Education

Modified Occupational Completion Points in Career Tech Schools

Modified Occupational Completion Points need to be promoted and established in a way that gets public vocational and technical schools paid, and more importantly, not penalized. MOCPs are not allowed in many districts, which leads to exclusion of students with disabilities who may not be perceived as successful "completers" of vocational programs. MOCPs are left to individual districts (at least in our state) to determine based on jobs in the local economy, but they have not been implemented in large part because the schools would not be paid for educating students who do not complete their Occupational Points, and their school grade would be diminished as well.

 

The way it works right now, a student in a vocational program works through a series of courses that result in Occupational Completion Points, which are earned by demonstrating competency in a skill according to industry standards. When a student reaches an OCP, the school gets paid.

 

Consider a student with a disability, such as a youth with autism, who is able to demonstrate competency with some of the skills within an OCP, but not all. They are not completers, unless there are provisions for Modified Occupational Completion Points. They might have enough skills to be an assistant to a technician, but they may not (yet) qualify to be a technician in their own right. Their Modified OCP certificate would show the exact skills they mastered, which could then be provided to an employer or employment specialist who assists with placement.

 

Many students with disabilities and specific career interests would benefit from inclusion in Career and Technical Education courses, but are kept out because the schools would not get paid, and might get penalized with a lower school grade. We need a standard, systematic way to make Modified Occupational Completion Points work, in ways that will be to the mutual benefit of the individuals, the schools, and employers who are looking for willing employees who may not quite reach the full set of skills to be certified, but could be excellent, trainable employees nonetheless.

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Idea No. 397