Home > Topics > Special Education Advocacy > Certificate Program v. Regular Diploma - No Way!
This is a subject parents need to consider carefully. It has been my experience that the “alternate diploma” is not worth the paper it is written on. Even community colleges require at least a GED. Most employers require a high school diploma, GED, or ask that a perspective employee work toward one of those.
Don’t settle for an “alternate diploma.” Begin with the highest expectation possible for your child. Don’t lower that expectation until you extinguish every possibility.
What can a parent do?
First, consider what the IDEA says about high expectations in the purposes section.
This should be done in order for a child to-
Second, consider the following questions.
Third, consider using the transition plan to address the diploma.
An IEP should include transition services no later than the first IEP in effect when the student turns 16. The age could be younger, depending on your state’s special education regulations.
Transition services are services that step your child up to moving to the adult world.
Transition services should:
Post school activities could include any of the following.
The transition plan should base transition services on your child’s individual needs. The IEP team should consider your child’s preferences, interests, and strengths. What does he want to do?
If your child wants to attend a community college or college, he will need that regular high school diploma!
Transition services should include the following.
Transition services in the IEP must include:
Transition services can be special education, if your child needs the services provided as specially designed instruction or a related service in order to benefit from special education!
When thinking about transition planning, ask yourself these questions.
IEP teams can develop and use transition plans to help students with disabilities meet the high expectations set for all students. As with every other special education issue, make yourself an expert.
Susan’s most relevant experience is as the mother of four, three of which are students with disabilities. Susan’s next most relevant experience is as a ten year parent advocate and trainer with South Carolina’s former Parent Training and Information Center, PRO*Parents of SC. Susan has trained over 5000 parents, attorneys and advocates during her tenure with PRO*Parents on virtually any topic that has to do with special education and civil rights law.
Susan’s passion for assisting parents and extensive knowledge of the practical application of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act along with other laws applying to children makes her a fierce advocate for students. The training she has received over the last ten years is second to none. Susan has trained under some the nation’s leading advocates and attorneys, such as Chris Ziegler Dendy, Rick Lavoie, Matt Cohen and Pete Wright of www.wrightslaw.com.
A Board Member of COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates) for 4 years and a member for 7 years, she serves as the board secretary as well as serving on COPAA's executive committee. She also sits on the media relations, advocate and conference committees. Susan has honed her skills by attending COPAA’s National Conference for the last 7 years, presenting sessions at the last 6 and was asked by COPAA to provide the two day advocate training at their preconference for the last 3 years. She has a certificate from the William and Mary School of Law Institute of Special Education Advocacy and holds certificates in non-profit management from Duke and Winthrop University. However, Susan believes that her expertise actually lies in a specialized field that in all actuality can only be obtained by hands on experience and is not taught in any university setting.
Susan continues to hone her skills by continually training, she believes that a vital part of advocacy lies in staying abreast of ever changing case law, scientific research and guidance from the US Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights.
July 2012 - William and Mary Law School Institute of Special Education Advocacy
Susan Bruce receives their certificate from ISEA 2012 at the W&M Law School Institute of Special Education Advocacy for advanced advocates.