I am a special educator, qualitative researcher, and the founder of The Transition and Career Academy which is approved for CE's by CRCC, Council of Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. I create assessments, tools, and curriculum targeted to help professionals and counselors who serve youth on the Autism Spectrum and those with social-emotional challenges. I have 30+ years of combined experiences: taught students with learning/developmental disabilities and ‘at risk’; spearheaded autism employment projects; coordinated and implemented a school district transition program; conducted one-to-one evaluations for consumers with Autism Spectrum seeking employment through the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. I have 7+ years in conducting research for my Ph.D. Thesis (graduated in 2007) and 10+ years continued in conducting qualitative and Inter-rater reliability research. Participants included 800 youth with autism and their advocates, professionals, and family members. My most valuable and deeply emotional experience includes 40+ years in guiding and going through the ups and downs in finding and creating supports for my son with autism so he had success at working on a job and adapting to everyday life in the community. 13 years he worked at Meijers, 20 years he has lived independently (with supports) in his home, and 18 years has worked in his self-employment art business exhibiting and selling his abstract paintings in fine art shows.
My work has been with students and young adults on the Autism Spectrum and those who struggle socially and emotionally. I believe in viewing a student or young adult through the lens of their strengths and emotional social support needs. When youth are supported to take part in an inventory of their strengths and interests, this process can be powerful. Using my assessments/tools, it has amazed many students to see strengths they didn’t know they had. This process has lead students and their advocates to see specific job tasks or careers that are good matches. Next, learning becomes more powerful when youth have exposure and experience to job tryouts, volunteer, or hobby interests. I discovered it is empowering for youth to participate in activities and lessons that promote self-awareness development. Some student outcomes from self-awareness and self-advocacy practice includes to: a. know they are a valuable unique individual. b. not give up when learning something new is a bit difficult. c. practice ways to keep safe in different settings. e. practice self-regulation and use a process to choose next step options. f. seek advice from people who have their best interests in mind. g. find a direction for a job or career to enjoy and one that promotes their adaptation. h. connect to others on a team and practice collaboration and cooperation. i. practice using tools that enable them to emotionally and socially adapt. Current reports indicate youth as a whole group nationally are in a state of crisis. There are many possible variables. But too many students with autism spectrum and related disabilities are not getting employed and if employed, they struggle to keep their jobs. Our young adults are our country’s greatest resource. Our time and energy focused upon them is greatly needed and doing so, their success becomes an overall advantage to all of us. As we perceive youth capabilities through the lens of their strengths and support needs, we are their believing mirrors on what they are capable of becoming.
I consider it the best honor I can receive when teachers, students, and parents get enthused and see possibilities from using the tools I created.
Ph.D. May, 2007. Department of Leadership, Foundations and Human Resource Education, University of Louisville with emphasis on autism and special education. Rank I Education, University of Louisville, 1996. Masters in Learning Behavior Disorders, Western Kentucky University, 1992. Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education, Kentucky, Wesleyan College, 1988.
Dr. Jackie Marquette is the founder of the Transition Career Academy teaching online courses and face-to-face workshops. Her trainings are approved for CE’s by CRCC. She has been endorsed by highly recognized colleagues in the disability field for skills in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Training, and Research. Her extensive experiences span teaching students with learning/developmental disabilities and ‘at risk’, spearheading autism community workplace projects, implementing school district transition programs, consulting and using her own tools, one-to-one with youth seeking employment through the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. She researched and interviewed over 800 youth with autism and their advocates, professionals, family members. As the owner of S.A.F.E.T.Y. Works© DBA Marquette Index, LLC, her program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders, employers, and youth with their advocates to enhance their performance to make a meaningful difference in schools, companies, and the lives of persons with Autism Spectrum/disabilities. "An important offering to the neurodiversity, career and self empowerment literature...Dr. Marquette’s…[book offers] an important contribution to mental health concerns, rigidities, social struggles and anxieties... Her integration of these areas is seamless...Her Strength and Career Index with the Power Practices book should be introduced as part of school transition planning..." ~Shelia Mansell, PhD. R. Psych.
English Language Arts, Reading, Vocabulary, Specialty, Science, Environment, Social Studies - History, Special Education, Career and Technical Education, Health, Geography, Life Skills, Critical Thinking, Professional Development, School Counseling, Problem Solving, Short Stories, Writing, Vocational Education, Classroom Community