Empowering Students with IDD to Pursue Independent, Self-Reliant Lives
The Compass Pathfinder Program, formerly known as ASPIRE and established by Koinonia, leverages the agency’s extensive expertise to improve graduation and employment rates among students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
The only program of its kind in Ohio, Compass Pathfinder is anchored by a unique partnership between Koinonia staff, school districts and county boards of developmental disabilities. With Koinonia staff working day to day in the schools, these three partners provide students with the guidance, resources, and support they need to pursue a life of independence, community integration and personal fulfillment.
Compass Pathfinder encourages students with IDD to envision greater possibilities for their future. The program’s unique structure features an experiential curriculum designed to help students establish and foster the skills they need to complete their high school degrees and gain and retain employment. Program components are tailored to each student’s vocational goals and Individualized Education Program (IEP). Compass Pathfinder’s innovative design also includes a full curriculum with video learning modules. These tools offer key teachings about work and social skills as well as soft skills such as personal hygiene, appearance, health, financial literacy, job readiness and public travel.
The program is driven by frequent and transparent communications among the Compass Pathfinder staff, schools and county boards. Throughout the duration of the program, the Compass Pathfinder team provides a broad range of deliverables to parents, partners and funders, including assessments, progress reports and other metrics that illustrate the outcomes of each student’s participation.
The program has the potential to yield significant cost savings for school districts with respect to time, money and other vital resources. Improved graduation and job placement rates among students with IDD are directly correlated to a lower dependence on adult day programs and associated Medicaid costs. As graduates join the workforce, they contribute to the growth of local and regional economies and improve quality of life for the entire community.