New York State Special Education Experts to Host Program on New Graduation Credential
New Credential to Integrate Work-readiness Skills for Post-School Employment for
Students with Disabilities
New York, N.Y. (May 9, 2014) – The Long Island Regional Special Education-Technical Assistance Support Center (RSE-TASC) will host the region’s first Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential Conference on Thursday, May 22 at Long Island University-C.W. Post. The conference will educate Long Island employers, educators and parents how the credential can improve the lives of students with disabilities post-graduation. The credential, which is not a diploma, may be awarded as a supplement to either a Regents or local diploma or as a stand-alone for those students unable to attain a diploma.
Eastern Suffolk BOCES (ESBOCES) is assisting RSE-TASC to coordinate the event. ESBOCES has housed the region’s RSE-TASC at the Instructional Support Center for five years as part of the New York State Education Departments initiative to provide directed technical assistance and professional development to improve instructional practices and outcomes of students with disabilities. Eastern Suffolk BOCES has consistently provided RSE-TASC with experts and extensive training to provide special education services to component school districts, and provide expertise on how to award the CDOS credential to students throughout region.
“The information relayed at this conference along with our Special Career Education programs are valuable for students who need to earn a CDOS credential to succeed in the work force,” said Leah Arnold, Eastern Suffolk BOCES Director of Career, Technical and Adult Education Programs. “All three Long Island BOCES fully support this initiative, and we will provide as much information as possible, including our recommendations to help school districts meet these new requirements.”
The New York State Education Department’s Office of Special Education repealed the previously-awarded individualized education program (IEP) diploma and replaced it with the CDOS Credential on June 30, 2013. The CDOS Credential was implemented to provide students with disabilities with the instruction, coursework, and work-based learning opportunities to promote and develop a motivated, capable, and skilled workforce. In order to earn the CDOS Credential, students with disabilities must complete the equivalent of 216 hours of instruction in career and technical education courses, including 54 hours of independent worked-based experience. Students with disabilities will begin to address the requirements of the Credential when entering 9th grade. However, students who are currently in 11th and 12th grades may be able to earn the credential in 2014 and 2015 based on the Principal’s discretion.
The New York State Department of Labor and educational research concluded special needs students were not transferring knowledge acquired in the classroom to everyday activities, work, and real-life situations. This research has identified vocational education, work study, and paid work experience as the top three areas correlated with increased likelihood of post-school employment for students with disabilities (Baer, et al., 2003; Benz, et al., 2000). The state education department’s Office of Special Education encouraged all RSE-TASC across the state to host similar informational-based conferences.
The $9,000,000 five year Grant will end June 2014. ESBOCES has submitted an RFP (Request for Proposal) application to NYSED seeking grant funding for the next five years to continue housing the Long Island Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Center at ESBOCES supported by ESBOCES specialists and experts.