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Modified Occupational Completion Points (MOCPs)
Vocational Education for Students with Disabilities
What Are Modified Occupational Completion Points(MOCPs) and Why Are They Important?
The Florida Department of Education (DOE) has undertaken the job of restructuring vocational education curricula to be more responsive to the needs of business and industry in Florida and to improve vocational educational courses for secondary students preparing to enter the work force. This restructuring is based upon occupational clusters that share a common core of basic knowledge and competencies. Many occupational programs offer the option of occupational completion points. An occupational completion point is a group of competencies or skills for a specific occupation as identified by the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), an Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) code, or an industry-defined title. For students with disabilities in a job preparatory program, one or more pre-established occupational completion points may be pursued. Rule 6A-6.0312 FAC, Course Modifications for Exceptional Students, may be used in developing modifications to preexisting Occupational Completion Points. These modifications are developed as a part of the Transition Individual Education Plan (IEP) process.
Modified Occupational Completion Points (MOCPs) are selected sets of student performance standards that fall between established occupational completion points as identified in vocational job preparatory course descriptions. These selected standards guide the student in completing a modified program and developing marketable skills.
The modification of vocational course requirements for students with disabilities was first addressed in the 1987 revision of the course modifications rule. The course modifications rule (Rule 6A-6.0312, FAC) allowed adaptations in the amount of instructional time needed to complete a course; allowed variations in instructional methods; allowed for accommodations to communications systems in the classroom stetting; permitted modifications to classroom and district testing procedures; and prescribed conditions for modifying vocational course requirements.
In 1993, a DOE work group addressed the application of the course modifications rule to vocational educational courses. At that time, Multiple Exit Points, a precursor to Modified Occupational Completion Points, were defined and an approach for incorporating required competencies as a part of the Transition IEP was identified. Data elements were adapted to permit the reporting of students with disabilities as modified program completers.
In 1994, the DOE initiated vocational curriculum restructuring as a response to numerous federal and state initiatives, including Blueprint 2000, Blueprint for Career Preparation, Carl Perkins legislation, School to Work programs, Secretaryís Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) competencies, and Goals 2000. The objectives of the restructuring were to ensure that programs
- were responsive to the needs of business and industry
- contributed to the self-sufficiency of students
- integrated high-level academic skills and the SCANS competencies
- provided clearly defined articulation between delivery systems (secondary to post-secondary)
Basic components of vocational program restructuring included occupational clusters and occupational completion points. Data elements for reporting were revised to reflect the new vocational curriculum structure and ensure that student outcomes were accurately reported.
DOEís restructuring and updating of vocational education curricula is on-going. Approximately 181 of the programs have been restructured. More than 950 local practitioners and business and industry representatives have been involved in the process.
With vocational education curriculum restructuring came the opportunity to better address modifications needed by some students with disabilities. In 1995, terminology related to multiple exit points was changed to be consistent with Occupational Completion Points. The term Modified Occupational Completion Points was adapted for use.
Modified Occupational Completion Points in Vocational Education For Students with Disabilities (1995) clarified application of the course modifications rule to Occupational Completion Points. Note: this document may be ordered from the Florida Department of Education by calling 800/342-9271 and requesting product #DD025.
Modifying occupational completion points for students with disabilities has allowed more secondary students to participate and successfully complete regular vocational job preparatory programs.
Benefits of Using Modified Occupational Completion Points
- Increased flexibility in career planning; allow more opportunities and choices related to education and jobs
- Give students and teachers a targeted outcome
- Highlight student abilities rather than disabilities
- Meet the requirements of Transition IEPs
- Respond to accountability and accessibility mandates
- Allow for a larger, more diverse population of workers that meet local community labor market needs >
- Earlier and continuous individual career counseling
- Provide a realistic career plan which allows students to move vertically and horizontally based on changing needs, interests and labor market changes
- Coordinate more realistically with vocational assessment and evaluation procedures
- Promote greater awareness and interdisciplinary collaboration that enhances transition planning
- Complement dropout prevention by helping students target specific school-to-work goals
Developing and Implementing Modified Occupational Completion Points Assessment
The development of an appropriate vocational education plan depends on assessing a studentís interests and abilities. For students with disabilities, traditional assessment approaches may not be effective. Curriculum-Based Vocational Assessment (CBVA) is one approach that is being successfully implemented in Florida.
The CBVA approach was introduced to Florida district school personnel in 1989 by Dr. Robert Stodden. Dr. Stodden, Professor of Special Education at the University of Hawaii has been one of the pioneering forces advocating for the CBVA approach.
CBVA is a process for determining career development and vocational instructional needs of students based upon ongoing performance within existing course content and curriculum. It is a systematic, continuous evaluation process that allows for the development of individual student data that can guide the career development of the student. CBVA helps identify the studentís skills and preferences which are key factors to consider in transition planning
CBVA provides information about work related behaviors, generalized instructional outcomes, and specific skill outcomes. Each piece of information can play a part in evaluation and can help in making placement and programming decisions. CBVA instrument data can be integrated with assessment information from other sources in order to:
- determine current career/vocational functioning level
- develop annual vocational program goals
- develop observable, measurable short-term vocational instructional objectives
CBVA supports Transition IEP development by providing functional data for developing goals and objectives and documenting the extent to which these goals and objectives have been met. Further, CBVA serves as a performance-based method to assess the need for Modified Occupational Completion Points (MOCPs). CBVA data is useful when a student is identified as appropriate for a modified occupational completion point. CBVA also provides a method for recording performance and documenting mastery of modified outcomes.
Several school districts are using CBVA and have developed CBVA checklists to be used with middle and high school students. Pasco County has developed an ESE Performance Profile to be used with middle school vocational exploratory courses (vocational wheels) as well as performance profiles for specific exploratory vocational courses. Dade County developed a generic CBVA rating form that may be used for vocational or academic courses. For information about CBVA, please click on the "CBVA" section of this Special Needs Home Page.
Role of the Transition Individual Educational Plan in Identifying Appropriate Vocational Outcomes
The Transition IEP identifies needs related to post-secondary outcomes for students with disabilities. Planning often includes identification of vocational outcomes and the selection of vocational job preparation courses. Most students will be able to master one or more occupational completion point(s) during their high school years. Sometimes instructional or curriculum modification are needed if a student is unable to complete occupational completion points within available time frames or has significant needs. In cooperation with the student, vocational and exceptional student education (ESE) staff identify appropriate vocational outcomes, which are documented in the Transition IEP. Some options available in developing an appropriate vocational job preparatory program include:
The student completes the requirements for completion of the ocational program with no modifications or accommodations. Upon successful completion, the student is reported as a standard occupational completion point(s) completer.
Instructional modifications without curriculum modifications
Modifications may be made to time requirements, variations in instructional methodology, accommodations for teacher-student communications systems, classroom and district testing procedures, and other evaluation procedures. Upon successful completion, the student is reported as a standard occupational completion point(s) completer.
Curriculum framework modifications without instructional modifications
Curriculum modifications may include the selection of particular outcomes and student performance standards chosen from a job preparatory program that a student must master to earn credit. These performance standards must be specified in the Transition IEP and are designated as Modified Occupational Completion Points. No instructional modifications are required. Upon successful completion of specified requirements, the student is reported as a modified occupational completion point(s) completer.
Curriculum framework modifications with instructional modifications
Curriculum modifications may include the selection of particular outcomes and student performance standards chosen from a job preparatory program that a student must master to earn credit. The student requires modifications in time requirements, variations in instructional methodology, accommodations for teacher-student communications systems, classroom and district testing procedures, or other evaluation procedures are also needed. These performance standards must be specified in the Transition IEP and are designated as Modified Occupational Completion Points. Upon successful completion of specified requirements, the student is reported as a modified occupational completion point(s) completer.
An Approach for Adapting the Coursework Requirements or Frameworks
Since the concept of Multiple Exit Points was introduced in 1993, Florida school districts have worked to develop appropriate instructional and curriculum modifications so that more students with disabilities can participate in vocational education. Rule 6A-6.0312(6) FAC, Course Modifications for Exceptional Students, states, "The school boardís provisions for course modifications shall be incorporated in the districtís Pupil Progression Plan." If Modified Occupational Completion Points (MOCPs) are used, the district must specify the availability of MOCPs in the Pupil Progression Plan.
Each district must develop an individual approach The following steps, summarized from Modified Occupational Completion Points in Vocational Education for Students with Disabilities (1995), are offered as a starting point. (Note: this document may be ordered through the DOE by calling 800/342-9271 and requesting product #DD025). These steps will support the development of district policy, procedures, and technical assistance materials to meet student needs and assist in development of vocational education programs for students with disabilities.
- Vocational educators establish commitment of district administration to implement MOCPs.
- Vocational educators establish a core team that includes representatives from vocational education, exceptional student education, guidance/counseling, vocational rehabilitation, local business and industry, occupational and vocational specialists, and parents.
- Core team reviews state policy on course modifications for students with disabilities in vocational education as well as technical assistance materials related to vocational education enrollment, completion, and placement.
- Core team reviews state MOCPs technical assistance materials as well as district developed MOCP materials as possible models for local use.
- Core team drafts district policy on course modifications including provision for course modifications in the districtís Pupil Progression Plan and submits it for review and approval.
- Core team selects specific vocational programs areas, reviews curriculum frameworks, and develops MOCPs job charts to reflect occupations in the community, using recommended titles from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), when appropriate.
- Vocational instructors and business representatives identify student performance standards for selected MOCP areas identified on jobs charts.
- Core team establishes procedures for including MOCPs in student performance standards in the Transition IEP and adopts procedure for tailoring MOCPs for individual students.
- Core team develops district-level technical assistance materials which includes recommended policies, procedures and MOCPs job charts.
- Core team and/or other staff provide training and on-site technical assistance, as appropriate.
Information on students enrolled in vocational education courses must be reported according to requirements in the Florida Department of Educationís, Vocational and Applied Technology Data Base Handbook (hereinafter referred to as the Handbook). The Handbook is developed by selected staff from the Workforce Education and Outcome Information Services Office and the Division of Workforce Development, Florida Department of Education. In reporting information on students in vocational education courses, it is important to use the Handbook consistent with the school year being reported. The summary provided here is consistent with data elements and requirements in the 1996-97 Handbook.
Of the many required data elements for reporting students enrolled in vocational education courses, four elements are of particular significance for students with disabilities who are served in ESE programs. These elements should be reviewed and reported for any ESE student enrolled in a vocational education course. These data elements are briefly summarized as follows:
Pages 20-21 of Handbook
This code identifies the exceptionality for which a student is enrolled in a course or FEFP program.
Pages 92-93 of Handbook
For ESE students, enter code S for separate class, enter code M for mainstreamed, or enter code E for mainstreamed with modified outcomes or student performance standards.
Vocational Occupational Completion Point (VOCP)
Pages 94-95 of Handbook
Enter a code 8 in the second position with the appropriate completion point code for exceptional students who have achieved a modified completion between established occupational completion points. (NOTE: Only students with an E reported for the Vocational Instructional Setting/Method Code can be reported with an "8" in the second position of the VOCP code.)
Pages 110-111 in of Handbook
Enter the appropriate code based upon student completion. ESE students who complete modified occupational completion points should be reported as C, or S, for Completers.
Follow up is in accountability and is part of the job preparatory continuum. Follow up occurs each year in the spring through an electronic matching process, whereby student records are matched at the state level with information from employers. Follow up data will be collected and analyzed for students with disabilities who complete MOCPs within job preparatory programs in the same way as students who have completed job preparatory programs at pre established OCPs.
In past years, follow up has focused on "placement in jobs related to training" and looked for a relationship between each studentís overall vocational program (i.e., horticulture) and the job in which the student was found to be employed. Matches were based on a group of occupations within each program area rather than a specific occupation identified by a completion point.
Currently many procedures are changing to meet the requirements of new Workforce Development legislation that addresses post-secondary vocational and adult education programs. Follow up will continue to be a critical component of accountability as well as program funding. It is anticipated that secondary students with disabilities who complete MOCPs will continue to be followed up in the same manner as all students. State and local follow-up procedures are updated each year. It is important for staff in vocational job preparatory programs to stay in contact with local vocational education administrators to learn the new procedures as soon as they are disseminated.
Emerging and Continuing Issues in Implementing Modified Occupational Completion Points
The implementation of Modified Occupational Completion Points, a fairly recent and developing initiative, is challenged by a number of ongoing and emerging issues that directly impact the process. Some of these include the continued restructuring of vocational educational curriculum frameworks at the state level, maintaining accurate information consistent with required database reporting requirements, and funding for post-secondary vocational education programs.
Vocational job preparatory curriculum review and restructuring is ongoing within the Florida Department of Education. As districts develop MOCPs to meet the vocational education needs of its students with disabilities, they should also periodically compare established MOCP job charts with programs that are being restructured. This review process should ensure that the Modified Occupational Completion Points are consistent with current vocational education curriculum frameworks. A process for updating the MOCPs should be established when inconsistencies are noted and should include an update of the Transition IEP of which the MOCP is a part for the individual student.
Funding considerations for vocational education should always be a part of any modified occupational completion point activity. Of special concern should be the identification of any special vocational needs or modifications in a studentís Transition IEP so that matrix coding can appropriately reflect the studentís needs. Other funding issues which may affect planning for MOCPs are related to shared time programs and dual enrollment programs. Further, future and continuing workforce development funding should also be considered in the development of MOCPs.
Changes in reporting requirements for vocational education programs are often required by state or federal mandates. It is important for district personnel to understand the effect changes to the general reporting requirements for vocational education have on students who are Modified Occupational Point Completers and make appropriate adjustments in reporting. It is critical that the most current Vocational Database Handbook is used to report student participation.
For examples of district-developed MOCPs, go to MOCPs Exchange.
For information about CBVA, go to CBVA Overview .