» Diplomas and Credentials Available to Students with Disabilities and Their Impact on Opportunity Eligibility

Diplomas and Credentials Available to Students with Disabilities and Their Impact on Opportunity Eligibility

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) February 19, 2013 – Several different diplomas and credentials are awarded to students with disabilities who complete high school in New York State. Students and their parents need to be aware of the differences between these diplomas and credentials and of the ways they can affect a student’s ability to pursue higher learning (and other) opportunities.

Regents Diploma:
In New York State, the standard high school diploma is called a Regents Diploma. This is the only diploma available to students without disabilities and is earned by most students with disabilities as well. Students must complete the required high school credits and pass five required Regents exams with a score of 65 or higher. A Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation is awarded to students who score 65 or higher on eight or nine Regents exams. Many competitive colleges and universities desire Advanced Designations from applicants.

Local Diploma:
To minimize the impact of high-stakes testing on students with disabilities, New York State requires districts to offer a local diploma to students with an individualized education program or section 504 Accommodation Plan under the so-called “Safety Net” provisions. Students may earn a local diploma if they score 55 or higher on the five required Regents exams. Even a grade of 45 on one or two Regents exams (other than English or math) can qualify a student for a local diploma if the student scores 65 or higher on other Regents exams under the so-called “compensatory option”. Students still need to earn all the typical credits required to graduate.

Although the Regents diploma is preferred by college admissions departments, community colleges and some other institutions accept students with local diplomas. The local diploma is also accepted by the armed forces, by trade unions and for all similar opportunities for which a high school diploma is required.

Even with the Safety Net options, some students will not be capable of earning a local diploma. In these cases, two other types of credentials are available for students with disabilities. These credentials are not high school diplomas, and they therefore do not create eligibility for traditional higher education degree programs. However, alternative programs, such as Think College, do offer opportunities for students who are not eligible for degree programs to participate in campus and academic life.

Career Development & Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential:
Some students with disabilities may receive a Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential. This credential signifies substantial high-school-level career and technical education and was designed as a supplement to a Regents or local diploma. However, students with disabilities who complete its specialized requirements without achieving the required scores on Regents exams may earn a CDOS even without meeting requirements for a diploma.

Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC):
Students with severe disabilities who attend school for 12 years or more and who are assessed using the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSSA) graduate with the Skills and Achievement Commencement (SACC) credential. The SACC indicates the student’s functional level of achievement academically and in terms of occupational and career development.

Many students with disabilities are able to perform well academically in high school and advance their educations at a college or university. The path a student takes depends on his or her individual circumstances and awareness of the available options.

—Marion Walsh, Esq. and Sandi Rosenbaum

Was this article of interest to you? If so, please LIKE our Facebook Page by clicking here.

New York Contact:
Maria M. Brill
Littman Krooks LLP
(914) 684-2100
mbrill@littmankrooks.com

New York City Office
655 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(212) 490-2020 Phone

Westchester Office
399 Knollwood Road
White Plains, New York 10603
(914) 684-2100 Phone

Dutchess Office
300 Westage Business Center Drive, Suite 400
Fishkill, NY 12524
(845) 896-1106 Phone


View Larger Map

  • Randi Silverman Discusses Mental Illness Awareness
    Our guest this week, Randi Silverman, co-producer of the film “No Letting  Go” joins host Bernard A. Krooks, Esq., to discuss the importance of mental illness awareness and the upcoming release of the film “No Letting Go.”
  • Parents and Teachers Can Take Action to Address Bullying of Children with Special Needs
    By Marion Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Recent years have seen a welcome shift in public attention toward understanding the serious repercussions of bullying in school. Our society now recognizes that bullying, once dismissed as simply part of growing up,can have a serious negative effect on the mental health and social development of children, even [...]
  • Avonte's Law Addresses School Safety for Children with Special Needs
    Avonte’s Law, which calls for audible alarms on school building doors, was passed by New York City Council and signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio in August. The law is named for Avonte Aquendo, a 14-year-old boy with autism who went missing from his school in Queens and was later found dead. Avonte’s [...]
  • Guest Blog: Camp Huntington Starts Weekend Camp in September
    Our latest guest blog was written by Alexandra Mellor, Program Director, Camp Huntington Camp Huntington, a 52-year provider of summer camp programming for individuals with developmental disabilities, is happy to announce a new program: Weekend Camp. It’s an exciting new addition to our long-running summer programs and will enjoy our same unique philosophy and mission. [...]
  • Back-To-School Tips for Students with Special Needs and their Families
    By Sheryl R. Frishman, Esq. Littman Krooks, LLP The summer has flown by and now it is time to think about going back to school. While this can be an exciting time, it can also be an anxiety-provoking experience. This is especially true for students with special needs and their parents. Here are some suggestions [...]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required