn more about the job search process, cover letter and resume development, the proper use of social media, issues surrounding disclosure, self-advocacy skills, finance management, and the importance of networking. A panel of local employers from a variety of businesses and non-profit sectors participate to share the necessary skills to obtain and maintain employment. The College Program recognizes the importance of meaningful employment and the need that exists for practical information to assist students as they transition into more independent adults. What to learn more about Jeff? Check out marshall.edu/collegeprogram/employment-preparedness and watch the six-minute video about the Employment Preparedness Workshop.
To learn more about how to become an ally, participate in the employment preparedness workshop, or to apply to The College Program, please visit marshall.edu/collegeprogram or call 304-696-2332.
You know enough to regularly update you resume—so if you find a job posting you’re interested in, you’re halfway through the application process.The other half, of course, is your cover letter. If you have some time and are just rusty, you can make a game plan to write a draft, then take a break, and come back to it with fresh eyes.
But if you see the deadline to apply is just 30 minutes away, you don’t have any time to spare. Here’s how to write a cover letter that will bolster your application—in just half an hour. (And if you need to revamp your resume or prep for interview in the same amount time, look here and here.)
Minutes 1 Through 10: Write Down Your Main Points
Maybe it’s just me, but I often struggle the most on the opening line of a cover letter. I know I shouldn’t lead with “My name is…,” and I want something that’ll grab the hiring manager’s attention. But my quest for the perfect beginning can lead me to spend 15 minutes (or more) typing and deleting the same line over and over. (And at that rate, my 30-minute cover letter would be all of two sentences.)
So, skip the intro if need be, and just start writing about why you’re a great fit for the open position. Don’t stress about the very best way to phrase your current responsibilities. Just write down your main points.
Need a prompt? Answer these questions: What do you find most exciting (or interesting) about the position? What relevant experience do you have? What would you bring to the role (and/or company) that’s unique to you?
Definitely make sure to have your resume and the job description open or printed out next to you. That way you can glance over at both and make sure you’re highlighting the right experience.
Minutes 10 Through 20: Add in Examples
OK, so you’ve written out all of reasons why you’re perfect for the job. Now it’s time to make sure you’re on the same page as the hiring manager. How so? Go back to that job description.
Re-read what the position calls for. Did you mention the experience and skills they’ll be screening for? To connect the dots in a way that’s clear—but wouldn’t be confused with a laundry list—add in an example or two.
If the job calls for people skills, swap out the line that reads, “I have excellent people skills” with a line that explains how in previous roles you’ve managed relationships with board members, which taught you about working with opinionated stakeholders. Does the position call for someone with sales experience? An anecdote about how you’ve been in sales since you set up your first lemonade stand when you were seven years old is memorable.
Microsoft, Bank of America and CVS are just a few big companies that profit from their proactive employment practices.
For years, companies have maintained low expectations about hiring people with disabilities. Most of these companies believed that employees with disabilities could not perform well in the workplace and that actively hiring them would drag company performance and profits down.
Thankfully, over time, many employers have come to understand that these perceptions are untrue. And new research strongly suggests that the opposite — that hiring people with disabilities is good for business.
A recent study has shown, for the first time, that companies that championed people with disabilities actually outperformed others — driving profitability and shareholder returns. Revenues were 28 percent higher, net income 200 percent higher, and profit margins 30 percent higher. Companies that improved internal practices for disability inclusion were also four times more likely to see higher total shareholder returns.
These findings, presented in a report from Accenture, in partnership with Disability: IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities, give companies a new reason to hire people with disabilities. The results are based on an analysis of the financial performance of 140 companies that averaged annual revenues of $43 billion and participated in the Disability Equality Index, an annual benchmarking tool that objectively rates company disability policies and practices.
What exactly are these exemplary companies doing?
Well, Bank of America brought together 300 people with intellectual disabilities to create a support services team to manage fulfillment services and external client engagement. Microsoft built a successful disability hiring program specifically for people on the autism spectrum. The program, designed to attract talent, is a multiday, hands-on academy that gives candidates an opportunity to meet hiring managers and learn about the company as an employer of choice. And CVS Health refocused its training programs to capitalize on characteristics — creativity, problem-solving ability and loyalty — that people with disabilities often demonstrate.
The new research identifies five common denominators among such organizations. First, they hire people with disabilities, ensuring that they’re represented in the workplace. Second, they carry out practices that encourage and advance those employees. Third, they provide accessible tools and technologies, paired with a formal accommodations program. Fourth, they generate awareness through recruitment efforts, disability education programs and grass-roots-led initiatives. Fifth, they create empowering environments through mentoring and coaching initiatives.
Employers are hiring more employees with disabilities — and for good reason. These workers are crucial to winning the war on talent since they can be highly skilled — and too often overlooked. Adding people with different experiences to a team can also have a positive impact on a company’s culture, and thus ultimately on its bottom line.
Some companies may already employ a number of workers with disabilities and not realize it. Joe Nuzzo, vice president-counsel of worldwide sales and marketing at ADP, believes organizations should understand that the concept of disabilities, as recognized by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), comprises a wide range of conditions. These include physical disabilities, chronic illnesses, invisible disabilities, mental illnesses, cognitive disabilities, blindness and deafness.
The ADA covers an estimated 54 million Americans, Nuzzo said, citing the latest industry statistics.
“Almost any American at some point in their life may experience a condition that qualifies as a disability,” he said.
Yet disabled employees are often afraid to disclose their conditions. They can struggle to get proper accommodations and can face discrimination from colleagues. That in turn can lead to problems integrating into the workplace and lead to higher turnover.
How can organizations recruit and retain disabled employees and ensure that their workplaces are welcoming and safe environments? Here are four ways to become a top choice for workers with disabilities:
Know and follow the ADA and other disability rights legislation
The ADA protects employees with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace, so it’s crucial that organizations understand their obligations under the act.
But the ADA is not the only law your organization might need to follow.
“Most states have similar anti-discrimination laws that protect individuals with disabilities,” Nuzzo said. “Some have tighter requirements.”
When it comes to accessibility, it’s important to think broadly about what it means for your organization. Not having a wheelchair-access ramp is an obvious barrier, Nuzzo said, but an organization might be excluding or disadvantaging disabled people in unintended ways.
“Is your hiring process accessible to everybody, even to those applicants who might have hearing or vision impairments?” Nuzzo said.
Whenever an employee indicates a health need or discloses a disability, the ADA triggers obligations.
“Once an employee identifies that they have a disability and might need an accommodation, the employer needs to have that individualized discussion with them,” Nuzzo said. “You have to make sure that you fully understand their needs and fully explore possible solutions.”
There can be significant consequences for discriminating against employees with disabilities, who may sue organizations that violate the law.
Proactively recruit employees with disabilities
Given the sheer number of workers with disabilities and the current low unemployment rate, organizations not actively recruiting this group are more likely to struggle when it comes to hiring qualified people.
“If you’re not reaching out and connecting with that portion of the population,” Nuzzo said, “then you’re really limiting your reach.”
He suggests sending employment listings to job listservs that target the disability community and ensuring the descriptions are written in a way that appeals to people with disabilities. Offering flexible hours or the ability to telecommute can be particularly attractive.
“I think the companies that do a great job of employing individuals with disabilities find an employee population that is incredibly determined, has much higher employee retention than their peers, and has an innate ability to innovate and problem solve,” Nuzzo said.
Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.
Resumes get a bad rap. We write them begrudgingly, usually during periods of transition, or tumult. We fiddle with phrasing and format, agonizing over how to craft our qualifications into the best resume possible. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
For smart job seekers, resumes are an opportunity — to make a case for their candidacy, to get the salary they’ve earned, and to convince any hiring manager she would be crazy not to hire them.
Yahoo MONEY teamed up with Dana Leavy-Detrick, founder of Brooklyn Resume Studio, to help you become one of those job seekers. Here’s how to write the perfect resume — and a free resume template that you can download and use for your next job interview.
When it comes to resume format and design, opt for a clean layout. A recent study from the job site Ladders found that resumes with so-called F-pattern and E-pattern layouts, which mimic how our eyes tend to scan web pages, hold a recruiter’s attention for longer than those aligned down the center, or from right to left.
There is no one specific “best” font for resumes. You should use the same font style throughout, Leavy-Detrick says, but play with different weights and sizes to draw a recruiter’s eye to key parts of your resume. Sans serif fonts usually work best — Franklin Gothic, Calibri, and Avenir (the last of which we used for the attached template) are three of Leavy-Detrick’s favorites.
 Make Your Resume Stand Out
If you’re applying for an investment banking job, a hot-pink resume probably won’t do you any favors. But subtle pops of color, like the orange used here, will work for just about everyone.
“It’s very minimal, and gives a bit of a design element,” Leavy-Detrick says.
If you do use color, “Use it sparingly,” she warns. “Stick to one color, and one color that’s going to print well.”
 Add a Skills Section in Your Resume
Lead with the good stuff. The top of your resume should include “critical keywords and a quick snapshot of your core strengths,” Leavy-Detrick says.
Hard skills, tangible attributes that can easily be measured, take precedence here, so highlight them accordingly. If you’re in a tech-driven field, software and programming expertise is what employers want to see on your resume. If you’re in a creative industry, design and communication skills might be your best bet.
 Make a Resume That Shows Impact
To prove you’re worth a hiring manager’s time, highlight recent examples of what you bring to the table. Statistics that build upon your skills section are most impactful — bonus points if they show a track record of growth, revenue, and profitability, Leavy-Detrick says.
If you’re drawing a blank, she suggests adding resume skills that can help solve a “problem area” for the company you’re applying to.
“Impact doesn’t always have to be measured by metrics,” she says. “Cultural improvements, special projects, customer growth … anything that showed success can work.”
 What to Leave Off a Resume
Be discerning with the content—don’t list salary requirements, use tables or columns, or tick off every job you’ve ever had. The same goes for social media profiles. Unless your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds are relevant to the job you’re applying for, it’s probably best to leave those off your resume.
“Only include them if they add value in some way,” Leavy-Detrick says. “If you have zero followers, you may not want to advertise that.”
Continue on to Yahoo MONEY to read the complete article.
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has received the highest ranking for the fourth year in a row on the Disability Equality Index (DEI), and it received the Employer of the Year: Inspire Award, recognizing the company for its exemplary policies, strategies and initiatives that have resulted in measureable results in the areas of disability inclusiveness in the workplace, marketplace and supply chain.
The DEI is an initiative between the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN (formerly the US Business Leadership Network), jointly designed by disability advocates and business leaders and it is a trusted, comprehensive benchmarking tool for disability inclusion. The Index measures key performance indicators across organizational culture, leadership, accessibility, employment, community engagement, support services and supplier diversity.
Northrop Grumman received the Employer of the Year: Inspire Award for being a top employer for advancing its disability inclusion journey and strategies and practices that have produced measurable success in many areas. The award recognized the leadership of Wes Bush, Northrop Grumman chairman and chief executive officer and the company’s self-identification campaign launched in 2014, the centralized workplace accommodations online request portal and the case management system program started in 2015.
In the 2017 DEI ranking, the company’s Victory Over Impairment and Challenge Enterprise (VOICE) employee resource group was recognized with a Disability:IN leadership award as the program which most exemplifies strategies and initiatives that have resulted in measurable results in the area of disability inclusion in the workplace. Northrop Grumman’s VOICE organization strives to develop a sense of community and empowerment among individuals with disabilities (both apparent and non-apparent), advocates and employees with family members with a disability.
“We are very pleased with our progress on disability inclusion and the success of our programs,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, Northrop Grumman’s vice president of global corporate responsibility, and president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “Our senior leadership commitment and the involvement of our employees have helped us to create a work environment that values diversity and inclusion and employees with disabilities are an important component of our diverse population.”
Northrop Grumman actively seeks to attract and retain employees of all abilities because of the value they bring to the workplace. Some initiatives include an online accommodation tool for requests and case tracking; increased accessibility of our website, including the careers section; expanded accessibility at our locations; and adoption of a more focused approach for posting job requisitions with disability related job boards.
Additionally, Northrop Grumman’s Operation IMPACT (Injured Military Pursuing Assisted Career Transition) program, which was created in 2005, provides personalized placement assistance, community outreach and workplace accommodations for severely injured service members transitioning to civilian employment. In 2009 Northrop Grumman established the Operation IMPACT Network of Champions, a group of more than 110 companies and partners that share job candidates, best practices and create wider opportunities for veterans with disabilities.
Third year in a row Northrop Grumman has been recognized by the National Organization on Disability (NOD) for its exemplary disability hiring and employment practices
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has been named a 2018 National Organization on Disability Leading Disability Employer™ for its leadership in disability hiring and its commitment to building a disability inclusive workforce.
NOD Leading Disability Employers are chosen based on data furnished by the companies in response to the NOD Disability Employment Tracker™, a confidential assessment that benchmarks companies’ disability inclusion programs for climate and culture; people practices; talent sourcing; workplace and technology; and strategy and metrics. Results from the tracker are prioritized based on historic disability employment outcomes and percentage of people with disabilities in their workforce.
“Technology companies succeed or fail based on the intellectual capital we recruit and retain,” said Wes Bush, chairman and chief executive officer, Northrop Grumman. “Individuals with disabilities comprise a resource of incredible value and they add an important aspect to the diversity of the global workforce. It is vital for the business community to understand the extraordinary value of this talent pool.”
In August, Northrop Grumman received the highest ranking for the fourth year in a row on the Disability Equality Index, a ranking produced by the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN. The company also received their Employer of the Year award for significant policies, strategies and initiatives that have resulted in measureable results in disability inclusiveness in the workplace.
“Northrop Grumman actively seeks to attract and retain employees of all abilities because of the value they bring to the workplace,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, Northrop Grumman’s vice president of global corporate responsibility, and president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “Our senior leadership commitment and the involvement of our employees have helped us to create a work environment that values diversity and inclusion and employees with disabilities are an important component of our diverse population.”
Some Northrop Grumman initiatives supporting employees with disabilities include an online accommodation tool for requests and case tracking; increased accessibility of our website, including the careers section; expanded accessibility at our locations; and adoption of a more focused approach for posting job requisitions with disability related job boards.
Additionally, Northrop Grumman’s Operation IMPACT (Injured Military Pursuing Assisted Career Transition) program, which was created in 2005, provides personalized placement assistance, community outreach and workplace accommodations for severely injured service members transitioning to civilian employment. In 2009, Northrop Grumman established the Operation IMPACT Network of Champions, a group of 90 companies and partners that share job candidates, best practices and create wider opportunities for veterans with disabilities.
NOD is a private, nonprofit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 80 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. To achieve this goal, NOD offers a suite of employment solutions, tailored to meet leading companies’ workforce needs. For more information visit www.NOD.org.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Please visit news.northropgrumman.com and follow us on Twitter, @NGCNews, for more information.
Statistics show that the average employee will change jobs at least 11 times in their working life and, for most people, moving into a new role is a fairly manageable transition. But what happens when you change course completely and launch a brand-new career?
Laurence Favier had spent more than 30 years in senior corporate IT roles when she decided it was time for an entirely new vocation. “As retirement approached, I knew it was time for a more fulfilling career. Something that would nurture me as I transitioned into retirement,” Laurence explains.
Drawing upon her decades of executive experience, Laurence is committed to becoming a business and career mentor and Joy of Business company facilitator. But even with her highly relevant background and extensive corporate knowledge, she felt the anxiety that comes with stepping into the unknown.
“Career change brings great fear – particularly the fear of being without a job. But fear is not something to avoid and you can’t let it hold you back from your dreams,” Laurence advises. Workforce experts estimate that every modern worker will make a complete career change at least once in their life. If you are looking to move in an entirely different career direction, Laurence offers the following advice.
Prepare yourself for change
“When you start actively looking for change, you will begin to see and create opportunities. It may be a conversation with an old friend, or an advertisement that suddenly catches your eye – when you are committed to your new career, you will notice possibilities when they present themselves. Also, don’t hesitate to talk openly about your plans and your needs. You may be surprised how willing others are to help you.
Engage Human Resources
“If you work in a large company, it’s quite easy to change careers simply by moving from one department to another. Human Resources teams often identify employees who have the right skills, attitude and willingness to move into a new career, so don’t hesitate to talk about your desires with your manager or HR representative.”
Network, Network, Network
“If you don’t have the opportunities of a large company, all you need is a great network. Make connections with the people you meet – clients, competitors, suppliers, co-workers. All of these people will know you, appreciate your skills and attributes, and trust you. Speak to your network about your career desires and help them, where you can, to obtain theirs.”
Use Social Media
“Social media is a great way to express your desire for a career change and get the advice and assistance you need. Let your personal connections know what your plans are, but also use social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to reach out to professionals who can help you in your new endeavor.”
Importantly, Laurence says “Don’t wait for things to be perfect before taking the leap into a new career. Be confident, ask for help and resources when you need them, but don’t hesitate. And don’t listen to the nay-sayers around you – they will often judge you for the things they’re not capable of doing. In the end, I have found, they will admire you.”
WHILL, Inc. recently announced their Model Ci personal electric vehicle (EV) received top accolades from one of the nation’s most esteemed publications, TIME, as one of the “50 Best Inventions of 2018.” The annual list hit newsstands, Friday, November 16.
TIME noted that the Model Ci “Empowers its users,” and was selected out of hundreds of editor and expert submissions from around the world including online applications. To choose the top 50 best inventions for the annual list, TIME carefully evaluated each contender on key factors, including originality, creativity, influence, ambition and effectiveness. According to the publication, the list highlights groundbreaking inventions that are changing the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible.
Debuted in January 2018 at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Model Ci enables people who have difficulty walking to experience movement in a new way, gaining newfound freedom and confidence to further participate and engage in the activities they love. This innovative personal EV disassembles in seconds for easy transport, offers best-in-class indoor/outdoor versatility, provides a variety of adjustments for maximum comfort, and is equipped with the latest in technology, such as Bluetooth and mobile data connectivity, creating additional peace-of-mind for both the user and their loved ones.
This year, the Model Ci also received the CES 2018 “Best of Innovation Award” in the Accessibility Tech category, and was an Engadget “Best of CES 2018” finalist. Additionally, WHILL was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Robotics for 2018.
The Model Ci’s MSRP is $3,999 USD and is available nationwide and in Canada through WHILL’s premier reseller network, as well as through online partners such as shop.scootaround.com and spinlife.com. The Model Ci is also available for conference, land and cruise rentals at major metros and ports through scootaround.com.
Since its founding in 2012, WHILL’s mission is to transform today’s antiquated power wheelchair and scooter experiences into a new kind of empowering devices, intelligent personal electric vehicles (EVs). WHILL is reinventing the personal mobility industry with personal EVs that focus on an approachable and aesthetically pleasing powered vehicles that boosts confidence and pushes the boundaries of personal transportation. Headquartered in Yokohama, Japan with offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taiwan and EU, WHILL is focused on enabling everyone to explore the world in comfort and style.
Make a difference The work of government employees impacts the lives of every American and the lives of people around the world. Federal employees can play a vital role in addressing pressing issues, from homelessness to homeland security. Students interested in working in government can engage in high-impact work, such as helping disrupt the laundering of billions of dollars derived from illicit U.S. drug deals.
Great benefits/competitive pay Average government salaries are competitive with the private and nonprofit sectors. Recent graduates can expect a starting salary from $32,415 to $42,631 a year. Pay can also increase fairly quickly for top candidates with experience and a strong education. Federal benefits, including health insurance, retirement and vacation, are extremely competitive with, if not superior to, other sectors.
The government is hiring The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an employment increase of ten percent through 2018 in federal employment.
Location, location, location Federal opportunities are not only found in the D.C area. Eighty-four percent of federal government jobs are outside of Washington, D.C. If students are interested in international job opportunities, more than 50,000 federal employees work abroad.
Jobs for every major
Working in the federal government is not just for political science majors. In fact, 28.4 percent of federal employees work in STEM fields. There are federal jobs for every interest and skill, from art history to zoology.
Opportunities for advancement and professional development Federal employees have many opportunities for career advancement in government. An internal Merit Promotion Program helps ensure that new employees succeeding in their job have easy access to information about job openings within government. The government also offers excellent training and development opportunities and has human resources personnel to help connect current employees with these opportunities.
Interesting and challenging work Today’s government workers are leading and innovating on issues, such as developing vaccines for deadly diseases, fighting sexual and racial discrimination, and keeping our massive systems of transportation safe.
Work-life balance Flexible work schedules, including telework, are a major plus for those with busy schedules or long commute. Competitive benefits also include generous vacation time combined with federal holidays and sick leave. All of these packaged together make government an attractive employer for students looking to successfully balance their work and personal lives.
Government work is steady and secure, an attractive selling point, especially during difficult economic times.
The federal government can help pay for school loans Some federal agencies can help pay back up to $10,000 per year in student loans, up to a total of $60,000.
Graduating from high school and getting accepted into college can be an exciting time for students. At the same time, it’s also a transition period that leads to new change and growth.
This may not be a problem for the average student, but for students with learning disabilities, this transition can be an overwhelming process. The irony, though, is that more students with learning disabilities are getting accepted into colleges each year.
Therefore, it’s even more critical to address this question: Why is this crucial transition process is so difficult for students with learning disabilities?
Overpowering Independence and No Self-Advocacy = Struggle
Part of the reason could be that students with learning disabilities in the K–12 level receive their accommodations through federal laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or have psychological evaluations as well as an individualized education program (IEP) via psychologists working for their schools or school districts. I can speak of this through my own experience, as my school psychologist diagnosed me with a learning disability while I was in kindergarten. I received an IEP document specifying the services and support I would need for school. However, this all changes when students enter college. Instead of the school administrations taking the responsibility of immediately providing accommodations for students, now the students have to be proactive and seek out accommodation services their colleges offer on their own … something that these students are hesitant about.
Why is this the case? Of course, there is a multitude of factors, but research has stated that a key cause of this stumbling block is that the school system focuses on curriculum rather than focusing on self-advocacy of the students themselves in terms of preparation for college. In fact, according to research conducted at Walden University, when students with disabilities enter college, some aren’t even aware that they must disclose their disabilities to the college in order to receive accommodations! Even more surprising is that some of the students who do know also do not make an attempt to disclose their disability. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), additional reasons for this hesitancy include:
A desire to establish an identity independent of their disability
Shame or fear of being perceived as lazy, unintelligent, receiving an unfair advantage by requesting accommodations
Fear of receiving no response or a negative response from faculty who may not know much about certain disabilities
Being unaware about what kinds of disability services are available in college or how to access them
Having a high school transition plan that does not specify postsecondary accommodations
This is why self-advocacy is critical for students with disabilities to acquire, because this skill would allow these students to not only be confident in themselves but also confident enough to rely on themselves to explain their disabilities and receive accommodations. More importantly, self-advocacy will also be a handy skill to apply as soon as these students enter the workforce.
Advice for Students
Seek out any resources that can assist you with self-advocacy, self-confidence, and self-worth, whether it is through means of a psychologist, counselor, organizations, friends, parents, or group conversations. Additionally, I highly encourage you save all your documentation of your diagnosis for both your own records and for the records of the disabilities accommodation program of your respective college.
To make the transition easier, do some background research on the college of your choice and see which accommodations they provide for students with learning disabilities. Take a tour of the college campus and see where your classes are located. Another option is to go to community college prior to transferring to a four-year university. In fact, this is the route I took, as I believed going to a four-year university was too dramatic a change for me. As a result, I spent three years at a community college completing a majority of my science and math classes, getting familiar with the feel of a college campus, and figuring out how to apply for disability accommodations (on my own, of course). Today, I still believe that the transfer route was the best decision I’ve ever made, both academically and financially. Nonetheless, you must still be proactive into discovering the route that is best for you. The sooner you start self-advocating for yourself, the better your chance for not only graduating from college but also being successful in life.