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What is VITAL?

VITAL is an acronym for Vocational Individualized Training and Learning Services, a network of support services that is provided for students by Grant Wood Area Education Agency staff at the Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. VITAL services are designed to meet the individual needs of high school special education students as they transition to a post-secondary institution and continue on their path toward independence.  

A student’s individual support services provided through VITAL are based on goals and accommodations developed by the student’s IEP team and are aligned to the student’s individual needs in his or her goal areas that might include academic, social/behavioral, and work-based goals.


What services may students receive?

VITAL services are individualized based on student needs and are aligned with the student’s IEP. IEP services may include specially designed instruction, supplemental services and accommodations based on their needs.


Who is eligible?

Students receiving support through the VITAL network must meet the following requirements:
  •     Be enrolled in a high school special education program.
  •     Be recommended by the IEP team.
  •     Have completed the necessary graduation requirements for their home district.
  •     Have unmet transition needs in learning and/or working.

What are the expectations of students?

  1. Regular attendance in the VITAL classroom
  2. Willingness to utilize support services
  3. Participation in mid-year and end of year conferences

What is the process for consideration?

A student’s IEP team helps monitor the transition needs of each student, and the transition planning begins during a student’s early high school years. Through the transition assessments in the areas of learning, living and working, teams identify goals for each student.  As a senior, if it is confirmed that a student has unmet needs, the IEP team will consider how to address those needs. Many options should be considered as part of the transition process that will align services to meet the student’s needs. Students or parents who believe the VITAL network of services might be helpful in addressing these unmet needs should discuss VITAL services with the student’s IEP team.


Is financial aid available for VITAL services?

A VITAL IEP meeting is held at the local school in May. A new IEP is developed that details the educational program goals for the student.

Note: If the student withdraws early from VITAL or decides not to attend VITAL, an IEP team meeting must be held to determine options.


Who do I contact for more information?

Students or parents who believe the VITAL network of services might be helpful in addressing these unmet needs should discuss VITAL services with the student’s IEP team. For additional assistance, please contact Lisa Haverkamp at Grant Wood Area Education Agency at 319-626-1136 or email lhaverkamp@gwaea.org.