Supported Competitive Employment for Individuals with Mental Illness

Upcoming offerings:

Dates   Register
August 17 - November 9, 2015   


Individual rate: $325 per person
Group rate: $1300 for 5 registrants


Participant cancellations will be accepted during the first week of the course with a full refund of the registration fee. There will be NO refunds or participant substitutions after the first week. For the course section beginning on August 17, 2015, the final day to request a refund will be August 21, 2015.

Overview of the Course

There are six lessons in this course, each lasting two weeks. Please note that the information for a specific lesson will be available by 9:00 am Eastern on the lesson's start date. Each lesson will consist of audio lectures, a discussion question, and a quiz or homework assignment. You must finish the assignments for a lesson within the specified time frame in order to receive a certificate of completion from Virginia Commonwealth University. Sessions will include information on these topics:

  • evidence-based practice and research base,
  • career development,
  • customer choice,
  • cultural competency,
  • marketing and job development,
  • developing business partnerships,
  • interagency collaboration,
  • self-employment,
  • workplace supports / computer supports,
  • social security work incentives, and
  • funding

Lesson 1: Overview and Research Base of Supported Employment

Evidence Based Practice Research
Individual Placement and Support Model

Lesson 2: Building Relationships with Business

Marketing Analysis
Educating Employers

Lesson 3: Establishing a Career Direction

Overview of Mental Illness and Customer Support Needs
Formal and Informal Assessment Strategies
Customer Involvement in the Career Identification Process
Cultural Competency

Lesson 4: Job Development

Customer Involvement in the Job Development Process
Job Analysis
Pre-employment Process (e.g. interviews, disclosure, etc.)
Self-employment Options

Lesson 5: Employment Support

Compensatory Strategies
Natural Supports and Building Coworker Relationships
Job Coach Intervention
On-site vs. Off Site Support
On-going Support and Follow-along services

Lesson 6: Benefits Counseling and Other Special Topics

Ticket to Work and Outcome Based Funding
Work Incentives

Sample Course Lectures:

  • Supported Employment: Dr. Robert Drake & Dr. Paul Wehman
  • The Supported Employment Fidelity Scale: Dr. Gary Bond
  • The Employment Intervention Demonstration Program: Dr. Judith Cook
  • Customer Profile & Establishing a Career Direction: Dr. Katherine Inge & Dennis Born
  • The Customer's Perspective, Interviews from the Individual's Viewpoint
  • Marketing & Job Development: Pam Targett and Dr. Amy Armstrong
  • Workplace Supports & Compensatory Strategies: Laurie Ford
  • Funding: Grant Revell & Dan O'Brien
  • Social Security Work Incentives: Jennifer McDonough
  • Cultural Competency: Dr. Ernest Quimby

Course Structure: The course consists of six lessons, each of which lasts two weeks, giving participants ample time to complete the assignments. A new lesson is made available every other Monday morning by 9:00 a.m. ET. The course web site is always available, and you may log into the course at any time in order to view content, listen to the lectures, and complete the assignments. Transcripts are posted for all online audio lectures. Each lesson will require 6 - 8 hours of staff time to complete. Please note that our online offerings are intensive, and we do not recommend taking more than one of these courses concurrently.

Course Credit: Participants can earn 3.5 CEUs or 35 CRCs upon course completion. Also, a certificate of completion will be issued to all participants who complete all course assignments. If a participant wishes to earn the ACRE certificate, an additional 5 hours of training is required beyond the basic certificate. Everyone who completes the basic certificate will receive information on how to earn these extra 5 hours of training.

Technical Requirements: Your computer must have Adobe Acrobat Reader (free software), and Flash Player (free software). You will be able to log on to the course at any time of the day and access the audio lectures. Each person MUST have an individual e-mail account, or we cannot accept your registration. If the individual does not already have an account, a free one can be set up through We send updates on the course activities and feedback on course activities through e-mail contact. Participants must be able to receive and send messages in order to benefit from this online experience. We cannot correspond with participants through an e-mail address that is assigned to another person.

Technical Support: VCU-RRTC staff are available to provide technical assistance on how to use the Internet for distance education. If you have questions about the technology applications, please contact Andy Grizzard at (804) 827-1434. If you have content questions, please email Katherine Inge.