Special Education

Summary of Proposed Amendment of Sections 100.5, 100.6 and 200.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education relating to a Regents Certificate of Work Readiness


In January 2012, the Regulations of the Commissioner were amended to repeal the individualized education program (IEP) diploma effective July 1, 2013.  A Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential was established for students with severe disabilities who are eligible to take the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA).

In September 2012, the Board of Regents directed staff to develop a commencement credential documenting attainment of the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) learning standards for other students with disabilities, including students with disabilities who are unable to earn a regular diploma.  The Regents supported development of proposed regulations in accordance with the following guiding principles:

  • In addition to academic preparation, students need to be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills relating to career development, integrated learning and universal foundation skills essential for success in the workplace (CDOS Learning Standards).
  • Students need to be actively engaged in career planning and preparation and their participation in career awareness, exploration and preparation activities should be valued, encouraged and recognized.
  • Students should participate in meaningful career development opportunities that are developmentally and individually appropriate, in consideration of the students’ strengths, preferences and interests and that provide real world work experiences.

The proposed regulations are expected to strengthen existing transition planning and implementation for students with disabilities because they emphasize student involvement in career planning; require districts to offer opportunities for students to engage in work-based learning activities and instruction toward the CDOS Learning Standards in order to earn this credential; and provides a student with documentation on his/her readiness for entry-level employment (employability profile).

Summary of Proposed Regulations:

The proposed amendment would, beginning July 1, 2013 and thereafter, authorize school districts and nonpublic schools to award a Regents Certificate of Work Readiness to a student with a disability to document his/her high school preparation for entry level employment.  The Certificate could be awarded as a supplement to a regular high school diploma or, for a student with a disability who is unable to earn a regular diploma, as the student’s exiting credential.  The Certificate would not be considered a regular high school diploma in accordance with State standards or for federal accountability purposes and a student with a disability who exited school with this Certificate continues to be eligible for a free appropriate public education until the end of the school year in which the student turns age 21 or until the receipt of a regular high school diploma, whichever shall occur first.

To award the Regents Certificate of Work Readiness, the school would be required to ensure the following:

  • Opportunity to Earn a Regular High School Diploma:  The district must ensure that each student has been provided appropriate opportunities to earn a high school diploma and meaningful access to participate and progress in the general curriculum to assist the student in meeting the State’s learning standards.
  • Career Planning: The student has developed, annually reviewed and as appropriate revised a career plan.  A career plan is a student-developed plan that documents his/her self-identified career interests, career-related strengths and needs; career goals and coursework and work-based learning experiences the student plans to engage in to achieve those goals.
  • Coursework and Work-Based Learning Experiences: The student has demonstrated knowledge and skills relating to the CDOS learning standards as evidenced by successful completion at the secondary level of not less than the equivalent of two units of study1 in career related courses and/or work-based learning experiences.  Hours of work-based learning experiences may, but are not required to, be completed in conjunction with career and technical courses. 
  • Employability Profile:  Within one year prior to high school exit, designated school staff knowledgeable about the student’s skills and experiences would be required to complete a work skills employability profile documenting the student’s attainment of the CDOS learning standards, including career development, integrated learning and universal foundation skills.
  • Work Readiness Award Certificate:  The certificate awarded would be required to be similar in form to a high school diploma except that it could not use the term diploma and must indicate that it is a Regents Certificate of Work Readiness.
  • Exceptions to Minimum Requirements: 
    • Because the IEP diploma sunsets as of June 30, 2013, the proposed amendment includes exceptions to certain requirements to allow appropriate discretion to school principals to determine whether students exiting high school in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years have sufficient knowledge of the CDOS learning standards to qualify for the award of the Regents Certificate of Work Readiness.  The proposed amendment would, for students who would exit high school prior to July 1, 2015, allow a school principal to determine that the student, who has not met all of the requirements for the equivalent two units of study in career development courses and/or work-based learning experiences, has otherwise demonstrated knowledge and skills related to the CDOS learning standards sufficient for entry-level employment.
    • For students who transfer from another school district, the principal is authorized to evaluate the work experiences and coursework on the student’s transcript to determine if the student meets the requirements for the Certificate.  

Attached is the full text of the proposed amendmentPDF document (20 KB).


1 One unit of study is equivalent to 108 hours.

Last Updated: June 1, 2010