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Occupational Course of Study

The Occupational Course of Study (OCS) is one of two courses of study a student with disabilities may complete to graduate with a high school diploma in North Carolina. The revisions to the previous OCS is an outgrowth of North Carolina’s federally funded Systems Change Transition Project. The original OCS 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. The following is a brief description of the major components of the OCS. For more specific information about the course of study parents and students should contact the guidance department of their local high school.

  • The Occupational Course of Study 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. The OCS is a modified standard course of study consisting of fifteen courses in English, mathematics, science, occupational preparation and social studies.
  • Students are also required to complete career/technical education credits, healthful living and electives, as needed to complete local graduation requirements.
  • Each student must complete 300 hours of school-based vocational training, 240 hours of community-based vocational training and 360 hours of paid employment.
  • Each student must complete a career portfolio documenting completion of course of study requirements.
  • The IEP Team, which includes parents and the student, makes recommendations as to the appropriateness of the OCS for a particular student based on his/her post-school transition needs and goals. Final selection of the OCS is by student and parent choice.