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What I Should Know Before Graduating from High School

A guide for special education students and students with disabilities

  • Graduating from high school is an exciting time with a lot going on. You may be thinking about several different possibilities for your life after high school. Your Case Manager or School Counselor can help you consider different options while you’re still in high school.

    If the Military could be an option for you, you should plan on taking the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) late during junior year.  There are certain scores you need to get on this test in order to be accepted into each branch.  The following is a list in order of difficulty to get into: Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army, National Guard. If you take it during junior year, you will have plenty of time to take it again if you want to try to improve your score. Make an appointment to see your School Counselor about your plans to join the military and contact a local military recruitment office to set up an appointment to discuss your interests and take the ASVAB test. You would not need updated child study team testing if your plan is to go directly into the military.

    Trade Schools:  A Trade School may be a good option for students interested in a trade career, and who want training and/or a certification in a specific field such as building/construction, electrical, plumbing, automotive, and more. Students would not need updated child study team testing if the plan is to go to a trade program. Make an appointment to see your School Counselor to review local Trade School programs and the application process.

    4 year College: Students who are considering applying to a 4 year college should request a meeting with their School Counselor during the 2nd semester of their junior year. At this time they should register to take the SAT or ACT, usually for the May or June administration. If the student needs extra time on tests/quizzes in school, you may benefit from extra time on the SAT. If you would like to apply to receive extra time on the SAT’s, there should be formal evaluations or documentation of medical conditions completed within the last 3-4 years. These results are necessary for the Collegeboard to review to determine eligibility for special accommodations such as extra time. Current evaluations may also help students request academic supports in college.  IEP's are only federally mandated for school age children so once students receive a diploma, they are no longer eligible for an IEP.  However, many 4 year colleges have offices of support services for students with disabilities.  Students can request academic supports by providing high school records for the office to review and determine if there is a need for college supports.

    2 year College: Students who are considering a 2 year college program will need to apply and register to take a placement test in the spring before graduation. See your School Counselor about the placement test and about signing up for the annual class trip during senior year to Camden County College. Students pursuing a 2-year college program do not need to take the SAT/ACT.  IEP's are only federally mandated for school age children so once students receive a diploma, they are no longer eligible for an IEP.  However, many 2 year colleges have offices of support services for students with disabilities.  Current evaluations may help students request academic supports in college. Students can request academic supports by providing high school records for the office to review and determine if there is a need for college supports.  

    There is also a state organization called the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.  This agency can provide supports and services to eligible adults with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment, among other things.  They require high school records and evaluations to help determine a person’s eligibility for their services. In order to determine eligibility, parents or adult students need to apply to DVR by completing an application and sending it to the local DVR office in Camden County. They will then review the provided records and contact the family to set up an interview to begin determining eligibility. You may contact your high school Case Manager if you have any questions about applying to DVR.

    There is another state organization that can help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Parents must complete an application in order to determine their child’s eligibility for supports and services through the Division of Developmental Disabilities. Please see your child’s high school Case Manager if you think your child may be eligible due to an intellectual or developmental disability.

    Note: 10th grade students are supplied with a Naviance account through their School Counselor. This is a useful tool for planning and exploring post-graduation opportunities. Visit the School Counseling office if you need your username again.