South Carolina has roughly 100,000 students with disabilities serviced under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), of which the majority are able to earn a state high school diploma. Given the varying levels of student achievement, as well as the inability to complete required high school coursework, there is a need to provide an alternative option for students with disabilities to demonstrate their ability to transition into the work community. The uniform state-recognized South Carolina High School Credential will be aligned to a newly created course of study for these students with disabilities whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) team determines this course of study is appropriate.

To align with the State’s Profile of the South Carolina Graduate, an opportunity that will assist these students in acquiring skills necessary to be successful after high school is critical. The purpose of S.C. Code Ann. Section 59-39-100 and State Board of Education Reg. 43-235 is to provide equitable job-readiness opportunities for these students throughout the state, ensure they have evidence of employability skills, and honor the work they have undertaken in our public schools.

By Tenia Creech