VALHALLA, N.Y. -- The Southern Westchester BOCES Center for Special Services and the Center for Career Services has received a $900,000 grant that will enhance its instructional programs for students with disabilities, giving them more options to access and participate in career and technical education coursework and prepare them adequately for the workplace.
Over a two-year, 10-month period, administrators from both centers will work in partnership to enhance the Introduction to Career Development and Occupational Studies (iCDOS), in an effort to expand educational and career opportunities for special education students who are enrolled in BOCES programs throughout southern Westchester.
The half-day general education and career training initiative is designed to meet the specific educational goals of students with disabilities and to help prepare them for post-secondary education and careers.
BOCES will also use the funds from the grant to hire a transition coordinator, a work-based coordinator and a part-time administrator, all of which will work closely with teachers, parents and the community to help students successfully graduate from the program.
Students will get practical, hands-on skill development in specific trades while also developing general career readiness know-how. They will learn how to dress appropriately for work, learn the proper language for the workplace, time management, and the social skills required to secure and maintain employment.
“The goal of the iCDOS Program is to provide students with an authentic work-based learning experience that will build skills that are transferable to a future career,” said Career Services Assistant Director Dahlia Jackson.
Students in the program will be closely supported through a comprehensive evaluation plan that will provide clear, realistic and measurable outcomes for each of them. The objective is to help students obtain a special commencement credential upon graduation from the program.
“The goal from the special education perspective is to ensure that our students have the right transition plan in place for them to be successful in college, career or other alternatives depending on the student’s disability,” said Special Services Director Lisa Schuchman.