Self-advocacy and goal setting are key
concepts demonstrated by all OLS students. Many of our students receive a
strong foundation of these skills during the Self-determination course in their
first year. Throughout this course, students participate in a variety of
learning activities that allow students to discover their inner strengths,
values and goals for their future. Students actively design their future by
creating goals suited to their wants, needs and dreams.
Using the S.M.A.R.T goal system, students write action plans related to life
goals for personal development, independent living and post-secondary
education. Sample goals include; getting a driver’s license, create videos for
income, moving in with roommates, and traveling to new places.
Once students have solid plans and are motivated to reach goals, learners are
given the opportunity to share personal experiences that prove their personal
strengths. The nationally recognized story telling process called Dependable
Strengths® allows students to reflect on their experiences in life, identify
their patterns of strengths, and learn how to talk about their Dependable
Strengths® in ways that demonstrate their value to others(1). Each student
creates a document called a Strengths Report that is included in their OLS
portfolio and is used for future job interviews, networking events and personal
development opportunities. It is truly an enriching and rewarding experience
for all participants.
The final project for the class is a highly anticipated event! Students present
an artistic display of their hopes for the future, dream goals and strengths they
are proud to share with others. These Dream Print Projects are presented to a
large group of family, friends and advocate who encourage and support OLS
students at Bellevue College.
The Self-determination course at OLS is offered in the spring quarter of first
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