Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential

The New York State Regents are not able to point the finger at any other group for this particular education reform issue under the Common Core umbrella.  The Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential is supposed to be an “important new exiting credential for students with disabilities.”  In reality, it is a door slam in the face.  What the Regents fail to grasp is that there are so many different types of disabilities.  The CDOS ends up being a door shut in the face of about 4% of students in school districts as per parents and teachers that I have talked to since Common Sense Lobby Day.  It is in full effect for students finishing school in 2015.


The New York State Board of Regents now requires 5 Regents for a local diploma (regardless of disability).   A passing grade of 65 per one conversation with NYSED and 55 per another conversation with a Special Ed teacher is required for Math and ELA.  A passing grade of 55 is required  for Global, US History and Science. (There is a convoluted Compensatory Safety Net of a 45 pass for Global, US History and Science of which I have received different explanations).*

A Regents diploma still requires passing 5 Regents exams with a 65 or better.

The New York State Board of Regents has eliminated the Regency Competency Tests, which were acceptable for a local diploma.  These exams used easier language and asked basic, straight-forward questions.

If a student, for whatever reason, cannot pass the required Regents (Math, US History, Global History, ELA, Science) then they cannot earn a diploma, even if they have the required number of credits (22).

A student can earn a CDOS in conjunction with a Regents diploma, but if they cannot pass the required Regents exams they will only earn a CDOS as of enrollment in 9th grade in 2011.

As of now, it is unclear as to whether a CDOS would be recognized for any type of employment, civil service. college, trade school, or for anything outside of New York State.  The Board of Regents says they recognize it for eligibility for employment but I was unable to find any information on the NYS Department of Labor regarding CDOS.

If you can only earn a CDOS, students, regardless of disability, are eligible for a free appropriate public education until they are 21.  According to one source, students who only earn a CDOS will be counted as drop outs, even if they have completed all other course work and earned 22 credits.  This may actually be that they will not be counted in the 4 year graduation rate.

*updated from the original post


2 thoughts on “Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential

  1. Generally speaking, students that receive a CDOS will not “graduate”. It is not a diploma. Therefore, never having graduated high school, they have no ability to apply for higher learning of any sort unless they go through the GED program, this includes community colleges. I am sure that some employers will recognize the certificate, but if a job – as many of them do – requires a high school diploma or graduation, that will be one more opportunity not available to these students. I have yet to talk to anyone that prefers this credential to the former IEP diploma. But then, there aren’t too many that know there’s a difference between the two either.. :/

  2. I’m happy to know that I am not alone in my thoughts and frustration over the fact that my 2 special education children may NEVER receive a high school diploma. I have no doubt that both of them will be able to complete their classes but I fear that due to some of their medical issues they will not be able to pass these tests especially since Common Core has been put into our schools. When I went to school you had an option for a local diploma and with a local diploma you did not even take the regents exams. ALL children are different and there needs to be more options to obtain a diploma in NY.

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