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Project Educate

Vocational & Psychological Services (VPS) is excited to be a

premiere partner, in collaboration with OVR, in facilitating and delivering


Project Educate

An innovation and expansion project to increase parent/family engagement in support of students in school to work transition
Via OVR, VPS was awarded an Innovation and Expansion Project to address the needs of transition age youth and their families. When students with disabilities transition from school to higher education or employment it is a process that involves going from familiar to unknown, acquiring new sets of skills including coping skills, and achieving the ability to face the greater demands of independence and self-reliance. This transition involves not only the student but also the family/caregivers. The student is likely to meet with greater success when their family/caregivers have a better understanding of the process and needs which will enable them to provide encouragement and support.


Program Goals

  • To provide “transition from school to work” related education, information, support and services to parents/families of students with disabilities to facilitate parent/family members understanding of and participation with the “school to work transition” process of their child, leading to competitive integrated employment and, to the extent possible, independent functioning in the community.
  • To provide a total of 10 informational sessions (1-2 hours) and 10 workshops (4-6 hours) serving at least 25 participants per session. Topics can include benefits planning, entitlement programs, independent living, self advocacy, community resources, work readiness, employment skills, rights and responsibilities under various disability related legislation, individualized planning tools for transition, accommodations, etc.
  • To develop an advisory committee committee that is comprised of collaborative partners (educators, OVR, business representatives, and other stakeholders), parents, and students who have successfully transitioned from school to work. The advisory committee will provide input for informational sessions and workshops, act as presenters and serve as family supports.


Melanie Sugar will serve as point of contact and Program Manager for Project Educate in Crawford, Mercer, and Venango counties.
Melanie Sugar (724) 290-8468.

Ian Hricik will serve as point of contact and Program Manager for Project Educate for selected schools in Armstrong, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties. Ian Hricik (724) 977-8928.