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In 2014, New York State received funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services to begin the NYS PROMISE (Promote the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income) research initiative. The goal of this initiative is to coordinate the system of support surrounding these youths to better catalyze their potential to transition from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to a sustainable future of living and earning as independent adults.

To guide strategy and support PROMISE priorities over the course of the initiative, NYS PROMISE convened the NYS PROMISE Steering Committee, comprised of appointed liaisons from agencies who are connected to the NYS PROMISE initiative.

To support sustainable partnership development for greater progress and impact on the goals of NYS PROMISE, the Steering Committee engaged in a structured, time sensitive strategic planning and partnership framework development effort. To develop the elements of a prioritized strategy, the group used Group Concept Mapping (GCM), and constructed a visual framework, or concept map, that served as the basis for prioritization and strategy development throughout the process. The GCM approach employs a group process to capture individual contributions for consensus around a given topic, using a structured approach with a specific sequence of steps that support timely and consistent engagement in the process. GCM incorporates opinions and values, and presents the results in ways that are understandable and usable. 25 individuals from 8 member agencies took part in the concept map development, contributing elements in response to the following prompt: “To yield enduring individual outcomes, a viable system to support youth with disabilities in their transition from high school to successful adult lives needs to include…”


The NYS PROMISE produced this document under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs associated with PR Award #H418P130011. Corinne Weidenthal served as the project officer. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the Department of Education or its federal partners. No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this publication is intended or should be inferred. This product is in the public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted.

While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be: NYS PROMISE (2016). Discovery and strategic partnership group concept mapping: 2014-2015 progress report. Concept Systems Inc., and Cornell University: Ithaca, NY.