Post-Senior Program


The Santa Cruz COE Post-Senior program/Adult Transition program is IEP driven for  students aged 18-22 after gaining their certificate of completion of their high school special education program. Our goal is to assist students in determining their own educational, independent living, and vocational goals while supporting their transition into adulthood.

Dr. Faris Sabbah
Dr. Faris Sabbah
Deven Stark, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Executive Director, Special Education
(831) 466-5782
Sharon Dauskardt
Student Information & Student Records
(831) 466-5784

The Santa Cruz COE Post-Senior program is available to students aged 18-22 after completion of their high school special education program. Our goal is to assist students in determining their own educational, independent living, and vocational goals while supporting their transition into adulthood. IEP goals and services are driven by the student’s Post Secondary Goals based on age-appropriate assessments related to: Training/Education, Employment and, where appropriate, Independent Living Skills. 

Our program assists students in maintaining and acquiring functional academic skills. Students also work on social skills, communication, problem solving, self-determination, self-advocacy, safety, mobility training, and overall independent living skills. These skills are applied and practiced in real life settings as students are out in the community with staff.

Our students also work on developing pre-employment and job skills with vocational training and experience at a variety of worksites across the county. Our work experience specialist collaborates with community agencies and local employers in order to develop opportunities that align with student strengths and appeal to student interests.

Another aspect of our program is classwork at Cabrillo College. Students primarily enroll in Adapted Physical Education courses such as swimming, yoga, adapted dance, tennis and weight lifting. Other courses that have been accessed, by our students, are Keyboarding and Beginning Technology Skills.  However, depending on student skills and independence level, other courses may be appropriate and are determined individually.

IEP Services

Student needs-based IEP services are determined at transition IEP’s and are driven by the student’s post secondary goals based on age-appropriate assessments related to: training/education, employment and, where appropriate, independent living skills.

  • Specialized Academic Instruction (SAI)
  • Career Awareness
  • Speech, OT, D/HOH, Counseling, Etc.
  • Transportation


Community Skills:

Survival/Safety Words, Reading Bus Schedule, Mobility/Travel Training including Pedestrian Rules, Bus Skills and Safety, Legal Rights and Responsibilities, Response to Law Enforcement, Community Resources such as the Post Office & Library, Stranger Danger, Money Skills, Purchasing, Banking and Money Management, Grocery Shopping, Public Behavior Skills, Restaurant Skills, Housing and Household Set Up, Appropriately Access Disability Supports and Services

Communication/Decision Making/Interpersonal Skills:

Self-Determination Skills, Public Greetings, Personal Space, Impulse Control, Seeking Help, Requesting Information, Feeling Upset or Frustrated in Public, Personal Information Skills, Initiating and Maintaining Social Interactions, Listening, Appropriate Topic Maintenance with Community, Job Sites, and Campus, Repair Strategies, Public Greetings and Farewells, Use of Humor, Use of augmentative alternative communication: symbol/text icons, and devices (voice output, speech generating, tablets, phones)

Personal Management:

Self-Awareness, Identify Disability, Social Thinking Skills, Friendship and Family Relationship Skills, Hygiene and Grooming, Keeping a Calendar, Time Management, Grocery Lists/Shopping, Daily Living Skills, Clothing choices and  Laundry Skills, Housing & Budgeting, Self-Advocacy Skills, Problem-solving, Know Rights and Boundaries, Respect of Others Rights and Boundaries, Respect, Interpersonal Repair, Self-Management, Self-Determination Skills, Listening.


How to Access Preferred Activities, Computer/Internet/Cell Phone Skills, Social Skills, Participating in Group Activities, Learning to Try New Things, Self-Determination Skills, Planning an Activity.


Vocational Readiness Skills, Identify Work Interests and Benefits, Job Search Skills, Resumes, Applications, Interviews and Follow-ups, Interacting with Co-Workers and Supervisors on Job Site, Accept Supervision, How to Complete Tasks, Exposure to Multiple Job Types to Facilitate Student’s Interests, Problem Solving, Self-Determination Skills.

Functional Academics:

Life Skills: Math, Language Arts and Science, Computer/Internet/Cell Phone Skills, Health, Meal Planning and Preparing, Money Skills, Budgeting, Banking

Physical Education:  Adaptive PE – Cabrillo, Join a Gym, Exercise Goals, Fitness Activities.

Health: Food Choices and Nutrition, Purchasing Food, Food Safety, Hygiene and Grooming, Access Health and Medical Care, Personal Safety, Self-Determination Skills.


WorkAbility I (WAI) was initiated in November 1981 as a pilot project to test the concept of work experience for youth with disabilities. It is funded and administered by the CDE. 

The WAI program offers students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) the opportunity to complete their secondary education while also obtaining marketable job skills.  It provides secondary students with an understanding of job-seeking and job-keeping skills. The employability of students improves through occupational class training and on-the-job subsidized or unsubsidized work experience.


Students Will Participate In Job Club Once A Week Which Covers Topics Such As:

  • Explore Career Interests
  • Learn A Variety Of Job Skills
  • Learn How To Find A Job
  • Learn How Fill Out Applications And Documents
  • Gain Interview Skills
  • Practice Social And Safety Skills At Work
  • Potentially Work 2-3 Days/Week For 1-2 Hours/Day With Support


  • East Side Eatery
  • Pizza My Heart
  • Ace Hardware
  • Woodstock Pizza
  • SPCA
  • Chili’s
  • Marshalls
  • Grocery Outlet
  • Goodwill-Downtown, Scotts Valley
  • Santa Cruz County Office Of Education
  • Pet Pals

Paid Internship Program (PIP)

  • COE is a vendor through the San Andreas Regional Center (SARC).
  • PIP provides students with paid internship opportunities.
  • Sites who have provided these paid opportunities are: Marshalls, Pet Pals, Pizza My Heart


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8:00 - 9:00 SDC Classroom: Work on IEP goals, Plan and prepare for the day. Break into small groups with staff supervision.
9:00 - 9:45 Transition to Metro bus to go to job/volunteer sites
9:45 - 11:30 Transition into work/volunteer site for 1-2 hours, Transition out of work/volunteer site for lunch and Community Based Instruction
11:30 - 12:15 Lunch in the community
12:15 - 1:00 Transition and take Metro bus back to Campus
1:00 - 2:00 Life Skills Instruction on campus; Home at 2:00


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8:00 - 9:30 SDC Classroom: Work on IEP goals and/or group lesson/activity; plan and prepare for the day; divide into small groups with staff supervision; transition to Cabrillo Classes
10:00 - 11:00 Cabrillo class (Adaptive PE, Keyboarding, etc.)
11:00 - 12:00 Cabrillo Class (Adaptive PE, Keyboarding, etc.)
12:00 - 12:45 Transition to/from Lunch in the cafeteria/free choice activity on campus (library, CTC, check out student store)
1:00 - 2:00 Life Skills Class (large and/or small group)
2:00 Go Home (District transportation)


Classes You Can Take Without Assessment:

  • Ape Classes-Swimming, Tennis, Team Sports, Yoga, Chair Aerobics, Weight Lifting
  • Keyboarding, Beginning Technology Skills
  • Other Classes May Be An Option Based On Skill Level.


  • Nutrition/Health
  • Shopping & Money Skills
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Relationship Skills
  • Safety Skills
  • Off Site “The Hub”


  • Telling Time/Calendar Concepts
  • Money/Budget Skills
  • Functional Reading (Survival/Safety Words, Read Bus Schedule)
  • Computer/Internet Skills
  • Functional Writing (Filling Out Forms, Making Grocery List)


  • Learn About Agencies In The Community (Post Office, DMV, Social Security Office,  Department Of Rehabilitation, City Libraries)
  • Safety Skills In The Community And How To Handle Emergencies
  • Pedestrian Safety And Transportation Skills


Self-Determination is a person’s ability to control his or her own destiny. A crucial part of the concept of self-determination involves the combination of attitudes and abilities that will lead children or individuals to set goals for themselves, and to take the initiative to reach these goals.

Self-Advocacy: a person making a deliberate or purposeful choice to speak up for their  needs and/or ideas.

  • Students learn the importance of  participating in their IEP/Individualized Transition Plan to the best of their ability.
  • Student/family take part in age-appropriate Transition Assessments that lead to measurable Post-Secondary goals, which drive IEP goals.
  • Prepare and Practice, Practice, Practice


At the High School Transition meeting you will receive:

  1. Workability Hire packet- Please return it to your students 

COE Post Senior teacher during the first week of school to ensure the student is able to start work.

  1. Referral Registration Online.  Packet-please return to High School SDC Teacher.

Cabrillo Fees: Separate policies and costs* apply at family expense for students taking classes at Cabrillo. It’s different from Special Education. Enrollment in Cabrillo College classes is optional.

*Most students qualify for the BOG grant which covers the cost of the majority of the tuition Cabrillo fee.  Approximate cost of a semester of two Cabrillo classes ranges between $60-$70 with BOG waiver.


  • Assist student in applying to Cabrillo College before entering the program (
  • Take student to ASC (Accessibility Student Center) and request new student file/complete intake papers (this can also be done with COE teacher 1st week of class)
  • Assist student in obtaining an OLDER ADULT & DISABLED DISCOUNT FARE CARD from the METRO station located on Pacific Ave. in Santa Cruz.
  • Assist student in filling out the WorkAbility Student Hire packet, bring a copy of the student’s social security card, picture ID, current TB test paperwork (0nce the hire packet is completed. Turn it into the Teacher or Work Experience Specialist and we can set up an appointment for fingerprinting at COE during the school day. )
  • Obtain California I.D. for student
  • Apply for Social Security and/or SARC if necessary


Graduation ceremonies are held at end of each school year!