Not Disney related, but regarding Certificates of Completion for High School

DLgal

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Have any of you had kids that graduated with this designation rather than a traditional HS Diploma? If so, what is your child doing now? Job? Further education?

We may be heading down this path with our DS (12) who has autism. He is moderately affected overall...he has many very high functioning areas and a few areas where he is very low functioning (socially, communicatively--spoken and written, and emotionally). He is 50/50 mainstream and special ed classes, but he is VERY far behind in reading comprehension and written expression (about 4 grade levels behind). He is super good in math and science and his elective classes (computers and technology). At this point, it seems unlikely that he could complete the district English and History requirements without modifications to the curriculum.

So what can he do with a CoC? Can he get a job? Can he try for a GED? I feel so sad because he is SO bright and capable in so many areas...is there any hope for an independent future without a HS diploma?
 

gap2368

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
I do know of some people that did not get the main stream education they went on to a tread school ( technical college type place ) and is now working in an office type setting. I would find what your son is good at ( math and science ) and try to find him a job in this area even if he dose not graduate with the main stream kids there should be option for him to get a job. your gudince counselor at his school will know him best and what kinds of things are out there for him after hight school ( and what he should graduate with)
 

Pridemom

On our way to the Kingdom
Joined
Feb 21, 2016
There is a push to train people with developmental disabilities for competitive community based employment. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act has placed increased responsibilities on sheltered workshops to find competitive employment and provide supports to help people with developmental disabilities work "regular" jobs. Another partner in this is your state Vocational Rehabilitation office. I encourage you to learn about supportive employments opportunities for your son so that he can get some work experiences before he graduates. The Association of Supportive Emploment Professionals is a national organization of advocates, job coaches and trainers, and people who help with independent living supports.

Many high schools have programs like Project SEARCH for high schoolers to get work experience in a real life work environment. Do a google search on it and learn about this program-I served on a steering committee for the local program.
 
  • 2tinkerbell

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2013
    My DD was destined to not have a high school diploma. Public school was just not the answer for her - she had "holes in her abilities" and doesn't have a definitive diagnosis. I sent her to a private special education center where she excelled!!! She has a high school diploma. She did post-secondary training and took some college courses. She is currently working for a law firm in our city.

    I wouldn't be discouraged. As the Head of School said, "People are looking at individuals with learning challenges differently and realizing that there is so much more to who they are and what they are capable of."

    I loved the book "Life Animated" by Ron Suskind. If you haven't read the book, it is so much better than the documentary - I suggest you read it. Look at Owen! Owen currently has 2 part time jobs and living on his own in a supported living arrangement.
     

    TheRustyScupper

    Do all the good you can, to all you can.
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2000
    1) Several of my manufacturing plants have hired kids/adults with "Completion" certificates.
    2) When we have needs that might be filled by kids from Special-Ed, we interview them in-depth.
    3) If they have the aptitude, we do hire them.
    4) Typically they can fill slots of simple data-entry
    . . . incoming orders
    . . . shipments
    . . . accounting
    . . . daily production
    . . . manual inspection with devices
    5) During the interview process, we put them through a series of standardized "Wonderlic" tests, and this shows us their capabilities.
    6) With scores of 10-13 or higher, many have worked out well.
    7) So far, we have been pleased with the results.

    NOTE: As a FIRM policy, we do not hire anyone without a diploma, GED, or Completion certificate.
     

    lanejudy

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    My DD is also 12 and while it's not near-future, post-high-school has crossed my mind as well. So far we've had a great support system in the elementary school and I'm hoping in high school they will help direct the process and get her started on something at our local Technical Center instead of the traditional college-prep curriculum. I do think the family needs to be involved in making sure that happens, but there are so many resources available today that weren't even 10 years ago.
     

    TheRustyScupper

    Do all the good you can, to all you can.
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2000
    I do think the family needs to be involved in making sure that happens, but there are so many resources available today that weren't even 10 years ago.
    1) AGREED.
    2) Things have come a long way.
    3) The public has realized there are MANY levels of disability and many tasks that disabled folks can master.
    4) But, as mentioned, one needs to consult educators and employers to determine what is appropriate.
     
  • wilkeliza

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2013
    I know it isn't the best path but when I worked at Disney Store and at Starbucks I had coworkers that were hired with no diploma. Depending on ability some did things that didn't necessarily require socializing and others did the same jobs as everyone else.

    Now at my current job I wouldn't be shocked if some of our coders didn't have traditional schooling. Those guys keep to themselves all day long and while not be the best at their ability to write a paper or speak to the group sure can take a problem with our system and fix the code in no time or be given an idea and write the code to make the idea real in no time.

    So if your child is excelling in math and computer skills look into programs that may get him the certificates they need to work but don't require a high school diploma just the knowledge of coding.
     
    Last edited:

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    There is a push to train people with developmental disabilities for competitive community based employment. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act has placed increased responsibilities on sheltered workshops to find competitive employment and provide supports to help people with developmental disabilities work "regular" jobs. Another partner in this is your state Vocational Rehabilitation office. I encourage you to learn about supportive employments opportunities for your son so that he can get some work experiences before he graduates. The Association of Supportive Emploment Professionals is a national organization of advocates, job coaches and trainers, and people who help with independent living supports.

    Many high schools have programs like Project SEARCH for high schoolers to get work experience in a real life work environment. Do a google search on it and learn about this program-I served on a steering committee for the local program.
    Our Rehab office won't train a student until after graduation. They will come in and meet with students, parents, advocates, etc, but no job training occurs until after high school. They justify it as not wanting to take the student away from the academics, realizing that time taken out of class just makes it harder for the student.

    Of course, we do job exploration, community exploration, etc, during the school day. It's in certain students' schedules to begin with. Students that don't pass the state standards (or submit a portfolio instead) get a certificate of attendance at graduation. They can always try for a GED - that's open to anyone!
     

    Pridemom

    On our way to the Kingdom
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2016
    Our Rehab office won't train a student until after graduation. They will come in and meet with students, parents, advocates, etc, but no job training occurs until after high school. They justify it as not wanting to take the student away from the academics, realizing that time taken out of class just makes it harder for the student.

    Of course, we do job exploration, community exploration, etc, during the school day. It's in certain students' schedules to begin with. Students that don't pass the state standards (or submit a portfolio instead) get a certificate of attendance at graduation. They can always try for a GED - that's open to anyone!
    Vocational Rehabilitation started a summer work experience program where kids get paid recently. Check your local office. Another idea is to contact your local WIOA Youth program, you can find them through your state Workforce division. They offer summer work experience programs.
     

    jodifla

    WDW lover since 1972
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2002
    Have any of you had kids that graduated with this designation rather than a traditional HS Diploma? If so, what is your child doing now? Job? Further education?

    We may be heading down this path with our DS (12) who has autism. He is moderately affected overall...he has many very high functioning areas and a few areas where he is very low functioning (socially, communicatively--spoken and written, and emotionally). He is 50/50 mainstream and special ed classes, but he is VERY far behind in reading comprehension and written expression (about 4 grade levels behind). He is super good in math and science and his elective classes (computers and technology). At this point, it seems unlikely that he could complete the district English and History requirements without modifications to the curriculum.

    So what can he do with a CoC? Can he get a job? Can he try for a GED? I feel so sad because he is SO bright and capable in so many areas...is there any hope for an independent future without a HS diploma?

    Take a look at thinkcollege.net. There are college programs around the country you can attend with a certificate of completion.

    Also, many community colleges around the country will let students attend after completing the Compass exam. Project Search is another program to look into.

    Good luck!
     
  • DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    Vocational Rehabilitation started a summer work experience program where kids get paid recently. Check your local office. Another idea is to contact your local WIOA Youth program, you can find them through your state Workforce division. They offer summer work experience programs.
    What state? MassRehab doesn't have any info on that on its website, nor has the rep I know been involved with any of our students in that way. In Mass, you can stay in high school until you are 22. We have summer school/retention programs for these students.
     

    Pridemom

    On our way to the Kingdom
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2016
    What state? MassRehab doesn't have any info on that on its website, nor has the rep I know been involved with any of our students in that way. In Mass, you can stay in high school until you are 22. We have summer school/retention programs for these students.
    Contact your local Workforce Investment Board about WIOA youth programs. And call your Vocational Rehabilitation office to see if they have Work experience in the summer. Every state is different, so you'll need to check locally.
     

    Allison Joy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2015
    *waves* I'm a bit late, perhaps, but I'm a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) employee chiming in here! I've worked for Missouri VR for 7.5 years now. A few notes on WIOA.

    WIOA requires services be started before the student leaves high school. In Missouri, VR has been going into the high schools for years. For some states this will be a huge change, so it will take awhile to get things going.

    VR services don't officially start until the second semester Senior year, typically, unless they are doing COOP in high school.

    There are agencies associated with WIOA that will do exploration activities until VR actually opens a case.

    Please, please be careful with vocational schools. They will often promise the moon and not deliver, and seem to, unfortunately, prey on those who have disabilities and may not understand exactly what they are getting into. At the very least, if they advertise on TV... be wary unless you know them to be reputable and affordable.

    WIOA stipulates that anyone under 25 cannot just be sent to a sheltered workshop without an evaluation by VR to see if they can work competitively.

    VR, along with other partnering agencies, is usually able to offer job coaching and job retention. Job coaching is to help an individual learn the job tasks, and retention can help them keep it. Now, VR can never make an employer keep someone if they are displaying inappropriate behaviors or just cannot complete the job tasks, but hopefully retention services can jump in before it gets to that point.

    Definitely contact VR, though. There are so many services we are able to provide. It is very individualized, so I can't tell you what may or may not be provided, but we are here to help you!

    I've also got a great resource on limited/full guardianship and limited/full conservatorship if anyone wants it. It's written for Missouri, but the basics would be true for any state. PLEASE feel free to ask me any questions about VR and I will see if I can answer. I've been wanting to share my expertise on here, if needed, but wasn't sure how to go about introducing the topic. This gives me the prefect chance! I was even going to start my own thread about it, but I didn't want it to come across in the wrong way, so I hesitated to do so.

    Also, remember VR is for any age. Our whole mission is to assist people with disabilities (any and all) with finding and maintain employment.

    List of VR offices by state: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/WorkingatFDA/UCM277757.pdf (I KNOW there is a better list out there somewhere, but it's hiding from me, even on Google. This list is from 2011.)
    Another list that is probably more up to date, but does not list the separate agencies, like Rehab Services for the Blind, that some states, such as Missouri have: http://askjan.org/cgi-win/TypeQuery.exe?902 This "Ask JAN (Job Accommodations Network) is a great general resource too. It gives you an idea of accommodations, separated by disability, that might be possible that you may not have thought of.

    Anyway, I've rambled on enough here. Again, feel free to ask me questions, and if you want me to start a thread specifically about VR, let me know.
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    https://www.doleta.gov/WIOA/Overview.cfm

    Wow, sounds like the federal level just sucked funding out of a bunch of working programs and funneled it to uncreated ones, with a ****load of red tape, mountains of bureaucracy and unfunded mandates, yet again. I guess that's why our summer program for academics got squeezed this year - people are scrambling to find the money to cover all this stuff, when there really aren't any jobs out there for a lot of the people listed as in need. We need our IT and manufacturing jobs back. There'd be plenty of opportunities for those in need then.

    My small "city" has a homegrown way of getting jobs for our at-risk youth, job training (after academics - that's 3-4 years postgrad time here in MA) but these mandates took some of our money, I'm thinking. Lovely. Lots of our local small businesses hire our special needs kids, but we give them support. If we don't have the funding to give them support, they can't take our kids. I don't think they will be as open to VR people from out of town, as they don't know them.
     

    Pridemom

    On our way to the Kingdom
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2016
    *waves* I'm a bit late, perhaps, but I'm a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) employee chiming in here! I've worked for Missouri VR for 7.5 years now. A few notes on WIOA.

    WIOA requires services be started before the student leaves high school. In Missouri, VR has been going into the high schools for years. For some states this will be a huge change, so it will take awhile to get things going.

    VR services don't officially start until the second semester Senior year, typically, unless they are doing COOP in high school.

    There are agencies associated with WIOA that will do exploration activities until VR actually opens a case.

    Please, please be careful with vocational schools. They will often promise the moon and not deliver, and seem to, unfortunately, prey on those who have disabilities and may not understand exactly what they are getting into. At the very least, if they advertise on TV... be wary unless you know them to be reputable and affordable.

    WIOA stipulates that anyone under 25 cannot just be sent to a sheltered workshop without an evaluation by VR to see if they can work competitively.

    VR, along with other partnering agencies, is usually able to offer job coaching and job retention. Job coaching is to help an individual learn the job tasks, and retention can help them keep it. Now, VR can never make an employer keep someone if they are displaying inappropriate behaviors or just cannot complete the job tasks, but hopefully retention services can jump in before it gets to that point.

    Definitely contact VR, though. There are so many services we are able to provide. It is very individualized, so I can't tell you what may or may not be provided, but we are here to help you!

    I've also got a great resource on limited/full guardianship and limited/full conservatorship if anyone wants it. It's written for Missouri, but the basics would be true for any state. PLEASE feel free to ask me any questions about VR and I will see if I can answer. I've been wanting to share my expertise on here, if needed, but wasn't sure how to go about introducing the topic. This gives me the prefect chance! I was even going to start my own thread about it, but I didn't want it to come across in the wrong way, so I hesitated to do so.

    Also, remember VR is for any age. Our whole mission is to assist people with disabilities (any and all) with finding and maintain employment.

    List of VR offices by state: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/WorkingatFDA/UCM277757.pdf (I KNOW there is a better list out there somewhere, but it's hiding from me, even on Google. This list is from 2011.)
    Another list that is probably more up to date, but does not list the separate agencies, like Rehab Services for the Blind, that some states, such as Missouri have: http://askjan.org/cgi-win/TypeQuery.exe?902 This "Ask JAN (Job Accommodations Network) is a great general resource too. It gives you an idea of accommodations, separated by disability, that might be possible that you may not have thought of.

    Anyway, I've rambled on enough here. Again, feel free to ask me questions, and if you want me to start a thread specifically about VR, let me know.
    I am also in Missouri. Which region are you with? I have worked with a number of good folks with VR.
     

    Iowajes

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 14, 2013
    Take a look at thinkcollege.net. There are college programs around the country you can attend with a certificate of completion.

    Also, many community colleges around the country will let students attend after completing the Compass exam. Project Search is another program to look into.

    Good luck!
    Random thought: ACT is no longer developing or selling the Compass exam, so don't look for that by name.


    Some parents may want to look into non-degree college programs like REACH (University of Iowa), which allow high functioning disabled students to have a college like experience, while learning job and life skills along with academics.
     


    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates


    Top