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The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition: Creating opportunities for youth with disabilities to achieve successful futures.

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E-mail this page to someone you know.NCSET's Youth Web Site

Cartoon illustration of a city Youthhood.org

NCSET launched its youth Web site, Youthhood.org, in the Spring of 2005. The Youthhood Web site is a dynamic, curriculum-based tool that can help young adults plan for life after high school. Although the site addresses youth directly, it is intended to be used as a curriculum within a classroom, community program, or in any setting where adults are working with youth to set goals and plan for the future. The Youthhood includes informational content, interactive activities, an online magazine, and a wealth of other opportunities for youth to connect what's important to them to their learning experiences.


Designed by and for Youth

We believe the best way to engage an audience is to involve them in the development of a product. So we hired youth in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to create the graphics for the Web site, and wrote the content from a youth perspective. We also met with youth and their instructors at numerous points during the development to get their feedback on the site.

The contents of Web site are organized using the metaphor of a neighborhood, with each content area reflecting a place in the neighborhood that youth can "visit." For instance, there's The High School, The Job Center, The Community Center, and several other "neighborhood" centers. By visiting the different locations, youth learn about issues related to planning for a successful transition from high school to adult life.


Engaging Activities

A unique feature of The Youthhood is the emphasis on engaging youth through various activities. These activities are designed to help youth:

  • learn more about a specific topic,
  • enhance their knowledge base, and
  • engage with and assimilate material on a personal level.

We feel this type of learning will be attractive to many youth with various learning styles, including those with and those without disabilities.

Youth can engage in activities through the following areas:

  • Private Journal: An online journal allows youth to write down their thoughts, ideas, issues, or anything else as they work their way through the Web site. This journal is completely private, with access only to the student through use of their password.
  • Activities Folder: Each content area has corresponding activities to reinforce what youth learn. These can be saved to an Activity Folder for viewing, editing, or printing at a later date.
  • Life Map: The Life Map is a tool to help youth plan for the future. Youth can write down goals, steps to achieve goals, and other important information related to what they’re learning on the Web site. Teachers can also use this for assignments. For youth with disabilities, the Life Map parallels the Individualized Education Program and can be used transition planning meeting preparation by young adults.
  • Class Notebook: Each content area has a corresponding Class Notebook for youth to reflect on the material they just read. Instructors can give youth an assignment to write in their Notebook about what they learned on a certain topic. Instructors can also read and comment on the student’s work in the notebook.
  • Links to Web Sites: Each content area has corresponding Web sites where youth can go to learn more about specific topics. Sites are arranged to correspond with the content sections of the Web site.
  • Youthhood Poll: Monthly poll questions relevant to different areas of transition allow youth to reflect on their answers, submit comments, view poll results, and read comments from youth around the world (currently under construction.
  • Under the Hood e-Zine: Youthhood’s online magazine, Under the Hood, is written by young adults to share what youth are thinking, saying, and experiencing across the U.S. and around the world (currently under construction).


Registration Recommended

In order to complete online activities, youth must register on the secure site. There is no fee to register, registration is secure, and their registration information will not be shared with anyone. The only requirement to register is that youth have their own unique e-mail address.

Once they register and login, youth can view and save activities, and edit them at a later date from any computer. Since the interactivity of the site requires registration, it is highly recommended that youth and the adults with whom they're exploring the site register (youth do not need to register with an adult; they may register on their own and complete activities).

For adults working with youth, the added benefit of registering is the ability to read and comment on their students' work. Once adults submit their comments, youth are then able to read and respond to these comments, making any changes necessary to their documents.

See more information on the site's page on Registering You & Your Class.


Curriculum Guide

The Youthhood site provides an online curriculum for adults working with youth on the Web site. The curriculum provides helpful information, Web resources, ideas for getting the most out of each content area, and more. See the site's Introduction to the Curriculum.


Contact Info

If you would like more information or have questions, please e-mail us at youthhood@umn.edu or call Pam Stenhjem at 612-625-3863. You may also use the site's Contact Us page to send your message.


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Please contact us with your questions, comments, or suggestions
(include your phone number and the city and state where you live)
at:

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
Institute on Community Integration
University of Minnesota
6 Pattee Hall
150 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis MN 55455
ncset@umn.edu
612-624-2097 (phone)
612-624-9344 (fax)

We will reply to you as soon as we can. Thank you for your interest!


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This page was last updated on April 9, 2012.