Ensuring Effective Instruction and Strategies for Special Populations
The Perkins Act
Perkins 2006 identifies the following students as “special populations”:
- individuals with disabilities;
- individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including foster children;
- individuals preparing for non-traditional fields, (for their gender);
- single parents, including single pregnant women;
- displaced homemaker; and
- individuals with limited English proficiency.
In its plan, each state must describe the program strategies for special populations, including a description of how it will ensure that students receive access to CTE activities, will not be discriminated against, and will be provided with programs that are designed to help meet or exceed the State and local performance targets on the performance indicators.
The Colorado Plan
CCCS will build on a growing statewide commitment to special populations. In the professional activities provided by CCCS, teachers will be actively engaged in Communities of Practice which focus on a variety of educational strategies including support strategies for special populations. Once implemented and evaluated, these curriculum and professional development strategies will be available for all CTE teachers statewide.
Students who meet the criteria for special populations will receive more focused planning based upon the students’ needs. For students with disabilities who participate in CTE programs, federal requirements (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act [aka the No Child Left Behind Act], the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) already require that students receive the full range of supplemental services to assist them educationally and to support their successful transition to employment after completing their public education. In Colorado, at the local level, each student with a disability has an Individual Education Program (IEP) developed by the IEP team. The IEP addresses the students’ individual CTE needs and outlines a plan for transitioning the student to work or further training after completion of high school.
CCCS will continue to work with local recipients to ensure that services are equally maintained for special populations. All Colorado secondary and postsecondary institutions have nondiscrimination policies in place and have published procedures for filing complaints. As part of the Local Plan process, CCCS requires local recipients to indicate the specific strategies they will provide to insure equal access to special populations. And for the purpose of program approval and renewal, CTE programs in Colorado are required to provide a number of assurances regarding accessibility of the students in the special populations to the school’s programs.