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A Clinicians Guide to Landing a Dream Job

in School-Based and Early Interventon Services


Class of 2014
Career Guide
Class of 2014
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
Congratulatons Graduate!
Youre graduatng soon, dont worry!
Heres what you have to do...
Step 1: Be Proactve
Step 2: Read the Career Guide
Progressus Therapy has more than 20 years of experience
nurturing the careers of clinicians just entering the feld.
We developed the career guide as a resource for soon-to-be clinicians to provide them with
informaton and materials geared to support them as they enter the feld.
It is our mission to see talented therapists use their skills to bring best practces into their
place of work and facilitate the best outcomes for their clients. But frst we have to get you
hired! This career guide will not only give you the tools needed to succeed in getng a job,
but will help you thrive in your new positon.
Step 3: Familiarize Yourself with Your Professional Organizaton
It is a fair assumpton, we think, that you are in your line of work because you are eager
to contribute to a beter quality of life for others and are excited to enhance your skills
through contnued learning to best deliver your services. Lets not forget the value of
getng to know others who share in these same professional goals. Professional
organizatons are a great way to network and learn within your feld.
Maintaining a membership to an associaton may be required or almost unavoidable, but to
get the most out of it, you have to do more than pay your dues.
Turn your passion into acton by joining an advocacy group that rallies for your
professional cause and directly connects you to policy leaders.
Stay informed on the latest news in your feld, whether its politcal policy, ground
breaking technology or new studies on treatment.
Make your contnuing educaton an important part of your priorites for
both you and your employer. Finding ways to expand your learning will
only open doors in your career.
Get a well-rounded experience
Be confdent
Explore possible setngs and populatons
Ensure appropriate level of support and supervision
Seek contnuing educaton
Dont be afraid to ask questons
Dont be afraid to be wrong
Understand the level of support you are looking for
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Career Guide
Class of 2014
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
Considering School-Based or
Early Interventon Therapy?
Top 10 Ways to Know that Working with Kids is Right for You:
10 You cruise garage sales for great therapy toys and books
9 You buy snacks in bulk for your caseload
8 You are constantly celebratng even the smallest of victories
7 You can write a book on 100 therapeutc uses for bean bags
6 You keep giving your friends stckers for good behavior
5 The toy aisle at the dollar store excites you Treasure Chest!
4 Children seem to gravitate to you during social events
3 You always have a therapy ball in the trunk of your car
2 You ask for a laminator for your birthday
1 You are an adult who stll plays with bubbles on a daily basis and enjoys it
The Best Parts About Choosing a Career as a School-Based Therapist:

Partcipatng in a collaboratve, interdisciplinary team
Learning something new each day
Teaching something new each day
Interactng with families
Flexibility of schedule
Increased autonomy
Fun, self-fulflling career
Making a diference in a childs life
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Career Guide
Class of 2014
Interview Tips
Always Be Prepared - This includes bringing your own pen
and paper to make notes, taking extra resumes and of course
reviewing our frequently asked interview questons!
Dress Appropriately - See the Career Guide secton on
What Not to Wear.
Smile and Show Energy - Employers want to see
your enthusiasm.
Arrive Early - 10 min or so If you fnd yourself running late,
be sure to call ahead with your expected tme of arrival and
apologize profusely
Do your Research - Try visitng the employers website, search
the company name on the internet for artcles, press releases
etc. Explore their social media presence like LinkedIn,
Facebook or Twiter.
Be Aware of your Body Language - Maintain eye contact and
be conscious of your posture. Sitng up straight will help you stay sharp and keep your
focus.
Be Engaged - So much informaton is being shared and there is a lot to process. Asking
questons relevant to topics you are discussing throughout the interview is a helpful way to
keep yourself focused and avoid distractons. Take notes if necessary.
Answer their Questons Honestly - Over compensatng or overstatng can get you in trouble
later. Remember, it is OK not to know everything!
Be Yourself - Employers want to get to know you and get a feel for how you will ft within their
team.
Have a Few Questons Prepared - Remember, you want to love your job and on some level, youre
interviewing them too!
If You Want the Job, Ask for It - Tell them that with confdence as the interview is wrapping up.
Ask if there is any reason you wouldnt be a good ft.
Send a Thank You Email or Note - A handwriten note is stll best. However, if
you need to get the note done quickly an email will do!
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Career Guide
Class of 2014
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Getng Ready for Your Interview:
Commonly Asked Interview Questons
Our very talented Career Services Manager, Whitney Lohr, has extensive experience in the art of interviewing.
Here she has put together a list of questons so that you can prepare some thoughtul answers and land your
dream job!
What is important to you when choosing a company to work for?
Do you have experience working with children? In what setng?
Tell me about your experience in a classroom setng.
Tell me about your experience in a home-based setng.
What populatons/disabilites are you most comfortable and/or prefer working with?
What made you want to pursue a career in this feld?
What age group do you prefer working in?
What are your core strengths and weaknesses?
How do you apply your strengths for beter outcomes?
How do you address your weaknesses?
Describe how you collaborate with diferent professionals.
Thinking about your previous job, describe one positve and one negatve experience.
Describe a lesson plan for an elementary aged child that you found to be successful.
Describe some behavior management techniques that you have used.
What kind of assessments do you have experience using?
How much are you expectng to make for this positon?
Interested in practcing your interviewing skills?
Contact Progressus Therapys Career Services team and
wed be more than happy to take the tme to review your
resume and discuss your answers to the questons
above. Call 800-239-7979 to speak with someone today!
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
Career Guide
Class of 2014
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
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Questons That a School District or
Community Agency Will Ask:
When interviewing with a school district or community agency, you may fnd that you are asked more specifc,
targeted questons. They want to know how you will ft in with the philosophies and personalites of the
work place.
Are you familiar/comfortable writng IEPs and atending IEP meetngs?
How would you address the concerns of an upset parent?
What assessment tools have you used?
What are some of the reasons you decided to pursue a career with children?
Describe the components of a therapy session that you recently conducted.
Explain why you chose these certain actvites.
In what ways do you want to impact your students? How will you do it?
Describe strategies and techniques you have used to motvate your students.
Explain your most efectve techniques for dealing with negatve student behavior.
How do your interactons with students refect your own personal values?
Whats your understanding of the diference between medical and
school-based therapy?
What is your experience with diferent service delivery models?
How do you use technology to beter help students achieve their goals?
How do you collaborate with other professionals?
What is your philosophy around integratng special educaton
students into the general educaton setng?
Describe your experience with specifc trainings
(e.g. SCERTS, PECS, Handwritng Without Tears)
What is your partcular experience, certfcaton, or training
with a specifc disability (e.g. deaf and hard of hearing, autsm)
Career Guide
Class of 2014
Questons to Ask Employers and Districts
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
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In almost any interview you partcipate in, there will be a moment when the interviewer asks if you have any
questons. Not having a list prepared could make you feel put on the spot and unprepared, not to menton
give the impression that you are not really that interested in the positon. Here is a list to help you get started.
Are there any insights about the populaton or district that I should know?
What schools will I be working in?
What is the caseload I will be taking on?
What is the age range of students I will be working with?
What resources will be provided? (computer, printer)
What can you tell me about the working culture?
Will I have my own therapy room to work in?
What therapy and diagnostc tools will be provided to facilitate therapy?
Do you provide professional development?
Will I be paired with a mentor?
What kind of advancement opportunites are there?
Is there clinical support at the district?
What kind of benefts will I receive including medical,
dental, 401k, professional development, professional dues,
tme of etc...?
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What Not To Wear
We have all been given advice on what to wear to work or for an interview, for example, Dress to Impress.
Unfortunately we must all have varying ideas of what this phrase actually means. Were going to lay it out for
you; Just follow the guidelines below and youll be great!
Women:
If you choose to wear pants, a pants suit is always best; this means a coordinatng jacket with a buton
down shirt or modest neckline blouse underneath. Though a jacket is preferred, it is not always necessary.
If you choose to wear a dress, a sleeveless dress should be worn only with a coordinatng jacket. Arms
should be covered over the shoulder at a minimum. This applies to your blouse and pants combo
as well.
Accessories:
Shoes - Closed toe shoes that you can walk in comfortably. No sandals, no scufs, no
wobbly entrances!
Jewelry - Refrain from large statement pieces, they could be distractng. Also, avoid
wearing too much jewelry.
Perfume - Skip it or keep very very subtle
Hair - Neat and clean
Nails - No wild colors or fancy nail art
Men:
As with women, you can not go wrong with a suit and te, however, a well pressed
buton down shirt and slacks can be appropriate. Please be sure to wear a belt and
keep your shirt tucked in.
Career Guide
Accessories:
Shoes - No scufs, no sneakers, no boat shoes...
Wear dark colored socks!
Jewelry - Limit it to a watch and one ring to be safe.
Hair (head and face) - Neat and trimmed.
Cologne - skip it or keep very very subtle.
Generally Speaking:
Wear clothes that are not wrinkled and that ft comfortably.
Stcking to solid colors is an easy way to play it safe. No stressed
seams! Lastly, atempt to cover any tatoos and remove any
unconventonal piercings.
Keep in mind:
Your appearance in the workplace will always be an external
example of your overall professionalism.
Class of 2014
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
Career Guide
Class of 2014
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Name: Lauren Erickson
Age: 45
Positon: Occupatonal Therapist
Marital Status: Married
Number of children: 2
Address: 1234 Dealy St.
Gainesville GA 55555
Educaton:
San Jose State University, Undergraduate
Dates 1990
Degree: Bachelors of Science in Occupatonal Therapy
San Jose State University, Masters
Dates 1994-1996
Degree: Masters of Science in Occupatonal Therapy
Places of Employment
Jameston School District
ABC Clinic of Middleton
Tanner and Associates
Charter School of Georgia
1994 - 1999
1999 - 2001
2004 - 2008
2008 - Present
Associatons
American Occupatonal Therapy Associaton member since 1994
The Wrong Way Resume
Believe it or not, these do exist...
A resume should not read like a personal bio. A resume should look
prety, read easily, be organized and give some appropriate and
interestng informaton that sets you apart from others.
Way too personal!
Dont menton your age,
marital status or whether
or not you have kids.
Give some details!
share some of the
great things you did at
school and previous
places of employment.
Career Guide
Class of 2014
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
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Your Name
Address City State, Zip Code
Phone Number Email Address
Objectve:
Use just one or two sentences to briefly describe the title of the job you are looking for and the setting
in which youd like to work. If you are bilingual, be sure to mention that.
Education:
State your degree(s), where they are from and date of graduation. Most recent
degree always comes first.
For example: M.S., Communication Disorders & Sciences,
University of Oregon - Eugene, OR June 2009
Honors and Awards:
Bullet your list of accolades and include the year that it was awarded.
Clinical and Professional Experiences:
List your experience startng from the most recent. Give date of employment, the ttle of
the positon you held and the name of your employer. Beneath each job you list, bullet
some of the important things you did while holding the positon.
Certifications:
List all of your certifications and lincesures, and include the dates they were attained.
Professional Activities:
Dont forget to mention your memberships, volunteer work and activities. Employers like a well-rounded
candidate with various extracurricular activities.
Skills:
Time to show off! List your knowledge of software, special
trainings, multilingual skills, assessments and certifications.
**Include a separate sheet for references**
The Right Way Resume
Career Guide
Class of 2014
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Importance of Mentorship
Progressus Therapy has a keen understanding of the importance of providing best-in-class mentorships,
support and professional development for every clinician. Our exclusive Career Launch program is designed to
facilitate a new graduates frst year experience, ensuring a strong start to their career. During a new
graduates frst year, an experienced Progressus mentor will be assigned to them to guide them through their
first year and help them through any challenges that they might face. It is so important to get the most out of
this mentorship experience. Below are a few examples of how a new graduate can benefit
from the wisdom and experience of having a mentor.
Learning From your Mentor
Mentors share their expertse, experiences and resources, while providing feedback
regarding your performance and progress towards independence.
Access to a Professional in the Field
Access to a support system during college and career development can help you get a feel
for the environment in which youll be working in the future.
Insider Perspectve and Advice
Learning from someone that has been through it all, and having the ability to ask
questions, opinions and receive advice.
Perception vs. Reality
Your perception of what your career should be may be different from the reality. Having
a mentor would allow you to receive the most accurate insight of your future career.
Get Your Questons and Concerns Addressed
Every tme you go see your mentor, prepare a few questons. Take this opportunity to
discuss your concerns so that you can go into your therapy sessions feeling confdent that
you have the tme-tested advice and tools needed to address any situaton.
Practce, Practce, Practce
Having a mentor gives you the ability to shadow
someone, and practice under their supervision
while receiving helpful feedback and ways to
improve.
To learn more about Progressus Therapys Career Launch Program,
contact one of our Career Services
Representatves 800.239-7979 or email us
at careers@progressustherapy.com
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
Career Guide
Class of 2014
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So Youve Got Yourself A Mentor!
Lisa Lawrence, M.S.CCC/SLP is one of Progressus Therapys exceptonal clinical
managers in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University in
Florida with ten years of experience as a school-based SLP, she now
supervises and mentors clinical fellows and clinicians new to
school-based therapy through the Progressus Therapy Career Launch
program. Lisa is incredibly knowledgeable about the clinician
experience, so we asked her to share her wisdom with new grads and
incoming professionals on how to get the most out of their
mentorship.
Take Advantage...In a Good Way - Spend tme with your
professors and supervisors while in college, and during your
externships. Ask a lot of questons. Go out of your way to engage them
and learn as much as possible.
Have Confdence - The biggest fear most new graduates face is knowing that soon they will
be working alone. We know its hard to go from having a supervisor with you, to being on
your own. Dont worry, thats what grad school and externships are for.
Always Lean In - Dont stand back and just observe your mentor from a distance, be hands
on and try to get as involved as possible. Interact with colleagues and work together with
teachers and school administrators to help drive positve outcomes for students.
Shadow Your Mentor - Pick a run-of-the-mill normal work day. This will allow you to
see the typical ins and outs of a clinicians schedule, caseload, trials, and triumphs.
Be Observed - Take time to not just observe your mentor doing what they do best, but try
things on your own. Mentors are more than happy to give you constructive feedback.
Thats what theyre there for!
Be Open to Doing Things Diferently - Sometmes schools do things a litle diferently than whats
taught in universites. Evaluaton procedures are a great idea in theory, but the testng and diagnostc
hands-on are diferent depending on the schools. Walk in with an open mind and try to do the
assessments as required by the district.
Introduce Yourself to Everyone in the School - You want to be able to work as a team with school employees,
and their input is going to be valuable while trying to achieve greater results with students.
Soak It All Up - There are so many great resources for therapists. So try
to follow as many blogs and current publications as possible.
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
Career Guide
Class of 2014
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Myth Busters and Benefts
Progressus Therapys resident myth buster Jennifer Carothers-Liske has been
a school-based PT for 15 years. Heres what she has to say about setng the
record straight for school-based clinicians!
Myth: There is limited fexibility in a school setng.
Bust: This is a total misconcepton. The truth is that fexibility is one of the great things about working in
schools! Therapists ofen create their own schedules.
Myth: School-based therapists do not receive compettve pay or great benefts.
Bust: Therapists are paid hourly wages that are compettve to other setngs plus, when working
in schools, you get summers and school holidays of. Benefts are more than comparable.
Bonus: Many of our therapists choose to work in the summer either through the school or in
other setngs and have fexible pay optons. Other perks include professional development,
401k, medical and dental benefts, and professional organizaton dues.
Myth: There is less stability in schools.
Bust: Statstcs show that there is a growing need for school-based clinicians. As the
qualifcaton for eligibility expands, the demand for services increases. Every year, for 15
years, Jennifer has noted growth in her schools department.
Bonus: Progressus Therapy has relatonships with districts across the country, so should
you decide to make a locaton change, we will work with you to fnd exactly what youre
looking for while remaining a Progressus employee! Hows that for stability!
Myth: There are few opportunites for advancement in
school-based therapy.
Bust: There are numerous ways for you to grow
professionally. Jennifer points to examples of mentorship
roles, supervisory and management roles, program
development positons etc
Bonus: Progressus ofers its clinicians a generous allowance for
professional development and contnuing educaton!
Myth: Contracted clinicians are seen as outsiders in schools.
Bust: Clinicians are treated as part of the staf, working with other
teachers and other related services providers as part of the team. You
never have to feel alone and its a great environment for collaboraton.
Bonus: Progressus develops unique partnerships with districts to ensure
that our clinicians work collaboratvely with all members of a IEP team to
ensure the highest quality of service delivery.
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
Navigatng the Halls
Starting your first day working in a school setting doesnt have to bring
back memories of starting your first day of school! Sure, you may have
some butterflies but thats a good thing, right? Our veteran SLP, Lyda
Athanasiadis, helps give us the 411 on how to navigate the halls and the
people youll get to know along the way.
The Team - As school-based therapy provider, you are already a part of
a very special group right off the bat. You will be part of a team that
consists of other clinicians of varying disciplines, teachers, principals,
and Program Managers. You may work independently much of the
tme, but that doesnt mean youre alone. In the beginning of the year,
a principal will sign of on your caseload but it is typical for therapists to
dictate their own scheduling.
The Parents - In addition to your team, you will obviously be working closely with your
students and their parents. The way you communicate with them is key. The IEP kicks
off the new relationship between you and the family you serve. In addition to this
initial meeting that outlines the individualized education plan, Lyda recommends you
send an introductory letter at the beginning of the year to introduce yourself and lay
out your thoughts for the upcoming school year. Lyda suggests sending monthly tips
to the families to help them reinforce the therapy in the homes.
Some parents may need additonal support. Invite families to reach out to you if this is
true for them and encourage them to email you, schedule in-person conferences and help
them fnd and use additonal resources you think may help. In a circumstance where
parents need further understanding, invite them to observe a session and review what
they saw. Another opton would be to have a team meetng to address any parental
concerns and present data on the childs progress to help alleviate the concern.
The Students - As a school-based therapist you will sometimes find that you will need to use
several strategies to engage a student in therapy. Collaborating with other professionals such as a
ABA coach, social worker, special education teacher, and general ed teacher, may be helpful as
well. Parents need to be aware of any situation where a child may not be participating in therapy
and help to implement a behavior program.
The Teachers - Working with teachers and encouraging them to incorporate or reinforce therapy
lessons into the classroom is helpful. School-based therapists work closely and frequently with
other special education teachers. It is important to exchange strategies and suggestions of
activities to support the students academic goals. Lyda says its helpful to check in with general
education teachers monthly if not weekly to exchange information on the
progress regarding the students classroom performance and provide tools
like hand-outs and visual supports to assist them in the classroom setting.
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
Career Guide
Class of 2014
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Sound Advice

Work to develop relatonships with the teachers and school


administraton. As a school-based therapist, you are part of an
interdisciplinary team that will collaborate with other professionals
such as teachers, SLPs, OTs, PTs, Psychologists, Guidance Counselors,
SPED Coordinators, paraprofessionals, etc.
Build rapport with the teachers by inquiring about lesson
plans that you can incorporate into therapy.
Mentors can be a big help with transitoning into the
school environment. Programs like Progressus Therapys
Career Launch pair a new school-based therapist with
one who has had years of experience.
Since teachers are ofen the ones making the referrals
for the therapy services, developing a pre-process
with them can be very helpful in accurately
identfying students who may or may not be eligible
for services.
Get to know what motivates kids! Relate to them by watching what they watch,
knowing the it toys, games and fashion. Changing the names of areas in an obstacle
course to landmarks in the Mine Craf game can make all the diference! A Sponge Bob
stcker here and there can go a long way!
Create your therapy schedule by doing group sessions with kids whose goals are similar,
bearing in mind the personalities of the students. Teachers can be very helpful in
suggesting which children would be great motivators for others in group therapy or perhaps a
big distraction.
The school is different from the clinical setting so things change, vary and shift. Be flexible and creative.
Find multiple uses for the same object across age levels. For example stringing multicolored beads may be
enough for one age group but counting them, distinguishing color groups, or identifying patterns may be
useful for others. This job is fun and rewarding. We can afect real change with students and serve as the
bridge they need to access their educatonal program in signifcant ways
and the impact can change them for a lifetme. -- Karen Combs
Career Guide
Class of 2014
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Career Guide
Class of 2014
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
Whether youre a newbie or veteran clinician, having a
bag of tricks is key to getng you through the day.
Check out thesemust have items as recommended by
fellow clinicians. Some pertaining to language and
artculaton, others for fne and gross motor, and some can
be used for both! Be creatve, this is the fun part!
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Bubbles
Blocks
Crayons
Shaving cream
Masking tape
Tongs
Balls
Plexiglas
iPad - check out Progressus Therapys Pinterest boards for great app options
Lif-the-fap picture books
Artculaton cards
Musical instruments
Puzzles
Pens
Play-doh
Pipe cleaners
Yarn and crochet hook
String and colored beads
Hand held bean bags
Stckers
Cookie sheet for magnet pieces
Clorox wipes for cleaning toys
Hand sanitizer
Toy cars
Scooter board
Wind-up action toys
COFFEE!
Career Guide
Class of 2014
www.ProgressusTherapy.com
Relocaton Checklist
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Have California dreams? Looking to go big in Texas?
If you are considering relocatng to a new city, Progressus has put together some tps to help you get ready for
your big move.
Do your research
Speak to your future clinical manager - afer landing your new job
Connect with other professionals in the area - fnd local professional groups
Stay organized while packing
Make to-do lists before you depart
Plan all your moving logistics; understand your relocation package
Give yourself enough tme to get setled before you begin working
Read local news and blogs to get to know your new place
Compare the cost of living and see if its worth it


Look up reviews for apartments, restaurants, places, etc.
The reviews are there to help you.
Build a social support network
Embrace the new experience; it might be the best decision youve ever made.
Did you know
Progressus offers relocation assistance?
Contact us at 800.239.7979 or
careers@progressustherapy.com