Occupational Course of Study (OCS)

Occupational Course of Study

 
Occupational Course of Study (OCS) is designed to provide a sound foundation in preparation for adult living for students with disabilities. Through participation in a vocationally oriented curriculum and in relevant work experiences, students learn skills necessary to enter the world of work, retain employment, and seek other employment throughout their adult lives. The OCS is designed to provide eligible students as determined by the IEP Team, the skills needed to develop a foundation for work. This course of Study consists of three components: (1) functional curriculum, (2) job training, and (3) competitive work experiences. The program addresses the aptitudes that are necessary for successful adult living and employment. Students follow a course of study that emphasizes integration into the working community after high school graduation.

 

A student must have a current Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) to be eligible to enroll in any of the courses listed in this section. The coursework for the Occupational Course of Study students began implementation of major changes in 2010-2011 in order to meet Federal Guidelines for No Child Left Behind accountability. Under the new guidelines, OCS students must take the courses below; several will include elements of the new Common Core Standards combined or “crosswalked” with the current North Carolina Standard Course of Study. The new Common Core Standards will include a deep understanding of thinking and questioning based on the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Students following the Occupational Course of Study must pass the following 22 credits:

· 4 English credits which shall be:

a. Occupational Course of Study English I

b. Occupational Course of Study English II

c. Occupational Course of Study English III

d. Occupational Course of Study English IV

· 3 Mathematics credits which shall be:

a. Occupational Course of Study Introduction to Mathematics

b. Occupational Course of Study Algebra I (Math A)

c. Occupational Course of Study Financial Management

· 2 Science credits which shall be:

a. Occupational Course of Study Applied Science

b. Occupational Course of Study Biology

· 2 Social Studies credits which shall be:

a. Social Studies I: Government/U.S. History

b. Social Studies II: Self-Advocacy/Problem Solving

· 1 Health and Physical Education credit

· 6 Occupational Preparation Education credits, which shall be Occupational Preparation I, II, III, and IV (i.e, completion of 150 hours of school-based training, 225 hours of community-based training, and 225 hours of paid employment)

· 4 Career/Technical Education Elective credits

· A career portfolio

· Completion of the student’s IEP objectives

Course Descriptions

9240 Occupational Preparation I Credit:  1

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental attitudes, behaviors, and habits needed to obtain and maintain employment in their career choice and make career advancements. Students will be involved in school-based learning activities such as the School Factory and other work based enterprises.

9241 Occupational Preparation II Credit:  2

This course is a two-period block that emphasizes the development of skills generic to all career majors such as resource management, communication, interpersonal relationship skills, technology, stamina, endurance, safety, problem-solving and self-management. Students may expand into on-campus jobs and other work-based learning activities.

9242 Occupational Preparation III Credit:  2

This course is also a two-period block that allows students to continue the development and begin the application of skills learned in the previous two courses. Work-based learning activities are provided including community-based training, job shadowing, situational assessment and cooperative education. These work-based activities allow students to apply employment skills to competitive employment settings and demonstrate the effectiveness of their work personality. Multiple opportunities for leadership development and self-determination are provided.

9243 Occupational Preparation IV Credit:  1

This course gives students the opportunity to synthesize all the skills acquired in previous Occupational Preparation courses and determine their applicability to the student’s career choice. This course will allow students to solve work-related problems experienced in the competitive work environment, practice self-advocacy, and master the theoretical and practical aspects of their career choice. Students will complete the 360 hour minimum for the Occupational Course of Study. Students will also develop a job placement portfolio that provides an educational and vocational record of their high school experience.

9210 Occupational English I   Credit:  1

This course covers standards in the areas of communication, language and meaning, critical thinking, and research. Students will use the writing process to develop a product and understand appropriate presentation skills. Use of a variety of strategies to comprehend texts and understand appropriate language and conventions in all forms of communication will be a focus in the course. Students will be expected to analyze cause and effect relationships in literature and real life, analyses of cause and effect relationships in literature and real life, and analyses of events in the context of culture and literature. Students will develop an understanding of literary elements and rhetorical techniques as well as literary and informational texts. Application of research tools and techniques to selected topics will be presented. At the completion of this course, students must be assessed using the English 1 EOC with appropriate accommodations and modifications.

9211  Occupational English II Credit:  1

This course covers standards in the areas of oral and written communication, language and meaning, critical thinking and research in a more complex manner. Students will create increasingly complex oral and written responses for a variety of audiences, purposes, and contexts. The learner will use these skills in the development of presentations. Students will use a variety of strategies to comprehend text, and use appropriate language and conventions in all forms of communications. Analyses of texts in visual, auditory, and digital formats will be taught. Students will create research studies focusing on global issues and create oral, written, and visual products focusing on global issues.

9212  Occupational English III Credit:  1

This course covers standards in the areas of communication, language and meaning, critical thinking and research through multifaceted approaches. Students will develop an understanding of literary and informational texts. They will use appropriate communication skills in employment, post-secondary education/training and independent living settings and be able to create written products using a template or form. Focusing on post-secondary education/training and independent living, the student will apply reading and comprehension strategies to informational texts in the specific domains. The learner will carry out problem-solving process as it relates to personal life situations and apply the knowledge of cause and effect to decision making. The course will summarize the importance of forming a viewpoint in situations related to adult living.

9213  Occupational English IV Credit:  1

This course covers standards in the areas of communication, language and meaning, critical thinking and research through comprehensive methodologies. Students will apply information from literary and informational texts to carry out adult-living tasks and activities. They will communicate options that can be used to a variety of audiences. The course requires the student to construct written products without reliance on templates and/or forms and apply reading comprehension strategies to informational texts found in employment, post-secondary education/training, and independent living domains. The course requires the student to develop plans to solve problems that occur in adult life, while being able attribute the impact of cause and effect on a given real life problem and to generate a viewpoint based on current events in written text or personal life situations.

9220 OCS Mathematics I (Introduction to Mathematics) Credit:  1

This course covers number and operations, geometry, measurement, algebra, statistics and probability. It uses the core standards so students can understand rational numbers, apply mathematical operations with rational numbers, and apply ratios, proportions and percents to solve problems. Students will use time and measurement to solve problems. Algebraic properties will be used to solve problems and to understand patterns and relationships. Students will develop an understanding of data in terms of graphical displays, measure of center and range.
 

9221 OCS Mathematics II (Algebra 1) Credit:  1

This course uses the core standards to provide students a more complex mathematical curriculum. Following the format studied in Introduction to Mathematics, the course covers number and operations, geometry, measurement, algebra, statistics and probability, while adding the area of discrete algebra. Students will be required to use ratios and rates to solve problems and use properties of exponents to simplify expressions. They will use properties and strategies to combine and factor algebraic expressions, use direct and indirect variations to solve problems, analyze patterns of change in functional relationships, understand functions based on mathematical and real world phenomena, and use strategies to find solutions for linear and exponential relationships. They will be required to analyze properties of geometric shapes in the Cartesian coordinate system and use formulas to solve problems involving area and volume. They will analyze statistical distributions in terms of the relationships among shape, center, spread and outliers and infer trends in bivariate data. Students will use vertex-edge graphs to route and optimize critical paths. At the completion of this course, students must be assessed using the Algebra I EOC with appropriate accommodations/ modifications.
 

9222 OCS Mathematics III  (Financial Management) Credit:  1

This course focuses on the application of skills needed for independent living. Emphasis is placed on financial management and planning. Students will develop an understanding of state and federal income taxes, wages compensation, and the use of credit. They will be introduced to different types of insurance to meet personal needs while applying math skills to consumer spending.
 

9230  Applied Science I   Credit:  1

This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge necessary to practice safety in all areas of life and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Students will also receive instruction in the provision of first aid and accessing medical care.  Students will have opportunities to apply skills in the area of healthy living and safety to various situations within the home, community, and workplace.
 

9231  Applied Science II- Biology  Credit:  1

This course covers standards in the areas of structure and functions of living organisms, evolution & genetics, and molecular biology. Students will understand the relationship between the structures and functions of cells and their organelles and the analysis of the cell as a living system. Students will explore the interdependence of living organisms within their environment and learn the impact of human activities on the environment generation to generation. The course explains how traits are determined by the structure and function of DNA and how the environment, and/or the interaction of alleles, influences the expression of genetic traits, as well as the application of DNA technology. The theory of evolution by natural selection as a mechanism for how species change over time is covered, including how classification systems are developed based upon speciation. Students will develop an understanding of how biological molecules are essential to the survival of living organisms. They will analyze the relationship between biochemical processes and energy use. At the completion of the course, the student must be assessed using the Biology EOC with appropriate accommodations and modifications.
 

9244  Social Studies I: U.S. History 1 or 2:  Credit:  1

This course is designed to provide the student with basic economic, government, and political knowledge they need to become responsible citizens and consumers.  It covers the historical background of the development of the United States, including the Constitution and amendments, and the three branches of government, and major laws that effect citizens.  The course also covers state and local government roles and jurisdictions, and issues of personal citizenship.
 

9245  Social Studies II: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics: Credit:  1

This course is designed to teach students concepts and skills related to self-advocacy and self-determination, which are essential for achieving independence and successful adult outcomes.  The course strands are presented in natural progression as follows:  Self-Concept, Communication and Assertiveness, Problem Solving, and Self-Advocacy.  Students will learn skills that build on one another, so that they can practice the new skills using the earlier learned ones.  For example, they advocate for themselves using assertiveness, good communication, and problem solving skills.  Students will learn through participative methods in which role-playing is essential.  Later, students will generalize the skills by application in various environments.  Self-regulatory skills such as setting, managing, and monitoring goal performance are emphasized in every curriculum strand, and therefore are not included as a separate teaching domain.

Davidson County Schools

Statement of Understanding

For Students Enrolled in Occupational Course of Study (OCS)

I, ____________________, understand that successful completion of the Occupational Course of Study requires that the following expectations be met:

o Passing grades in all required OCS coursework

•   Occupational English I-II-III-IV

•   Occupational Math I-II-III

•   Occupational Preparation I-II-III-IV

•   Applied Science I-II

•   Social Studies I-II

•   Health/Physical Education

o Passing grades in four Career Technical Education courses

o       hours of successful school-based vocational training hours including (School-based Enterprises, Small Business Operation, On-Campus Jobs, Hands-on vocational training in Career Technical Education courses (outside normal classroom time), Vocational Assessment activities)

o       hours of successful community-based vocational training hours (paid and non-paid Community-based activities include Job Shadowing off-campus, Internships, Situational Assessments, Apprenticeships, Co-op programs, Part-time employment, Legitimate volunteer experiences, and community service)

o hours of successful competitive employment hours (to be counted beginning the summer prior to 12th grade)

o Completion of a Career Portfolio containing all required components

o Completion of Individual Education Program (IEP) goals and objectives

o Completion of the computer skills proficiency requirement established by the IEP Team

o Any other local requirements – (currently _____ additional electives)

 

I understand that OCS students will be taught the Common Core/Essential Standards as described in the Occupational Course of Study and participate in EOC assessments that are more closely tied to the new standards of the general curriculum.

 

I understand that in order for competitive employment hours to be counted toward meeting the requirements for the Occupational Course of Study the placement must meet the following guidelines.

o Transition Job Developer must be notified of all employment placements

o All employment placements must be in an integrated setting within the community

o All employment placements must involve the student actually being hired by a company and being included on the company payroll. Employment placements in which the student’s per hour wage is paid by an outside agency cannot be counted toward the OCS competitive employment requirement unless the company hires the student at the end of the “training wage” period. In this case, the previous hours that were paid through an outside funding source may be counted if the student becomes an employee of the company based on DOL requirements (e.g. employer-employee relationship).

o Student must be paid at or above minimum wage for all work performed

o The employment placement must meet Child Labor regulations under the FLSA

o The employment placement must be open to evaluation of student performance by the Transition Job Developer and the employer

o Employment placements must be open to visits and onsite evaluations of student performance by the Transition Job Developer’s office.

o Employment which takes place during the summer must be pre-approved by the Transition Job Developer’s office.  At least three (3) evaluations using the standard OCS Form are required.

o Employment should be aligned with the student’s areas of interest and their post-school employment goals.

o Students may receive supported employment if needed.

o To be counted as “successful” competitive employment the student must meet employer standards as evidenced by evaluations on job performance.

o *The Exit Committee will review any extenuating circumstances.

 

I understand that the vocational training requirements for the Occupational Course of Study are expected to be completed in a manner that involves moving from school-based training to community-based training and culminating in competitive employment during the last two years of high school. *The Exit Committee will review any employment prior to the last year of school.

 

I understand that students and their family members are expected to work collaboratively and cooperatively with school personnel in obtaining and maintaining a competitive employment placement. This may involve but is not limited to; participation in transition planning meetings, follow-up on referrals to outside agencies, provision of transportation outside of school hours, and completion of all required paperwork for the school and service providers.

 

I understand that appropriate documentation will be required to verify the successful employment placement including pay stubs, time cards, or other official documents that can provide information regarding the per hour wage and the number of hours worked.

 

I understand that in order to obtain competitive employment in the United States a valid social security number or appropriate work permits from U.S. Immigration are required.

 

I understand that successful completion of the Occupational Course of Study will result in the awarding of a high school diploma that is based on the completion of an adapted course of study. The Occupational Course of Study is designed to prepare students for employment and is not considered appropriate for any student who plans to enroll in a curriculum major at a community college or four-year university. However, students may still be eligible for other non-curriculum programs at community colleges such as continuing education or adult basic education classes.

 

I understand that successful completion of the requirements for the Occupational Course of Study may require enrollment in school longer than the traditional four years.

 

I understand the following options are available to students who have completed all graduation requirements of the Occupational Course of Study except their competitive paid employment.

 

o Option 1:

The student may exit school with a Certificate of Graduation 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     hours of successful employment, he/she could then be granted a North Carolina diploma.

 

o 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 22nd 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     hours of competitive employment, he/she would then receive a North Carolina Diploma.

 

The above information was explained on ___________________ all parties have indicated their understanding by signing below:

 

_________________________   Student

_________________________   Parent/Guardian

_________________________   EC Teacher

 

Review annually with parent and student during IEP meeting.

 

_______________________ by ______________________

_______________________ by ______________________

_______________________ by ______________________

 

 

Parent should be given copy annually.

Adapted Curriculum

Adapted curriculum classrooms are designed for students who have a severe intellectual disability. Created to help foster enhanced support for students with special needs or specific difficulties, adapted curriculum classrooms are generally comprised of a smaller number of students with unique struggles who are instructed in an alternate curriculum called the Extended Content Standards of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. This curriculum teaches the essential elements of the traditional course of study while also emphasizing the acquisition of functional skills.  Students following this pathway are assessed yearly with an alternate assessment referred to as the NC Extend 1.  

The adapted curriculum classrooms are designed for students with disabilities who:

· have a current IEP;

· are instructed in the Extended Content Standards in ALL assessed content areas; and

· have a SIGNIFICANT COGNITIVE DISABILITY (i.e., exhibit severe and pervasive delays in ALL areas of conceptual, linguistic and academic development and also in adaptive behavior areas, such as communication, daily living skills and self-care).

The vast majority of students with disabilities do not have a significant cognitive disability. Adapted curriculum classrooms are NOT appropriate for students who:

· are being instructed in ANY OR ALL of the general grade-level content standards of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study;

· demonstrate delays only in academic achievement;

· demonstrate delays due primarily to behavioral issues;

· demonstrate delays only in selected areas of academic achievement; or

· if in high school, are pursuing a North Carolina high school diploma (including students enrolled in the Occupational Course of Study).