4+ Programs

  • 4+ programs are designed for secondary special education students who are currently on an IEP to continue to develop specific vocational skills when their vocational needs and/or life skill needs cannot be met at the high school.
  • The student does not graduate or receive a signed diploma from the high school.  Conversations with district administration need to be held regarding participation in graduation activities.
  • The 4+ programs are extensions of an individual special education student’s secondary program in a different setting.
  • Program content varies from 4+ program to 4+ program.  Some programs may include independent living skills, social skills, life skills, functional math, reading and writing skills, employability skills, problem-solving skills and/or communication skills in addition to the student’s participation in one of the college’s vocational programs.
  • Each 4+ program has their own referral systems, vocational options and processes and completion criteria such as:  certificates of completion, competency certificates, and/or earns college credit toward a degree.
  • Certified special education teachers and staff from community college programs staff 4+ programs.

What 5th Year Programs Are Not

  • 4+ programs are not meant for all students on IEPs.
  • 4+ programs are not scholarship programs.
  • 4+ programs are not free.  The student’s special education weighted dollars follow the student to the 4+ Program and the weighted dollars fund part or all of the cost of the program.
  • Completing the 4+ programs are not the same as completing a two-year community college program.
  • The goal of the 4+ programs is not to exit students with degrees; it is to continue work on unmet vocational and/or life skill needs.


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