Pathways to Partnerships
U.S. Department of Education Awards $10 Million to S.C. Department of Education to Improve Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities
September 15, 2023 • Columbia, S.C. - The South Carolina Department of Education has been awarded $10 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration as part of its Pathways to Partnerships innovative model project.
The project focuses on improving economic self-sufficiency for students with disabilities by creating systemic approaches to enhance post-school outcomes.
“The SCDE is excited to be selected as one of just 12 state education agencies nationwide to serve as a lead agency for this innovative grant,” said State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver. “We know that there are students ready to work once they leave our classrooms that simply have not received the proper training or credentials. This game-changing funding will allow us to partner with schools, the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department, and South Carolina centers for independent living to equip these students with the knowledge and skill sets needed for competitive employment and life after high school.”
South Carolina Pathways Project (SCPP) is a disability-led collaborative effort between the SCDE, Able South Carolina, and the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department. Through this partnership, five districts will pilot a model program to enhance transition planning and services for students with disabilities, create additional diploma opportunities, and connect students with innovative work-based learning opportunities including paid apprenticeships.
The five districts selected to pilot this project are:
- Bamberg County School District
- Rock Hill School District
- South Carolina Public Charter School District
- Sumter County Schools
- Williamsburg County School District
“This grant will allow VR to expand our services to students and enhance our partnership with SCDE and Able SC. We are thrilled to participate in this life-changing program,” said Felicia W. Johnson, Commissioner of the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department.