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SENpower project

Title: Empowering young adult learners with Special Educational Needs
Reference: 2017-1-PT01-KA204-035904
EU Funding: 213,374€
Duration: 01-11-2017 to 31-10-2019
Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Action: Strategic Partnerships (KA204)

 

Summary

‘Empowering young adult learners with Special Educational Needs’ (SENpower) project aims to bridge this gap by empowering a significant and even increasing percentage of youths with Special Educational Needs (SEN) by bringing the concept of entrepreneurship closer to young adult & VET learners with SEN. In other words, SEN young adults will be empowered with new skills and competences and this, in turn, will have a significant impact when it comes to active citizenship for these young people.

The objectives of SENpower can be summarised as follows:
1. ‘Extending and Developing educators’ competences’
2. ‘Improving and extending the supply of high quality learning opportunities tailored to the needs of individuals’
3. ‘Social inclusion’ of young adult & VET learners with SEN
4. ‘Promotion of entrepreneurship education and social entrepreneurship

Six (6) important Intellectual Outputs will be developed during the implementation period of the ‘SENpower’ project, namely, the ‘Entrepreneurship Education and Development Guide for SEN pupils’ as well as a series of training manuals, covering the most important aspects of entrepreneurship, tailor made youths with SEN. ‘SENpower’ experts & professionals will employ various methods in the development of the intellectual outputs; these methods will include surveys/questionnaires, focus groups, substantial amount of research in the relevant fields of study & web analytics, among others.

The dissemination of the project will be based on a series of activities, the most important of which are the two (2) conferences and the training workshops/courses, which will be based on the training manuals developed within the ‘SENpower’ project. Moreover, a web portal and virtual support centre will be developed which aims to be the main information hub and a forum of all those stakeholders, experts, SEN youths and for all those with genuine interest to the outcomes of this important project.

‘SENpower’ project aims to have a significant impact at National & European levels by promoting/empowering specific horizontal EU/Erasmus+ priorities, such as ‘Inclusive education, training and youth’, while, at the same time, addressing specific policy priorities for youth, such as the promotion of entrepreneurship education, empowerment and active citizenship of young people.

 

Expected results

‘SENpower’ project will deliver a series of intellectual results, such as course training materials and important Intellectual outputs, that are described in details in the relevant sections. However, these ‘intellectual results’ will only be the foundation in which more profound and sustainable changes/improvements are expected to arise from the implementation of ‘SENpower’ project.

In this respect, it is expected that ‘SENpower’ project will instigate a profound change for both individuals (young adult & VET learners, SEN experts & professionals) as well as organisations involved in the project. This is due to the fact that ‘SENpower’ aims to bring at the forefront the needs and special skills and competences of young adult learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN) through the concept of entrepreneurship.

Moreover, it is expected that will improve the curricula as well as the VET methods used for SEN pupils. Furthermore, it is envisaged that the development of training courses, suitable and tailor made for the needs of SEN pupils, will bring a fundamental improvement in the designing and delivery of courses for specific groups.

More specifically, ‘SENpower’ aims to develop the ‘Entrepreneurship Education and Development Guide for SEN pupils’, a valuable tool for teachers and educators, as well as a series of training manuals on the concept of entrepreneurship, focusing on young adult & VET learners with SEN. These training manuals are as follows:
1. ‘Opportunities available to the Entrepreneur’ training manual
2. ‘Entrepreneurial Competencies and types of Entrepreneurship’ training manual
3. ‘Productivity, Developing Creative thinking and Problem Solving’ training manual
4. ‘Teamwork, Experimentation, Risk, and Competitiveness’ training manual

Moreover, a ‘web portal & virtual support centre’ will be developed which aims to be a virtual hub for all those involved in Special Education and with genuine interest on issues related to entrepreneurship in education. More specifically, the web portal & virtual support centre to be developed will serve the following functions:
a) A hub with the latest information, research projects, initiatives and developments on entrepreneurship for youths and pupils with Special Education Needs (SEN).
b) A forum in which young entrepreneurs as well as teachers/trainers/mentors in special education will exchange information & views on issues relevant to entrepreneurship & SEN.
c) A hub which will connect all digital media resources related to SEN and entrepreneurship
d) Contain information with the latest developments & results of ‘SENpower’ project.
e) A hub in which all trainings manuals developed during the implementation of ‘SENpower’ project will be made publicly available.

The results expected by SENpower during the project and on its completion are as follows:
1. ‘Extending and Developing educators’ competences’, that is, all those involved in the education and training of young adults with Special Educational Needs (SEN), such as secondary teachers, VET teachers, trainers, coaches, clinical & educational psycologists, among others.
2. ‘Improving and extending the supply of high quality learning opportunities tailored to the needs of individuals’ due to the tailor made training manuals to be developed during the implementation of the SENpower project and the trainings to be delivered after the official end of the project by the project partners as well as from training partners & institutions outside the SENpower consortium.
3. ‘Social inclusion’ of young adult & VET learners with SEN
4. ‘Promotion of entrepreneurship education and social entrepreneurship among young people’
5. ‘Promotion of empowerment and active citizenship of young people’

From all of the above, it is clear that ‘SENpower’ aims to have a significant impact for more than15.4% of population with Special Educational Needs (SEN) since it will bring the concept of entrepreneurship closer to young adult learners with SEN. In other words, young adult learners with SEN will be empowered with new skills and competences and this, in turn, will have a significant impact when it comes to active citizenship for these young people. The overall impact of ‘SENpower’ project will be described in detail in the impact section.

 

Impact

‘SENpower’ project will deliver a series of Intellectual outputs and training material (manuals), which are expected to have a profound and sustainable impact to all those groups of individuals and the organisations directly involved in the implementation of the project as well as affected by the project. More specifically, ‘SENpower’ is envisaged to have substantial impact to the following groups and stakeholders:
a) Youths/pupils/students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) from ‘SENpower’ partners
The implementation of the project will have a direct and significant impact to these Special Education Needs (SEN) youths from the project partners who will participate in the training courses scheduled throughout the implementation of the project as well as those who will participate in the two conferences (multiplier events). These young people will have the chance to be trained and acquire valuable knowledge in various areas of entrepreneurship by tailor made training manuals, specifically developed for young people with SEN. These young people are students of the partners within the ‘SENpower’ project.
b) Youths/pupils/students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) outside ‘SENpower’ partners
An innovative element of the project is the fact that these training manuals developed during the implementation period will include training instructions with which young adults can use in order to create their own training course. This, coupled with the fact that all the training manuals of the ‘SENpower’ project will be publicly available in the web portal (Intellectual output 6) means that a substantial number of youths/young people & students with SEN will be directly benefited from the project.
c) Teachers/trainers/coaches/mentors in Special Education
‘SENpower’ project is expected to have a significant number to a substantial number of teachers/trainers/coaches/mentors who are professionally involved in education/training/coaching of young people with SEN. All these professionals will acquire valuable knowledge and expertise when it comes to the methodology and learning style that is suitable/appropriate when it comes to teach entrepreneurship to young people with SEN. Equally important, some of the findings/conclusions from the ‘SENpower’ project can be transfered to the teaching/training of other modules/subjects when it comes to young People with SEN.
d) Experts/professionals in Special Education Needs (SEN)
Another group/stakeholders who will be enormously benefited from the implementation of the ‘SENpower’ project are experts & professionals in Special Education Needs (SEN), such as clinical & educational psychologists, who are responsible to assess various learning difficulties that fall in the range of SEN. For some of these experts there will be a direct involvement in the development of the various Intellectual outputs, such as Guide for SEN pupils (Intellectual output 1) as well as in the participation of the scheduled training courses. These experts will be coming from within the ‘SENpower’ project partners. However, there will be an even greater number of SEN experts who will benefited indirectly since all the Intellectual outputs as well as the findings and conclusions of the ‘SENpower’ will be publicly available and there will be a forum in which experts outside the consortium will interact with those directly involved in the ‘SENpower’ project. Moreover, these external experts will have the opportunity to attend the two conferences organised in Portugal & Cyprus.
e) Training/educational providers of formal and non-formal education
The findings/oucomes of the ‘SENpower’ are expected to have a profound impact to the development of training courses by training providers specializing in subjects relevant to entrepreneurship & innovation. This is due to the fact that an ever increasing number of students/young people with SEN require a different methodology/learning style in order to get the maximum from a training course/seminar in entrepreneurship or any other subject/area. In other words, the ‘SENpower’ project is expected to have a significant contribution to a ‘tailor made approach’ by training providers of formal and non-formal education when it comes to specific groups of people. This is turn will have a substantial impact of all those who are recipient of this ‘tailor made-group specific’ training/educational methodology.

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