About High School/High Tech

High School High Tech. Graphic is two figures with mortarboards & a computer screen.

Why High School/High Tech?

Technology permeates every level of our ever changing, advancing society. Top growth careers in the world today as noted by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Handbook, all rely on some degree of math, science and technology skills.

This comprehensive definition will allow High School/High Tech program operators to assist students in acquiring a wide range of internship and job shadowing opportunities, thereby not limiting work experiences to those solely within the computer and electronics fields (the more common and narrower public conception of technology). At the same time, varied opportunities and practicum will allow students to continually reinforce the soft skills that are certainly needed to compete in our technologically changing and continually advancing society. But, the question still remains, “What are the technology jobs of the future?”

By 2006, high-tech employment is projected to account for over 15 percent of total employment. Employment in this category includes the following areas: computer and data processing services, motor vehicles and equipment manufacturing, management and public relations services, engineering and architectural services, and electronic components and accessories manufacturing. As you can see, technology related preparatory experiences will become increasingly important for all youth but, for youth with disabilities, such efforts are critically important to improve educational and post school outcomes.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) logo.Design Features for Effective Youth Services

ODEP is committed to ensuring that its youth-related policy initiatives reflect the latest in evidence-based research. Research has identified several operating principles as vital to effective transition programs for all youth. Based upon these operating principles, ODEP is integrating the following four design features into its youth-related policy initiatives:

  • Preparatory experiences which include career interest and vocational assessments, information about careers including education and entry requirements, income potential, and work-readiness skills including computer skills.
  • Connecting activities which involve collaborating with other institutions (e.g. sponsoring schools, postsecondary institutions, local workforce development organizations) to provide necessary support services for youth and to enrich program content. This includes insuring academic tutoring is provided if necessary; providing exposure to supportive peer and adult mentors; and helping youth explore self-sufficiency issues like assistive technology, transportation, benefits planning, and health maintenance.
  • Work-based learning which include site visits, job shadowing, internships, entrepreneurial ventures, and/or actual paid employment activities building up to on-the-job experiences. Such experiences are an essential component to promoting informed job choices.
  • Leadership development which include providing structured relationships with adults in both informal/formal and individual/group mentoring situations, and exposing every youth to personal leadership skills such as self-advocacy and self-determination, as well as activities that build self-esteem, interpersonal skills, and teaming.

Youth With Disabilities

While some youth with disabilities have attained successful careers after receiving well-delivered special education transition services that is not the norm. Youth with disabilities still face some of the poorest post school outcomes. Consider the following facts:

  • Special education students are more than twice as likely as their peers in general education to drop out of high school;
  • Youth with disabilities are half as likely as their peers without disabilities to participate in postsecondary education;
  • Current special education students can expect to face much higher adult unemployment rates than their peers without disabilities;
  • The adjudication rate of youth with disabilities is four times higher than for youth without disabilities;
  • Young adults with disabilities are three times likelier to live in poverty as adults than their peers without disabilities;
  • For youth with significant disabilities the picture is even more grim: less than one out of 10 will attain integrated employment; five out of 10 will experience indefinitely long waits for post-school employment services; and most of these individuals will earn less than $2.40 per hour in sheltered workshop settings.

Read more about HS/HT

The High School/High Tech Program (HS/HT), sponsored by the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, provides opportunity for students with disabilities to explore careers in science, mathematics and technology. You can download the HS/HT brochure in PDF or in MS Word.

You can also read the brochure in Spanish as a PDF or in Spanish as a MS Word document.

HS/HT Near You

Find a program near you. Image is a map of the United States.Click here to find, start, or expand a HS/HT program near you!

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