'Strengthening a Learner's Transition to Independence'

Welcome to the MITTIN Memo

This edition of the MITTIN Memo highlights the research, assessment and evaluation initiatives taking place to examine MITTIN's innovative curricular resources. Knowing the benefit of both internal and external evaluations, below you will read about two MITTIN assessment projects -- one is in partnership with Dr. Emily C. Bouck and her team of researchers from Michigan State University. They are using single case design studies to examine the efficacy of the MITTIN project; and the second is with a group of 20+ amazing educators who make up our Assessment Cohort PLC who are piloting and exploring standardized assessments to see which best captures student learning on MITTIN resources.

We are also fortunate to have partnership with Public Policy Associates who provides MITTIN with research, assessment and evaluation services.

Thank you for your interest in MITTIN as we continually strive toward excellence for the benefit of a learner's transition to independence.

Best Regards,

Dr. Derek Cooley,

MITTIN Committee Chair

MITTIN PLC Assessment Cohort

Twenty-three members of the PLC Assessment Cohort came together on the evening of Friday, November 17th & the morning of Saturday, November 18th, to explore the ARC's Self-Determination Scale and the BRIGANCE Transition Assessment. Using the lens of the MITTIN resources and topics, PLC members explored which assessment might best capture learning on the transition domains and more specifically the MITTIN topics. Crosswalks were created and plans were put in place. As we explore which assessments best support teaching and learning on MITTIN resources, this work will also inform our upcoming grant application and future research study.

MITTIN - MSU Research Project

Under the direction of Dr. Emily C. Bouck, Program Director of the Special Education Program in the College of Education at Michigan State University, MSU researchers are undertaking three single case design studies examining the efficacy of the MITTIN project. Working with a teacher and her students in Michigan, the researchers are evaluating the students for needed life skills corresponding to the skills available within the MITTIN modules, conducting baseline on independent accuracy in completing the steps of the task analysis for the targeted life skills, and beginning intervention for students. The researchers are finding positive results from students with the MITTIN modules. For example in the research study using the stove module, students are experiencing over 90% independent accuracy after about five intervention sessions. 

Public Policy Associates

Continually striving to implement research-based practices and evaluate our innovative digital and curricular resources, we value our partnership with Public Policy Associates (PPA) and the work of Daniel J. Quinn, Chief Strategy Officer, and Dirk F. Zuschlag, Senior Research Consultant. Dr. Quinn is a valued member of the MITTIN Leadership Team and brings with him prior experience as executive director for the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice, and also as an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville and Oakland University. Dr. Zuschlag has supported MITTIN with literature reviews, survey construction and a variety of research roles involving research design, data collection, analysis, and reporting. We are fortunate that his experience prior to joining PPA includes serving as an education and labor law attorney, litigator, and counsel in private practice; being a high school teacher, teacher leader, and instructional coach/staff developer; and conducting doctoral research.

MAASE Welcomes Ben Hicks

Ben Hicks is the new Associate Executive Director of Training & Development for MAASE. Ben has extensive experience in not only special education administration, but a history with MITTIN, MAASE and other national and state associations. Ben was a former member of the MITTIN Committee and currently on the national CEC Board of Directors. He has also been the Michigan CEC President and was the chair of the Special Education Instructional Leadership Network (SEILN) last year. We are excited about his new role and look forward to his leadership and support of MITTIN.

MITTIN Committee Member Spotlight

Cora Heyboer

Cora Heyboer is the Transition Coordinator for St.Clair County RESA and Assistant Program Supervisor for the Next STEP Transition Program. She enjoys working with local districts and teachers to ensure all students have successful post-secondary plans, connecting teachers and students to outside agency resources, and seeing the success of students who have transitioned to independence. Working full-time in the world of Transition has always been Cora’s pathway from the start of her career. She credits student teaching in Mt Pleasant's

Transition program as putting her on the path that led to her current role and overall love for Transition.

Before becoming the Transition Coordinator for St.Clair County, Cora taught for Next

STEP as the Employability Skills teacher and at Yale Public Schools as a Self-contained

Teacher, Transition Coordinator, and Coach. While at Yale, Cora created the women’s soccer

program as a club that grew to a varsity sport. As a teacher at Yale, Cora revamped the

work-based learning program ensuring all her students had the opportunity to explore careers

and engage in work-based learning. She also created a student-run micro-enterprise that

continues to fund activities for the Self-Contained room throughout the year.

On a personal note, Cora is the Mom of three adventurous boys, Jeff, Finn, and Everett,

as well as an English Springer Spaniel, Ruby. Cora has been married for 12 years to her

husband, Rob. As a family, they enjoy anything to do with the outdoors, skiing, camping, and

hiking! Cora and Rob have set a goal to hike in all the National Parks, so far hitting 32 of 63. 

2024 SLIP Winter Conference

SLIP has been supporting, guiding and offering their expertise to MITTIN from the very beginning. If you are interested in learning more about SLIP and networking with fabulous educators from around the state, join us for the annual SLIP Winter Conference supporting the needs of supervisors and teachers of low incidence programs and center-based programming. The SLIP Winter Conference will provide information regarding Essential Elements/Curriculum, Alternatives to Seclusion/Restraint, Building Capacity in Staff and other struggles/concerns for low incidence population staff. Attendees will learn from presenters, listen/discuss topics with other attendees, and then designated time to complete action items. 

Click here to register for SLIP

MITTIN Implementation

MITTIN is on the go throughout Michigan. Over the next few weeks you can find us connecting with parents, agencies and educators to strengthening a learner's transition to independence at:

Saginaw Intermediate School District

Monday, January 15, 2024

Ottawa Area Intermediate School District

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

MTSA Transition Coordinators

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

SLIP Conference

Crowne Plaza Lansing West

Friday, January 19, 2024

PLC Assessment Cohort - Professional Learning

Friday, January 19 & Saturday, January 20, 2024

What is MITTIN?

MITTIN – MIchigan Transition To INdependence is a dynamic collection of modules and curricular resources which foster the development of independent living skills in the home and community. Designed to support special education transition-related instruction, these resources are free and available to for all parents, schools, educators and learners in Michigan. MITTIN is a partnership of the Michigan Association of Administrators of Special Education (MAASE), Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC), Great Lakes Reality Labs (GLRL) and Public Policy Associates (PPA). These resources can be found at: maase.org/mittin

Safety and Independence at Home

MITTIN currently has seven topics which focus on strengthening skills which promote safety and independence at home. 

  • Change a Light Bulb
  • Clean Flat Surfaces
  • Clean the Bedroom
  • Put Away Groceries
  • Use a Microwave
  • Use an Oven
  • Use a Stove

Safety and Independence in the Community

MITTIN currently has four topics which focus on strengthening skills which promote safety and independence in the community.

  • Cross the Street 
  • Shop for Groceries
  • Walk Through a Parking Lot
  • Use Self-Checkout
For more information, visit our website:  maase.org/mittin