National Center on Secondary Education and Transition at the University of Minnesota (NCSET): Connecting to Success

PROJECT NAME: Connecting to Success

PROJECT LOCATION: Institute on Community Integration, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus.
ADMINISTERING ORGANIZATION: National Center on Secondary Education and Transition at the University of Minnesota (NCSET) It was joined at the inception by the Presidential Task Force on the Employment of Adults with Disabilities, Achieve!Minneapolis, the State of Minnesota—Department of Children, Families, & Learning, and Iowa Paths.


Mary Mack
Institute on Community Integration (UAP)
University of Minnesota
Pattee Hall, 150 Pillsbury Drive SE Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 624-2097 phone
(612) 624-9344 fax
FUNDING SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor, Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities, grant #E-9-4-0-0089.
POPULATION SERVED: Youth with Disabilities
SERVICE TYPE: Electronic Mentoring Program

Young people with disabilities, as a group, have the highest unemployment rates, lowest participation in postsecondary training and education programs, and the highest likelihood of remaining dependent on public assistance programs following high school of all groups of young adults. Effective mentoring programs can change these outcomes. Connecting to Success developed this model to help schools, community organizations, and businesses make valuable connections to youths with disabilities. Educators, employers, and community members can join a growing network of schools, government groups, businesses, and community organizations who are actively involved in e-mentoring programs around the country. Connecting to Success is an electronic mentoring program, begun in 1999, designed to promote successful transition of youth with disabilities into adult life. Electronic mentoring, also called ementoring, uses a combination of e-mail and faceto-face meetings to facilitate mentoring relationships between young people and caring adults. Through Connecting to Success, schools connect with employers to form a mentoring partnership, with employees committing to spend time each week corresponding with students through e-mail. Teachers guide and monitor the process, integrating the mentoring experience into class activities. Occasionally during the school year, mentors and students meet face-to-face at structured, school-sponsored events. Community members provide leadership and support for the project, and agency service providers lend their expertise when needed.