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Implementing the North Carolina Occupational Course of Study

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1 Implementing the North Carolina Occupational Course of Study
Dr. Nellie P. Aspel Gail Bettis, M.Ed. Most people have a choice when it comes to work. This has not been historically true for individuals with disabilities. Typically this population finds themselves unemployed, underemployed, or in a menial job at low wages and limited benefits. The new OCS is going to change that for special education graduates. We are standing on the horizon of an era where a large number of students with mild to moderate disabilities will graduate high school with a diploma, a work history, mastery of functional academics and a job. We are raising standards for students with disabilities in North Carolina.

2 Events Surrounding the N.C. Occupational Course of Study
North Carolina ABCs Accountability Program including promotion standards CTE raising standards resulting in less “hands-on” courses offered by high schools Lack of widespread CBT for students Continuing drop-out issue for students being served in special education programs Adoption of the TASSEL model by the state of Alabama and adoption of TASSEL within the state of North Carolina by multiple school systems.

3 Pathways to a North Carolina High Diploma
Career Course of Study College Tech Prep Course of Study College/University Prep Course of Study Occupational Course of Study (8-2000) Sound: God High School. It’s all such a big deal with you. You take everything so seriously. Handout – back of package. Handout: Pathways to a High School Diploma

4 North Carolina High School Exit Documents
High School Diploma Certificate of Achievement Graduation Certificate

5 Alignment NC Standard Course of Study
School-To-Work Opportunities Act (JobReady) SCANS Skills Elements of Work Ethic Career Education Aspects of Industry: Planning, Management, Finances, Technology, Technical/Production, Labor and Community, Health and Safety, Environmental Issues. SCANS: Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills Resources: Identifies, organizes, plans and allocates resources Interpersonal Skills: works with others Information: Acquires and uses information Systems: Understands complex inner relationships Technology: Works with a variety of technology.

6 Assumptions Vocational assessment is important to career decision-making. Experiential hands-on learning is an important need for students for with disabilities. Self-Determination is vital to successful transition planning and the obtainment of competitive employment. The application of functional academics to work settings is important to future career success. Interagency cooperation is needed for successful career development. Students should spend increasing amounts of time in the community as they approach graduation. Students who have paid work experience prior to graduation are more likely to obtain paid employment after graduation.

7 What are the benefits of the OCS?
Meets all transition requirements of IDEA Provides functional curriculum matched to post-school goal of employment Provides opportunity to obtain a high school diploma Provides multiple vocational training options and paid competitive employment. Decreases drop-out rate and behavior problems Emphasizes self-determination

8 The OCS Can Prevent Many Problems Typically
Faced by Special Education Graduates Unemployment Employment Underemployment Employment Matched with Career Goals Dependent Living Arrangements Independent Living No Post-Secondary Education Post-Secondary Learning Opportunities Limited recreational Opportunities Integrated Leisure and Recreation Discrimination and Stigma Community Acceptance

9 The Occupational Course of Study is NOT:
An appropriate curriculum for ALL students who can not obtain a high school diploma through one of the other courses of study A program designed to remove certain students from the accountability standards An inflexible course of study that can not be modified to serve a wide range of students with varying abilities A “classroom - textbook” driven course of study

10 Which students should consider the OCS?
Students who are being served in the Exceptional Children’s program Students who have a post-school outcome goal for employment after graduation Students whose post-school needs are not being met by the NC Standard Course of Study and who wish to pursue a course of study that provides functional academics and hands-on vocational training.

11 Participation in the OCS is:
Not based on a specific population, disability or label Not appropriate for a student who is simply “struggling” in the SCS and who may not get a high school diploma Not “automatic” for a student who has failed the 8th grade EOG. Not a pathway consideration for a student who wishes to enter the military or pursue a two-year or four-year college/university degree Not based solely on the preferences of the student and his or her family An IEP decision NOT an administrative decision Not going away!!!

12 IEP Team Considerations When Making Placement Decisions Regarding the OCS
Previous success with accommodations, modifications and supplemental aids and services in the standard course of study Match between student abilities and the various pathways to a high school diploma Desires of the parent and student Student post-school goals in the transition domains Learning style of the student Recommendations of former teachers Drop-out risk Sound: See you do the right thing and everything works out for the best. Handout: OCS Recommendation Form

13 Main Components of the OCS
Functional Academic Curriculum School-based learning activities Career Technical Education Work-based learning activities Competitive Employment Computer Proficiency Self-Determination Student and parent involvement Career Portfolio

14 Occupational Course of Study Curriculum Framework
English: Occupational English I-II-III-IV Math: Occupational Math I-II-III Science: Life Skills Science I-II Social Studies: Government/US History and Self-Advocacy/Problem-solving Occupational Preparation I-II-III-IV Career/Technical – 4 credits (recommended in same career pathway) Health/PE (1 credit) Arts – not required but recommended Electives – local decision

15 Additional OCS Requirements
300 school-based vocational training hours 240 work-based vocational training hours 360 competitive employment hours Career Portfolio Completion of IEP Objectives Computer Proficiency as specified in the IEP

16 Occupational English: Competencies
Functional Reading Written Language Expressive Communication Receptive Communication Media and Technology Handout: OCS Curriculum Framework

17 Occupational Math: Competencies
Computation Financial Management Time Measurement Independent Living Technology Sound: It was my understanding that there would be no math.

18 Life Skills Science I and II
Safety Measures and Procedures Simple First Aid Obtaining Medical Treatment Healthful Living and Good Nutrition Relationship Issues Basic Human Anatomy and Genetics Human Reproduction Life Science (plants, and animals) Environmental Science Physical Science (tools, simple machines, energy, and physical properties)

19 Social Studies I (SBE Approval Pending)
Background, functions, and roles of local, state and federal government Local, state, national and international geography Economic skills Expression of personal rights in relationships to local, state, and federal employment laws. Basic US History Youth Rights and Responsibilities: A Handbook for North Carolina’s Youth (NC Department of Administration Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office) (919)

20 Social Studies II – Self-Determination (SBE Approval Pending)
Self-Awareness Awareness of Disability Self-Concept Communication Skills Assertiveness Problem-Solving Skills Relaxation Skills

21 Occupational Preparation Requirements
Occupational Preparation I (1 credit) Occupational Preparation II (2 credits) Occupational Preparation III (2 credits) Occupational Preparation IV (1 credit) School-Based Training (300 hours) Work-Based Training (240 hours) Competitive Employment (360 hours) Career Placement Portfolio The Occupational Preparation courses form the core of the OCS and lead to one of the major requirements for graduation – 360 hours of competitive employment.

22 Competency Goal 1: Self-Determination
Self-Awareness Understanding evaluations and assessments Career Planning Forms of Communication Laws and Disability Rights Labor Unions Agency Services Transition Planning Sound: Things are going to start happening to me now. Understand abilities, interests, need for accommodations/modifications, positive qualities, apply this knowledge to everyday situations. Self-confidence Understands why assessment is important – areas to be assessed – applies information Participates in career planning – understands concepts (post-school goals, vision, compromise, interagency team, CDP, pathways) Communication techniques Understands laws and legislations – civil rights Identifies adult services Develops action for personal goal

23 Competency Goal 2: Career Development
Career Benefits Occupational Information Career Pathway Choice Vocational Assessment School-Based Vocational Training Work-Based Vocational Training Sound: I don’t like my job and I don’t think I’m going to go anymore. Terms related to the OCS vocational training options Advantages/disadvantages of careers How to find career information Understands things to consider when making a career choice How and why to make a job change States career choice (reason, requirements, potential) School-based learning activities Work-based learning activities

24 Competency Goal 3: Job Seeking Skills
Job Search Areas and Strategies Obtaining and Completing Job Applications Interviewing Strategies Employment-Related Information Career Placement Portfolio Sound: Show me the money

25 Competency Goal 4: Work Behaviors, Habits and Skills in Personal Management
Work Ethic Personal Hygiene and Grooming Transportation and Mobility Personal Management Work Behaviors, Habits, and Skills Payroll and Fringe Benefits Work ethic (work personality, rewards, contributions to society, expectations of the world of work) Personal hygiene and appearance Transportation (options, how to access, safety, etiquette, budgeting, choices) Payroll and fringe benefits Behaviors (physical navigation, accepting feedback, request for help, resolution of conflicts, avoidance of maladaptive behavior, good attendance, punctuality, completing work, initiative, flexibility, adaptation to change)

26 Competency 5: Work Behaviors, Habits, and Skills in Job Performance
Common workplace rules Safety Issues Environmental Issues Quality and Quantity of Work Physical Demands Job Performance Issues Technology Sound: I’ve got sponsibilities now. Sponsibilities? Yeah that means I’m not allowed to have any fun for the rest of my life. Generic rules and procedures (importance) Safety rules (safety equipment, drills, reports, warning signs, ability to follow rules) EPA (purpose and responsibilities) Environmental issues (poisons, cleaners, combustibles, trash, recycling, hazardous materials) Quality and quantity of work Physical demands (endurance, stamina, fine and gross motor, sensory discrimination, noise, temperature, alertness, materials, hazards) Job Performance issues (time clock, timesheet, getting materials, organizing materials, arrival, departure, problem-solving)

27 Competency Goal 6: Interpersonal Relationship Skills
Social Amenities, Social Routines, Conversational Topics, and Language Conflict Situations Cultural Diversity Supervisor Interactions Natural Supports Customer Service Skills Formal and Informal Organizational Systems Teamwork Sound: He does not work well with others.

28 “Sheltered Employment” is not competitive employment.
Competency Goal 7: Completion of 360 Hours of Competitive Employment (OP IV Only) Obtains and maintains a competitive employment position in an integrated community setting at or above minimum wage (with or without supported employment) in chosen career pathway. Synthesizes and applies all skill areas learned in previous Occupational Preparation courses to obtain and maintain competitive employment. “Sheltered Employment” is not competitive employment. Sound: Taking over the world is one thing. Finding good help now there’s the kicker.

29 School-Based Training Activities (300 hours)
Vocational Assessment Activities School-Based Enterprises Student-Operated Small Businesses On-Campus Jobs Vocational Organizations and Job Clubs Leadership in School-Sponsored Community Service Projects (e.g. Blood Mobile, Food Drive) Job Fairs Mock Interviews by Local Employers

30 Work-Based Training Activities (240 hours)
Community-Based Training (enclaves, mobile work crews) Situational Assessment Paid and Non-Paid Internships (WIA or CTE) Job Shadowing Apprenticeships Co-Op programs Industry Tours Interviews of Local Employers Part-Time Employment Legitimate Volunteer Experiences Community Service Projects/Volunteerism Sound: Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go. The community will become the classroom.

31 Competitive Employment (360 Hours)
Successfully obtains and maintains a competitive employment position in an integrated community setting at or above minimum wage (with or without supported employment) in chosen career pathway. Synthesizes and applies all skill areas learned through the OCS to obtain and maintain competitive employment. Serves as an “Exit Exam.”

32 What Happens When A Student Does Not Complete The Competitive Employment Hours?
Option 1: The student may exit school with a Certificate of Achievement and transcript. The student shall be allowed by the LEA to participate in graduation exercises. If the student later secures employment that meets the specified criteria established in the “High School Exit Agreement” and completes 360 hours of successful employment, he/she could then be granted a North Carolina diploma. Option 2: The student may choose not to exit high school and, instead, return in the fall to complete his/her competitive employment requirement, with the assistance of school personnel. This option is available to students who have not yet reached their 21st birthday. The student must be enrolled in school and have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that addresses seeking and securing competitive employment as part of the transition component. If the student successfully completes the 360 hours of competitive employment, he/she would then receive a North Carolina Diploma. Handout: Statement of Understanding – Certificate of Achievement

33 Career Portfolio Personal Information Educational Information
Employment Information References Resume CTE Courses Extracurricular and Community Participation On-Campus and Off-Campus Training Competitive Employment Work Evaluation Summaries Medical Information Financial Information Occupational Assessments Sound: He don’t know me very well, do he? Handout: Career Portfolio Format

34 Computer Proficiency The IEP Team must determine the level of computer proficiency appropriate for each student enrolled in the OCS. The standard for computer proficiency should be set as high as is reasonable for a student based on ability and post-school goals. Computer proficiency should match a student’s needs (e.g. assistive technology) The IEP Team should have a “standard” procedure for this process. Documentation should reflect student progress toward their individualized computer proficiency requirements. Examples: Should indicate general skills that the student is expected to master. Taking Keyboarding I and/or II Making a certain score on the 8th grade computer skills test Computer Applications Objectives in the OCS curriculum Tech-Works Curriculum Handout: Computer Proficiency Planning Form

35 What do you need to get the job done?
Administrative support Access to reliable transportation Space to establish an SBE or operate a student operated business Sufficient staff to deliver the curriculum, oversee vocational training sites and do job development Polices and procedures for various aspects of the program Parent and student involvement Interagency collaboration Materials and equipment Business and community support

36 Questions?

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