Meet Lead Program Coordinator Leigh Connell
Leigh Connell is the Lead Program Coordinator for the WorkAbility IV (WA-IV) program. She joined the Coyote family in 2006 and has worked in higher education for more than 20 years. Leigh was at the Palm Desert campus for four years before she transitioned to the San Bernardino campus as an academic advisor for WorkAbility IV.
As Lead Program Coordinator, Leigh plans and implements career services, including employment preparation, job development, and job placement services for CSUSB students with disabilities who are clients of the Department of Rehabilitation and enrolled in the WA-IV program. This is accomplished by checking in with students and helping them with resumes, cover letters, mock interviews, securing jobs, and searching for internships.
Leigh begins working with students a year before they graduate. After graduation, Leigh keeps in contact with students until they achieve their goal of obtaining a job and then three months after they do so.
“Our goal is to have 25 students successfully employed every year by the end of the academic year, June 30, and so far in the last few years that I've done the career services, we've been able to succeed with that,” said Leigh.
Leigh also coordinates WA-IV's schedule of workshops and events. WorkAbility IV host nine workshops a year and two primer events, the Job Placement Circle and the Workforce Recruitment Program.
The WorkAbility IV program provides support through enhanced career preparation services to CSUSB students with disabilities who are clients of the California Department of Rehabilitation and assists them in overcoming barriers, obtaining gainful employment within their academic major, and job retention.
In order to participate in WorkAbility IV, participants must be:
- A CSUSB student/alumni with a documented permanent disability
- A United States citizen or permanent resident
- A consumer of the California Department of Rehabilitation
Leigh enjoys preparing students for life after college. She understands that some students may encounter barriers and need to know how to advocate for themselves. WorkAbility IV empowers students and helps them build their confidence.
“I like working with a student one on one — That's my favorite part,” said Leigh. “And of course, if somebody gets a job after their degree, that's very fulfilling work, too.”