Special Education

UPCOMING EVENTS 

Saturday, March 10-March 17 

What “transition activities” do you have planned for spring break?  Do you need to take a road/day trip to visit a college campus OR would a tour of a training facility be more appropriate?  If your child would like to live with peers after completing high school, do you know how to find a group home that is a good fit for your loved one?  If going directly to work is what your student has planned for after high school, have you made an appointment with Texas Workforce Commission’s Vocational Rehabilitation Office to have a comprehensive vocational assessment done for free (and plan for job training and/or coaching)?  Make your plans now – you’ll be amazed at what you can find!   

Saturday, March 24 

Asian American Community Outreach 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., at The Harris Center – 9401 Southwest Freeway, Room 104, Houston,77074. Featured Presenter:  Laura Buckner, UT Center for Disability Studies/Institute for Person Centered Practices.  Free to Family Members and Self Advocates (Adults with Disabilities) – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AsianAmericanOutreach

SAVE THE DATE

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

5th Annual Career and Community Connections Fair from 8am to noon at the Berry Center…thanks to all who supported this year’s great event. We had over 75 families and 412 soon-to-be graduates attend this all-inclusive transition activity where students applied, interviewed and got hired for jobs in the community. 

Put the above mentioned events on your refrigerator or personal calendar so you won’t miss them.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

To learn more about inclusive university programs for students on the autism spectrum, read https://today.tamu.edu/2018/02/22/spectrum-learning-community-to-connect-texas-am-students-on-autism-spectrum/

TRANSITION TO COMMUNITY & JUNIOR COLLEGES

Traditionally, students with disabilities could enroll in any educational institution (community college, junior college, or four-year college/university), trade school or technical institute that would accept them. Recently, the Texas legislature passed legislation, Texas Success Initiative (TSI), designed to help postsecondary institutions determine, if a student is ready for college level coursework. Students who graduate in Texas must take the TSI assessment and score at a certain level to be accepted by the postsecondary program. Students can be exempt from the assessment, if they score above a certain score on the ACT, SAT, STAAR, have successfully completed college-level English and math courses, or transfer from a private or independent institution or an accredited out-of-state institution. A student may also be exempt if they have enrolled in a Level-One certificate program (fewer than 43 semester credit hours); are not seeking a degree; or have been, or currently are, in the military.

Prior to administration of the new TSI assessment, an institution shall provide a pre-assessment activity that includes:

· an explanation of the importance of the TSI Assessment

· practice test questions and feedback

· an explanation of all your developmental education options, if you don't meet the minimum passing standard

· information on campus and community resources that will help you succeed as a college student. The TSI assessment tests English (writing and reading) and mathematics

The assessment includes multiple-choice questions that are aligned to the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards and a written essay. The assessments are computer-adaptive, which means that questions increase or decrease in difficulty level depending on the response. The assessments are untimed and provide diagnostic profiles to help identify types of supports and interventions that may help the student in learning. It is not clear if accommodations are allowed for the assessment. The student immediately receives information on their score and skill or proficiency levels.

There are three possible designations given:

1. College Ready (meets or exceeds statewide standards)

2. Developmental Education (remedial - high school skill levels)

3. Adult Basic Education (pre-high school skill levels)

The required score for each designation increases for several years. If the person scores in the Adult Basic Education level, they will probably be referred to other state or community agencies or resources. There is a cost for taking the initial assessment ($29) and retaking one of the three tests ($15 per test). Students may retake any or all portions of the test at any time, subject to availability. Some public schools are paying this cost for their students.

Parents and students need to be aware that four-your public universities, community and junior colleges and Texas State technical colleges are still determining how to implement the new regulations and processes, and they will decide what developmental education options students will have and what they must do to be enrolled in a degree program or a Level-Two certificate program (more than 43 semester credit hours). At any of these institutions, additional placement testing and/or admission requirements may be required for entry into specific courses, colleges or programs.

Individuals should contact the post-secondary school about their basic requirements, and requirements for specific courses, colleges or programs and how they would apply for them. It is important to note that community and junior colleges, and the TSTC system also have disability assistance departments, and it is important to register for services early.  Knowing which services a school can provide to a student with a disability can help the student select an institution to attend.

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