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Home Lifetime of Learning

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Programs of Study
College Credits
Carl Perkins
Cooperative Purchasing
Student Activities

bulletCareer Exploration Days
bulletClassroom Career Presentations  
bulletKuder Career Planning System
bulletLifetime Learning Plans
bulletLifetime Learning Guides
bulletMinnesota Career Information System (MCIS)
bulletOn-Line Pathways Project
bulletProject Discovery
bulletReal Game Series
bulletTransition Outcomes Project
bulletTransition Resource Guide
bulletWork-Skills Competition

Career Exploration Days  
“Career Exploration Days” provide meaningful opportunities for high school students to interact with professionals from the business/industry community and gain valuable information about necessary skills, training and education requirements, working conditions, job market outlooks, etc.   A partnership has been formed to provide high school sophomores and juniors an opportunity for participation in “Career Exploration Days” on a regional basis.  Partners include: SW Minnesota Carl Perkins/Tech Prep Consortium, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Southwest State University, Nobles County Integration Collaborative, SW/WC Service Cooperatives, Minnesota River Valley Education District, and numerous business/industry representatives on event planning committees.  To minimize travel barriers a career fair will be held for participating schools at the 5 Minnesota West Community and Technical College Campuses and Southwest State University.  A representative from each of the post-secondary campuses will contact the schools that they will serve to provide additional information and registration materials.  For more information about the Career Exploration Days contact Tom Hoff at 507-537-2271 or

Classroom Career Presentations  
Through a joint project between the SW Minnesota Carl Perkins Consortium and Minnesota West Community and Technical College, our Nontraditional Career Education Coordinator researches, adapts and prepares materials for presentations to career classes in high schools throughout the region, focusing on the following:

bulletNontraditional careers for females and males - exploring options, advantages, identifying and accessing positive role models.
bulletJob outlook and future career trends - what are the top jobs, competition for popular careers, what careers have a shrinking demand.
bulletResources - provide numerous Internet and other resources for information and further research into careers, training, gender equity, personal and professional growth and success.
bulletCareer Assessments - assistance with scoring and interpretation of CAPS, COPS, COPES, assessments and relating individual student results to specific careers, including nontraditional careers.

To schedule a presentation for your career class or career unit contact Mary Lou Blasing at 507-537-2273 or

Kuder Career Planning System

The Internet-based Kuder® Career Planning System ( is designed to help individuals discover their career interests, skills, and work values. The complete Kuder system includes the Kuder Career Search with Person Match (interest inventory), the Kuder Skills Assessment, Super's Work Values Inventory, the Kuder Online Career Portfolio, and the Administrative Database Management System. The system promotes lifelong career planning through lifetime access to the online career portfolio. The portfolio walks students through the career development process with its research-based assessments, college and career exploration and comparison, education planner, planning timeline, resumè builder, and more! With the Administrative Database, administrators gain with an easy way to manage and utilize individual and composite information, connect directly with students and parents, and ability to enter course lists for student education planning. Secondary and postsecondary schools in Minnesota can order the Kuder Career Planning System.  For more information contact Mary Lou Blasing at 507-537-2273 or 

Lifelong Learning Plans
This career and education-planning portfolio is for students in grades 9-12.  High schools in the SW Minnesota Carl Perkins and Tech Prep Consortiums can receive the portfolios free of charge for one grade level of students each year (generally beginning in 9th grade).  The portfolio provides inserts for each grade level so students can plan class schedules, set career and education goals, and journal pertinent activities.  One hard copy of each insert will be mailed with portfolios orders.  Schools can color code the inserts as they see fit.  To order “Lifetime Learning Plans” contact Laurie VanWatermeulen at 507-537-2270 or .   The following portfolio inserts can also be downloaded as PDF files.   

You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files. If you don't have it, you can download it free at:

bulletGrade 9 Planning


bulletGrade 10 Planning


bulletGrade 11 Planning


bulletGrade 12 Planning


bulletTransition Planning Checklist


bulletChecklist for Post-Secondary Planning


bulletPreparing Financially to Enter College


bulletPost-High School Financial Plan Worksheet


bulletTips for What Parents Can Do


Inserts Designed for Students Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder 

bulletCollege Letter to Transition Personnel


bulletCollege Program Questionnaire
bulletTransition Assessment Information
bulletEmployment Assessment Information
bulletPotential Employer Questionnaire 


Lifelong Learning Planning Guide 
This document is intended as a planning guide and cumulative record to assist individuals of any age as they move through school and employment transitions.   Searching for and securing a meaningful career is a process that requires self-knowledge, thorough planning and considerable persistence.  Completion of this “Lifelong Learning Planning Guide” and the accompanying inserts will be a useful career planning tool and an effective means of organizing important career and educational records.  Planning can be done independently, but many people have found it helpful to utilize the services of professionally trained career counselors.  There is a limited supply of the planning guides that are organized in 3-ring binders with pocketed dividers.  The guides are free to schools or non-profit agencies that serve the 9 county SW MN Carl Perkins and Tech Prep Consortiums.  To order contact Laurie VanWatermeulen at 507-537-2270 or To create your own planning guide you can download the contents as a PDF File.   

You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files. If you don't have it, you can download it free at:

Lifelong Learning Planning Guide


Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS)  
Minnesota Career Information SystemThe MCIS offers the high school students and adults information on a wide variety of career topics.  The software is updated annually and linked to related occupational and educational Internet sites that give the user the most current resources available.  The information in MCIS is researched, validated and written by professionals and follows the information delivery standards of the Association of Computer-Based Systems for Career Information (ACSCI).  Among other things, the system provides information about Career Pathways, Occupations, Programs of Study, Minnesota Schools, National Schools, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Working for Yourself, Job Search, How to Keep that Job, Non-Traditional Employment for Women, Industry File, Glossary.  Most high schools in the SW Minnesota Carl Perkins and Tech Prep Consortium purchase the system using local Carl Perkins entitlements (at a 15% discount) or local school district funds.   Call 800-599-6247 for more information about MCIS products & training. 

On-Line Pathways Project  
The On-line Pathways Project is designed to assist students in selecting high school classes and choosing a program of study at the post-secondary programs in southwest Minnesota.  Adults that are interested in making a job or career change will also find a wealth of useful information.  Selection of courses and programs of study should be a combined effort between students, parents, teachers, and guidance counselors.   A careful and thorough exploration of options is encouraged, realizing that career path choices change as individuals gather more information and experience.   For more information about the On-Line Pathways Project contact Tom Hoff at 507-537-2271 or  or visit the On-Line Pathways Project web page.

Project Discovery  
Project Discovery is a regional transition program that conducts vocational assessments and provides an opportunity for hands-on career exploration for special population junior and senior high students.  The service is free to 9th grade special population students in the SW Minnesota Carl Perkins and Tech Prep Consortiums (and schools outside the consortium for a fee).  Students receive a career interest assessment and an inventory of their learning and work styles.  They complete two hands-on career exploration projects at the Project Discovery lab at the SW/WC Service Cooperatives located in Marshall.  Staff assists the students with the projects, while observing and assessing their work-related behaviors and skills.  Formal assessment and exploration results are reviewed at the home school district with the students, teachers, family members and participating agency staff.  To schedule students for Project Discovery or to learn more contact Fay Prairie at 507-537-2254 or 

Click on the link below for a Project Discovery Informational and Application Packet.

You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files. If you don't have it, you can download it free at: 

Project Discovery Packet - PDF

Real Game Series  
The Real GameThe Real Game Series is a set of six evolutionary, world class programs designed to bring real life to the classroom.   The purpose of the games is to:


1) Demonstrate relevancy of education,  
2) Focus on experiential learning, 
3) Profit from the group learning process,  
4) Make learning fun, and
5) Introduce the realities of the adult word or work in a non-threatening way. 

To learn more about the Real Game Series and training opportunities contact Dan Stores at 507-537-2272 or  visit the Real Game home page.

Transition Outcomes Project  
This is a 6-phase project aimed at improving transition services for junior high and senior high students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs).  The project provides training to special education teachers, families, and agency staff to develop practical transition plans using a student-centered process.  Annual training is provided in at least two locations in the 18 county service area of the SW/WC Service Cooperatives.  In addition to training, the project also involves the review of student IEPs by trained file review teams (made up of school district staff, agency staff, SW/WC Service Cooperatives staff, and parents).  School districts volunteer to be part of the project.  File review teams use a “Transition Requirements Checklist” as they review student IEPs to determine if the plans match the requirements established by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  Results of the file review are shared with school district staff, which then establishes goals and plans for improvement.  The same files are re-reviewed the following year to determine if positive change has occurred. The 6 phases of the project are:

  1. Identification and Commitment from Local School Districts
  2. IEP File Reviews
  3. Report Findings, Set Target Goals/Timelines, Developing Strategies for Improvement
  4. Implementation of Strategies and Technical Assistance
  5. Follow-up Review of IEPs
  6. Report of Final Results

For more information about the Transition Outcomes Project contact Dan Stores at 507-537-2272 or 

Transition Resource Guide  
Resource guides were developed for the 9 counties of Southwest Minnesota and the 9 counties of West Central Minnesota to help individuals preparing for life after high school locate services that are necessary for a smooth transition from school to community living.  The guide is divided into the following four sections:

  1. General transition planning information plus State and National resources.
  2. Local and Regional Resources
  3. Alphabetical listing of agencies including contact information
  4. Glossary of terms associated with this resource guide.

For information about the guides contact Dan Stores at 507-537-2272 or   Both guides are continually updated CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.

Work-Skills Competition  
This competition provides high school students with special learning needs, from Southwest Minnesota, an opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills in the following competitive events: General Employment Knowledge, Completing an Application, Interviewing Skills, and Workplace Problem Solving.  The event is held each April/May.  Area agency and business professionals serve as judges for the competitions.  The SW MN Carl Perkins Consortium and the Minnesota West Community and Technical College Carl Perkins Grant help fund the project.  Inquire at your school district or Special Education Coop. for more information.


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