Occupational Course of Study (OCS)

  • Occupational Course of Study (OCS)


    The Occupational Course of Study is focused on building skills necessary for students to enter the world of work upon graduation. A standards-based curriculum with a vocational focus is used which includes academics and work experiences. Integration into the work community is an essential part of the Occupational Course of Study. Eligible students participate in job training and competitive work experiences.

     Criteria for Placement 

    Students with disabilities in grades 9-12 are determined eligible to follow the Occupational Course of Study by an IEP Team. All decisions regarding participation in the Occupational Course of Study are made by the IEP Team and are based on the individual student‘s needs and goals for their future.  The course of study is designed for students with mild intellectual or developmental disabilities.

     Characteristics of students on the OCS Pathway

    The OCS Pathway is intended for students who function significantly below age and grade level expectations. The primary characteristics include a documented history that the student requires at least three of the following:

    • Intensive, explicit instruction throughout the school day and on a daily basis in order to address significant deficits in reading and math
    • Multiple and varied strategies to address significant deficits in language processing and/or communication
    • Direct instruction and repeated practice to address significant deficits in adaptive behavior skills (age-appropriate behaviors necessary to live independently and to function safely and appropriately in daily life), with at least one deficit noted within the following areas: social/interpersonal, self-care, home-living, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academics, work, leisure, safety and communication)
    • Multiple repetitions and opportunities for hands on instruction to address significant deficits in attention & short-term memory

     Students may also require the following:

    • Direct instruction in self-determination (such as decision making, goal setting , and self-advocacy)
    • Repetition and hands on instruction for skill development beyond that of typically developing peers
    • Explicit instruction to generalize skills taught across settings
    • Explicit and/or applied instruction to make relevant connections with classroom instruction
    • Accommodations for additional disabilities presenting in conjunction with a cognitive disability

    *NCDPI EC Division 2016