Special Needs Services

Student Alternative Vocational Education (SAVE) Program

The SAVE Program is a vocational and educational program that prepares high school special education students to enter the competitive work force. SAVE is a 4+ program located at Iowa Lakes Community College. In conjunction with the student’s high school, Iowa Lakes will continue to provide special education services to fulfill unmet transition needs as identified in the student’s IEP.

As you consider the learning characteristics of your students, use the following rubric as a guide to determine college success with 4+support.

SAVE Program Contacts
Michelle Kogel
Michelle Kogel
Professor, SAVE Program Coordinator
712-852-5274 Ext: 5274 | mkogel@iowalakes.educreate new email
Emmetsburg Campus
Nichole Evans
Nichole Evans
Professor, SAVE Program
712-852-5252 Ext: 5252 | nevans@iowalakes.educreate new email
Emmetsburg Campus
Lori Nielsen
Lori Nielsen
Special Needs Facilitator
712-852-5292 Ext: 5292 | lnielsen@iowalakes.educreate new email
Emmetsburg Campus
Enrollment Criteria
  • Student is enrolled in a high school special education program.
  • Student has unmet transition needs, as identified by an IEP team.
  • Student is between the ages of 18-21.
  • Student displays socially responsible behavior.
  • Student possess the skills to live independently in a college dorm setting.
Referral Process

A student’s referral to the SAVE program is a team decision and is not based on individual recommendations. Potential SAVE candidates should be identified by at least their junior year of high school, with the transition discussion beginning as early as age 14. 

Referral Checklist

This checklist is for Special Education Instructors only. Instructors referring a student to the SAVE program at Iowa Lakes should complete the following steps to complete the referral process: 

  1. A three-year reevaluation must be completed during the student’s senior year in high school to determine continued special education eligibility. This step must be completed prior to submitting a SAVE referral form. 
  2. Complete a SAVE referral form.

opens in a new windowSAVE Referral Formopens PDF file

  1. Submit copy of current IEP
  2. Submit copy of latest third year evaluation (if different from current IEP)
  3. Initiate information for student to set up a college visit to learn more about the SAVE program.

All steps must be completed and submitted to Michelle Kogel, SAVE Coordinator, prior to April 1 and must be complete before a student referral will be accepted. 

Referral Information may be sent by mail or email:


Iowa Lakes Community College
Attn: Michelle Kogel
3200 College Drive
Emmetsburg, IA 50536

Submit Referral by Email – make a button that sends to mkogel@iowalakes.educreate new email 

Transition Needs & IEP Procedures

Transition needs are identified by the IEP team and reflected on the IEP. 

The IEP should include the following information:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation information
  • ACCUPLACER or ACT scores
  • Transition goals/needs
  • Health issues, if applicable
  • Behavior issues, if applicable
  • Post-secondary expectations for living
  • Post-secondary expectations for learning
  • Post-secondary expectations for working 
  • SAVE program has been identified as a 4+ service that may meet with student’s unmet transition needs.
SAVE Program Course Options

The SAVE program at Iowa Lakes offers students the opportunity to enroll in a Career Readiness program or a General Education program. 

Career Readiness Program

Career Readiness is a specially designed curriculum geared for students with unmet living, learning, and/or working needs. This unique curriculum is appropriate for students that have received modifications or have used para-professional support while in high school. The emphasis of the curriculum is in life skills training, vocational and employability skills training, and transitional and self-advocacy skills training.

Career Readiness Courses

Fall Term 

Career Explorations I, SDV-131 (2 credits): Career Exploration is a course that provides students with an opportunity to gain knowledge about the many different types of careers available. Students will explore career outlook information, educational requirements, job descriptions and essential job search communications. Students learn about themselves, theories about career, and resources available to assist in the career exploration and decision-making process. 

Successful Learning I, SDV-102 (1 credit): Students master the academic and personal skills needed to succeed in higher education and in life. Content will cover academic, communication and life management skills. Goal setting, time management, note taking, test taking and how to be a lifelong learner will also be covered. 

Independent Living Skills, SDV-061 (4 credits): The purpose of this course is for students to learn and develop basic independent adult living skills. 

Intro to Reasoning, SDV-173 (2 credits): Intro to Reasoning will include some information on behaviors and what causes one to act the way they do as well as strategies for changing behaviors to be more positive and productive. It will include some brain games and some projects that touch base on working with others. There will be class discussions about motivation and what motivates each individual and how to motivate oneself. Other information will be on making healthy choices. 

Human Potential Seminar, SDV-182 (2 credits): Positive-oriented group experience emphasizing and realizing potential, setting goals, and clarifying values. 

Tools for Life Seminar, SDV-175 (3 credits): This course furthers the understanding of the interrelationships among individuals, the college, the family, work, and society. Develops leadership, study habits, communication skills and decision-making abilities, especially in education and career areas. Students consider learning as a process. 

Spring Term +

Personal Management, SDV-065 (3 credits): This enrichment course will examine concerns faced by students as a member of modern society. It is designed to assist students in making sound decisions concerning physical, mental, and financial health, and to use non-working hours in a creative way. 

Career Exploration II, SDV-143 (2 credits): Career Exploration II is a continuation of Career Exploration I. This course will provide students with an opportunity to gain further knowledge about the many different types of careers available. Students will explore career outlook information, educational requirements, job descriptions and essential job search communications. 

Successful Learning II, SDV-154 (1 credit): This course helps students expand on mastering intellectual and self-aptitude skills through brain game activities and other exercises that will increase life-long learning and improve brain health and performance. 

Advanced Human Potential, SDV-185 (2 credits): This course discusses techniques to identify, prevent, resolve, and manage conflict.

Positive Psychology and Wellness, SDV-191 (3 credits): This course provides an introduction to the study of topics related to happiness and the positive aspects of human experience and wellness. The first part of the course will focus on the basic areas of research in positive psychology and the ways to apply the research to your own life. The second part of the class will focus on personal wellness and self-care.

Coop Career Experience, SDV-213 (2 credits): This course gives students the opportunity to apply real world situations to hands-on learning and evaluate their experience and observations. Social skills required in various occupational settings will be developed, emphasizing how appropriate personal attitudes lead to business success. 

General Education Program

Students enrolled in the general education program option have the same expectations as their peers. Students can receive accommodations, but no modifications. General Education Program options on the Emmetsburg Campus include: