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 Bruce is a an education coordinator and parent trainer for South Carolina's Parent Training and Information Center, PRO*Parents of South Carolina, Inc.
In the last 5 years, Susan has trained over 2000 parents and professionals on the IDEA and effective advocacy skills, empowering them to effectively advocate for appropriate services for students with disabilities.
Susan has been published several times by such organizations as Wrightslaw, NICHCY and Education Week. Her articles appear in PTI newsletters all over the country. Susan has also conducted CLE trainings on the IDEA in collaboration with Appleseed Legal Justice Center for attorneys new to special education law.
Advocating for her own three children, who are served under the IDEA for the last ten years has made her a dedicated and passionate advocate for students. Susan has trained under some of the leading experts on special education law.
Susan, an active member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), also serves on the Executive Advisory Board of Learning Disabilities Association of South Carolina and as a parent leader for the National Association for the Education of African American Children with Learning Disabilities (NAEAACLD).