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Transition Courses

The following courses are part of the course of study for students with disabilities in the District of Columbia Public Schools. The curricula are designed to include Common Core State Standards, Community-Based Learning, Workforce Competencies, and Self-Advocacy skills within a scope and sequence document to help promote a seamless transition for all students with disabilities to post-secondary options. These courses are offered on various grade levels as shown below. The number in parenthesis ( ) is the number of curriculum documents available per course designed by the DCPS Transition Team. 

Course Grade Levels Description
Core Courses of Study 9th to 12th (16) The core course of study package offers a curriculum series that explores Mathematics (4), English (4), History/Social Studies (4), and science (4). Students who are working to earn a Certificate of IEP Completion participate in these courses.
Pre-Employment Transition Skills 8th (1) Students explore jobs and careers of interest, develop self-advocacy skills, and participate in work-based learning opportunities available to middle school students. They also explore post-secondary education and training programs by learning the differences between community colleges, universities, and job training programs.  
Community Living Skills C5 – C8 (4) Independent living is a set of acquired skills that all transition students need to be successful independent adults. As such, this course aims to use evidence-based transition models to develop soft skills and behaviors. These independent living skills will include identifying living communities, health advocacy in the form of doctor selection and medical care plans, voting registration, self-management communication, using transportation, hygiene, and appearance, and seeking emergency assistance. In addition, students will gain an understanding of what disability services are available to them beyond high school. Through exploring the laws behind special education and its benefits, students will gain knowledge and understand their rights and protections under ADA in the community, explore various levels of services including vocational rehabilitation and personal care, and the American with Disabilities and Rehabilitation Acts. 
Financial Literacy Life Skills C5 – C8 (4) This course will prepare students gradually to become financially independent in the daily role of financial literacy to make sound financial decisions. As the course progresses, topics include opening a bank account, savings vs. checking, and balancing a checkbook. Further development will focus on the workplace to understand a paycheck, w2’s, w4’s, and salaried versus hourly wages. Finally, money management, good financial habits, and benefits planning with a focus on SSI and SSDI benefits, will be reviewed. 
Self-Advocacy 6th – 12th (7) Students learn leadership techniques as it relates to participating in their IEP team meetings. The course focuses on teaching students about their disability, their limitations, their abilities and appropriate accomodations. The course prepares students to take a more active role in IEP/504 development.
Character Development 6th – 8th (3) Students explore the key components of what it means to be a good citizen and contribute to the world in a meaningful way. This course teaches conflict resolution strategies for student to employ in their daily lives.
Learning Labs 9th – 12th (4) Students participate in two courses. Career Exploration (2) and Career Management (2). Students have the opportunity to take a deep dive to explore the career of their choice.
Occupational Career Skills C5 – C8 (4) The occupational career skills elective will seek to develop student career skills through school-based enterprises and on-campus jobs with community-based partnership and instruction. Partnering with community to support engagements through this course, students will attain general workplace skills such as filing, using a copier, stocking shelves, and answering telephones. In addition, specific occupational career paths will be explored such as customer service and clerical (bookkeeping, administrative asst, etc.), custodial and maintenance engineering, retail sales, housekeeping, and the restaurant and hospitality industry (waiter/waitress, host/hostess, etc.). 
Social and Workplace Leadership C5 – C8 (4) This elective course aims to help students focus on self-determination, social skills, behaviors, and attitudes that facilitate proper communication and cooperation in daily life. Topics explored will examine workplace safety and harassment, problem solving, self-regulation, accepting consequences, examining choices, decision-making, taking initiative, goal setting, and social vs. workplace etiquette. 
General Explorations 10th to 12th
Students shadow various careers outside of the educational environment. Students are exploring a “day in the life” of a particular career utilizing situational job sampling.
Independent Living Skills 9th to 12th
Functional Living Skills is a community-based instruction course that takes students into the field to explore various community resources available to them. Students explore concepts of recreation, government, and community living.
Workplace Literacy and Ethics C5 – C8 (4) This course is designed to engage students toward a path that leads to success in the workplace. Active learning strategies and functional academic skills in reading and writing will focus on vocabulary development, effective listening and speaking, and writing in the areas of applications, resumes, job search strategies, interview and response, describing experience, and business English. As the course progresses, students apply their acquired knowledge of skills and their rights and protections under ADA to various school and community-based volunteering and instructional opportunities. 
Career Development 11th to 12th
Students who have jobs while in high school or are seeking a job in high school can learn skills to further enhance their work experience and grow in their jobs.
School-Based Enterprise C5 – C8 (4) Through school-base enterprises, students will engage in paid internships and unique learning experiences. They will provide services that meet the needs of the school environment through hands-on learning to gain work-based experience. Required courses of study will guide student’s integration into the work-role within their local school-based enterprise environment.