Each student’s unique transition plan depends on the student’s talents and interests. For some students, the transition plan includes post-secondary education; for others, the plan involves goals for independent living and performance on real jobs; and, for still others, the plan involves self-care, safety, and being likable to those who will be essential to their adult living. Transition planning for students enrolled at COOK Education Center begins at the time of their enrollment.
Successful transition depends on being well liked
We directly teach the skills necessary for our students to be liked by their teachers and other supervisors, the skills essential to effective self-management, the skills involved in helping others, and socially appropriate and engaging leisure skills. We also teach responsibility for and the care of materials and equipment, and we emphasize the importance of maintaining a clean and organized workspace.
Employability skills can be essential to successful transition
Our students can be assigned in-school “jobs” that permit them to acquire the essential job-related skills that are expected of young people in real employment settings. We also make available real-world apprenticeships in San Diego community settings, including Mama’s Kitchen, the San Diego Food Bank, Tecolote Canyon Ranger Station, and others. COOK Education Center personnel provide the necessary coaching and supervision of its students in these jobs so that success is virtually guaranteed. Ideally, by the time of graduation, those of our students whose transition plan includes independent living and a real-world job, will have experienced several such apprenticeships, so that they will have been prepared in a generalized way for successful employment.
Transition can occur within COOK Education Center, to another TIEE school, or to public school. Students who enroll at an elementary school age will be served in the COOK Education Center’s Foundations program. If they continue to be enrolled in COOK Education Center, they will eventually be transitioned to the COOK Education Center’s Secondary Program either in the diploma-bound curriculum or in a more functionally oriented curriculum. Students can remain enrolled at COOK Education Center until their 22nd birthday, at which time they are no longer eligible for special education and services, so must graduate. Some students will qualify for transition to TIEE’s Urban Skills Center on or about their 18th birthday and can be educated at that school until achieving a high school diploma or until reaching their 22nd birthday. Each year, some students transition to a public school, which depends on the decision of the student’s IEP team and the availability of an appropriate program in the student’s home school district.
COOK Education Center holds graduation ceremonies at the end of each school year. Students who have accumulated the required number of high school credits specified by their home school district and who have passed the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) obtain a high school diploma from their home school district. The diploma can be awarded at the COOK Education Center graduation ceremonies. COOK Education Center does not confer high school diplomas.
Students who have not earned the high school credits or who have not been “diploma bound” will earn a Certificate of Completion that will be awarded at the COOK Education Center graduation ceremonies.