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Postsecondary Education & Training

The biggest question students face when leaving high school is what will be next. When students leave high school, they go in many different directions. For an increasing number of students with both high và low incidence disabilities, the next step may be postsecondary education and training. Postsecondary education and training are for students who want khổng lồ continue lớn learn in another environment after high school. Reasons for pursuing further education differ but often include obtaining credentials in a field of interest, experiencing life away from home, or securing a better paying job. Postsecondary options are varied and may include public or private universities, colleges, community colleges, career/technical schools, vocational/trade schools, centers for continuing education, campus transition programs, và apprenticeship programs. Today’s students may access traditional or online formats as a means of obtaining the education they will need to expand their opportunities & meet their career & life goals.

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Transition Individualized Education Programs (IEP"s) are an extremely important part of planning for postsecondary education & training. The IEP teams must prepare students for the challenges, demands, & rigor of higher education. Remember, we want our students khổng lồ graduate from these institutions, not just be accepted. In order to increase the likelihood of success, students need to be college and career ready, aware of the differences between high school & postsecondary education, and able to use skills related khổng lồ self-advocacy and self-determination.

“What am I supposed to be doing with all of this không tính tiền time?” –College freshman

College và Career Readiness

One of the first steps all teachers should take to lớn prepare students for college & career readiness is to lớn help them identify career clusters or career paths of interest. Why? Let’s look at two examples. First, a young woman goes lớn work in the human services field as a cosmetologist, but previously failed lớn identify that occupation as her career goal while in high school. Unfortunately, she missed the opportunity to lớn take the cosmetology courses available at her high school & had khổng lồ pay for them through a private vocational school (trade school). In addition lớn having khổng lồ pay for classes, it also took her longer khổng lồ begin working in her chosen field. Next, we have sầu a young man who failed lớn think about careers before leaving high school và accumulated a great deal of debt going lớn a four year college only lớn later choose a career as a briông xã mason. In this scenario, the question was not if he had the education he needed, but whether it was the right education for the career he chose. This young man spent a great khuyến mãi of money lớn enter a career that does not require a bachelor’s degree. Like the previous example, this young man’s entrance into lớn his field of choice was also delayed.

While secondary students are not expected to lớn know their exact career choice, it is critical for them lớn begin learning about occupations within clusters & narrowing down their selections. This decision becomes the basis for many more high school decisions. For example, career choices influence a person’s need for postsecondary education & training which in turn influences the type of diploma a student earns. In Virginia, it is generally accepted that the most appropriate diploma option for students planning to enter a four year college is the Advanced Studies Diploma, while students planning to enter a community college or career/vocational/trade school could earn a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma. Career choices also determine the plans of study (academic & career) for middle và high school.

In addition to lớn learning about careers, students benefit from learning about themselves in order khổng lồ become college và career ready. Encourage new extracurricular activities, volunteer experiences & community participation to lớn further explore, identify and develop individual passions. Students should know their strengths, preferences, interests, needs, & skills. By comparing the information gathered through formal and informal assessments with the skills và strengths required by the career clusters that interest them, students can further develop or refine their career choices.

Differences between High School and Postsecondary Education & Training

There are many differences between high school and postsecondary education for students with disabilities. One of the main differences is the change from entitlement under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) to lớn eligibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The IDEA is an education law that requires public schools lớn identify the educational needs of students with disabilities và provide a không tính phí and appropriate education for those students. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability và helps to lớn ensure that students have sầu equal access to every aspect of the college’s programs, services and activities. At the college level, there are no special education teachers or case managers who provide services; instead, the college must provide appropriate accommodations to lớn ensure it does not discriminate against a qualified person with a disability.

Another major difference is that students must advocate for themselves in postsecondary education. In high school, students often rely on parents, family members, & teachers khổng lồ get the services they need. Once in college, they need khổng lồ talk with the college personnel in charge of academic accommodations và their professors in order to get their accommodations in place. Academic accommodations are individualized but may include extended time on tests, priority registration, alternative sầu textbooks, testing in a limited distraction room, or a notetaker.

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Students leaving high school và entering postsecondary environments need to plan for the diverse climates and cultures of higher education, higher academic expectation, và increasing independence. Some students find the strategies they successfully used khổng lồ compensate for their disabilities in high school are not effective sầu in college. A failure to adapt lớn these differences can lead to low grades, academic probation or eventually dropping out. Additional differences between high school và college include changes in required documentation, parental roles, academic expectations, và social environments.

The Role of Self-determination in Preparing for Postsecondary và Training

Self-determination skills are a phối of personal skills that include accepting a disability & how it affects learning, understanding which support services are needed, knowing how lớn describe one’s disability and advocating for supports, & having the determination lớn overcome obstacles that may be presented. Of critical importance is gaining an understanding of how to access and use accommodations in postsecondary education and training. Students vì chưng not have sầu khổng lồ discthất bại their disabilities in college but if they want to lớn receive accommodations, they must follow the institution’s process. Although each college or program may have different guidelines, here are some general steps for getting accommodations:

Students must tương tác the person in charge of accommodations, often called the Disability Support Services (DSS) Coordinator, on campus or in their training program và register as a student with a disability by providing current documentation of the disability. Usually IEPhường or 504 forms are not considered documentation. Cheông xã the college’s trang web for the handbook for students with disabilities where the documentation requirements can often be found.Students must discuss accommodation needs, such as the accommodations that were used in the past, what has worked, and what the student thinks he/she will need while in college, with the Disability Support Services (DSS) Coordinator.Disability Support Services Coordinator (or the person in charge of accommodations) will reviews the documentation provided and determine if the student is eligible for services.Disability Support Services Coordinator (or the person in charge of accommodations) will determine what accommodations the college or university will provide, if it is determined that the student is eligible for services. The coordinator will write a letter informing professors of authorized accommodations.Students must give their accommodation letters lớn professors and be prepared to talk with each professor about how khổng lồ receive sầu accommodations. It is always the student’s choice as khổng lồ whether or not to lớn discthua thảm his/her disability và receive sầu accommodations.

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