The Nassau BOCES Office of Referral for Vocational Assessment (ORVA) coordinates the provision of Level II assessment for district students using personnel from occupational education or special education. Level II vocational assessment are requested by local school districts for students attending district programs whose Transition IEPs include this assessment.
Vocational Assessment is required by state and federal regulations. Local school districts must provide specific transition plans for their students who have disabilities. These plans must include a Level I assessment and may include Level II and Level III assessments.
The Level I Assessment is the initial phase of a student's transition plan. It is a data gathering process that must be completed by the time a student is in the sixth grade, and it must be updated annually. The local school district conducts the Level I assessment.
The Level II Assessment is a specialized hands-on vocational assessment that builds on information from Level I. When the district Committee on Special Education (CSE) determines that a student requires a Level II assessment, it is often conducted by the time he/she is age 15. Students in local district programs who need an in-depth approach to career planning can benefit from Level II assessments. This type of assessment is most appropriate for students in grades 9 to 12 who will be transitioning from school to work, vocational training, post-secondary education, or adult services.
A Level III vocational assessment is provided only for those students who need additional assessment beyond Level II due to the severity of their disabilities. Nassau BOCES provides all levels of assessment for those students who attend its Department of Special Education programs.
Level II Assessments offered by BOCES include the Comprehensive Vocational Assessment (CVA), which is carried out in groups and the Comprehensive Vocational Assessment for Students with Significant Disabilities (CVAS) which is more intensive and may be conducted in groups or on a one-to-one-basis.
The more intensive CVAS Level II assessment is designed for students with significant disabilities who will most likely earn an IEP diploma and will need post-secondary support services. In the future they may continue in supported employment, and they may require adult residential services.
The ORVA Assessment Process is based on referral information from the school district and the extent of the student's disability. The student meets with either a Department of Career Education or Department of Special Education counselor who selects the appropriate test materials and procedures for the assessment.
A Level II Assessment is administered and scored by a vocational counselor. The process, which can take one to three days, includes information related to the following areas as appropriate: interest inventories; behavioral evaluation; work temperaments; aptitude testing, including motor skills, perception, spatial discrimination; verbal ability, including reading, writing, and speaking; numerical ability; and learning styles. In addition, some simulated work samples are used to provide more in-depth information.
All test results are analyzed and interpreted by the counselor who forwards the assessment report to the student's school district. If requested, the counselor will meet with district personnel to discuss the assessment. The district may choose to include parents and the student, if appropriate, at this meeting.