Career Education for Students with Special Needs

Career education is important for all students and EdITS offers the Instructional Guide for Career Education kit, as part of the CERES program, to assist special needs students in acquiring skills for occupational planning. Since career education is a life-long process, instructional activities begin at the primary level and extend through the secondary grades. Early activities focus on promoting self-awareness while older students begin to explore options, learn about personal characteristics, and prepare to enter the world of work.

The Kit addresses six career education goal areas for special education:

  1. Economic Self-Sufficiency
  2. Self-Awareness
  3. Academic Abilities
  4. Health and Safety
  5. Civic Responsibilities
  6. Family Living

For each of the goals, specific skill areas have been identified and performance objectives have been developed to assure student achievement in critical areas of skill development.

These skill areas are:

  • Information – gathering or sharing through study and experiences.
  • Problem Solving – through study, questioning or consultation with the appropriate person or source.
  • Attitudes – the motivation and loyalty with which a person approaches and performs a task.

Teachers monitor student progress with the Individual Skill Tracking Record. This record has two blocks, pre and post, for recording the date of introduction and completion of the objective. A reporting slip is given to the child upon satisfactory completion of each skill. Parents are encouraged to follow and record their child’s progress with the Parent’s Tracking Record and Manual provided.

The COPS Intermediate Inventory (COPS II) is an ideal assessment to use in conjunction with the CERES special education program. The COPS II is written at a fourth grade reading level and is easy to administer out loud in a small group or individual setting. The COPS II was completely updated in 2011 with new job titles and wording. Also available is the COPS Picture Inventory of Careers (COPS-PIC) for non-readers. Use of the CERES and the COPS II or COPS-PIC will give special needs students a complete and comprehensive career guidance unit.