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Information Related to Graduation Requirements and Exiting Credentials for Students with Disabilities

All students with disabilities must be held to high expectations and be provided meaningful opportunities to participate and progress in the general education curriculum to prepare them to graduate with a regular high school diploma and the majority of students with disabilities can meet the State’s learning standards for graduation. All New York State students, including students with disabilities, have access to the local diploma, the Regents diploma, and the Regents diploma with advanced designation. Any diploma type requires the successful completion of the appropriate 22 units of credits.  The difference between diploma types lies in the number of assessments the student passes and the required passing score(s). 

Detailed information regarding graduation requirements for all students, including students with disabilities, can be found on the Office of Standards and Instruction General Education and Diploma Requirements web page.

Safety Nets

To support the acquisition of a local diploma, students with disabilities have three safety net options available: The Low Pass Safety Net, the Low Pass Safety Net with Appeal and the Compensatory Safety Net. For more information on safety nets for students with disabilities, please visit the Appeals, Safety Nets, and Superintendent Determination web page.

Superintendent Determination

Some students who, because of their disabilities, are unable to demonstrate their proficiency on standard State assessments, even with testing accommodations. For these students, there is the superintendent determination option for eligible students to graduate with a local diploma. For more information on the superintendent determination for students with individualized education programs, please visit the Appeals, Safety Nets, and Superintendent Determination web page.

Commencement Credentials

Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential

All New York State students may exit high school with the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential if they’re unable to meet the diploma requirements.  At no point should a decision be made that a student stops working toward a high school diploma in order to concentrate only on earning this credential.  There are two options for earning the CDOS Commencement Credential. For detailed information on the CDOS Commencement Credential please visit the Exiting Credentials web page.

Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential

Students with severe disabilities who have been instructed and assessed with the New York State Alternate Assessment on the alternate performance level for the State learning standards are eligible the Skills and Achievement Credential. Students with severe disabilities refers to students who have limited cognitive abilities combined with behavioral and/or physical limitations and who require highly specialized education and/or social, psychological, and medical services. For detailed information on the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential, please visit the Office of Special Education's Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential web page.