What is the Occupational Course of Study

What is OCS? 

The Future-Ready Occupational Course of Study (FR-OCS) is one of two courses of study a student with a disability may complete to graduate with a high school diploma in North Carolina. The FR-OCS is an outgrowth of North Carolina’s federally funded Systems Change Transition Project. The original curriculum frameworks were approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) in May 2000. Major revisions were made to the curriculum frameworks in 2009 and 2010 to provide closer alignment to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and the Common Core adopted by the North Carolina SBE.
What are the major components of the Future Ready-Occupational Course of Study?

  • It is intended to meet the needs of a small group of students with disabilities who need a modified curriculum that focuses on post-school employment and independent living. The vast majority of students with disabilities will complete the Future Ready Core course of study with the use of accommodations, modifications, supplemental aids and services as needed.
  •  It is a modified standard course of study consisting of 15 courses in English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Occupational Preparation.
  • Students are also required to complete Career Technical Education credits, Health and PE 9, and required elective credits called Occupational Preparation Labs.
  • Each student must complete 150 hours of school-based vocational training, 225 hours of community-based vocational training, and 225 hours of paid employment.
  •  Each student must complete a career portfolio documenting completion of course of study requirements.
  •  Each Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team, which includes parents and the student, makes recommendations as to the appropriateness of the FR-OCS for a particular student based on his/her post-school transition needs and goals. Final selection of the FR-OCS is a student and parent decision.

There is only ONE high school diploma in North Carolina. The FR-OCS is one pathway to earn that diploma. Students who graduate with a diploma through the FR-OCS are held to the same entrance requirements for colleges and military as other students. Therefore a student with a diploma based on the FR-OCS would not be prepared to pursue a degree at a four year college or university. Many FR-OCS students will have to take remediation classes before entering an Associate’s Degree program at a community college. The FR-OCS diploma may not allow graduates to pursue a career in certain branches of the United States military.

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