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education / training

Mercer County provides a wide variety of programs to meet the needs of our students. Students have access to vocational training at TriStar and Vantage Career Center (Parkway only). There are also other job training/vocational, transition, and alternative classroom settings available. Each school district provides special education services for those students who need extra support. To learn what is available for students in your district, contact your special education supervisor below. Procedures for admission may vary.

vocational/Job Training Programs

Tri Star offers career technical education programs. Mercer County high school juniors and seniors may apply. Tri Star also offers adult training in various fields. Visit their website for more information.

Vantage Career Center is a career-technical school. Any Mercer County high school junior or senior student living in the Parkway school district may attend. Please visit their website for more information.

Project SEARCH is a year-long job training program designed for students with disabilities. It is located at Mercer Health in Coldwater. Students participate in three 10-week internships within the hospital. Each experience helps build skills needed for future employment. Students must apply and go through an interview process. The program is only available to students in their final year of school. For more information, visit their website.

Career Pathways is a program designed to develop entry level job skills. It is located at TriStar. This program is individualized based on student needs. If interested, students must apply and go through an interview process. Visit their website for more information. 

The MCESC Transition Center is a program designed for students who have met their high school requirements, but may need more individualized training in daily living or vocational skills. Entry into this program is based on the IEP team decision. For more information, visit their website. 

Alternative Classroom Settings

The Rose Academy is a program for students who, for any number or reasons, have not been successful in a regular classroom or school setting. This program offers more individualized instruction to allow for greater academic success. The Rose Academy offers half-day or full day options. For more information, visit their website.

Community Learning Center is a K-12 program serving students who require intensive social, emotional and/or behavioral supports to meet their educational goals. Visit their website for more information.

Post-Secondary Education

Students have several choices for continuing education after high school. There are two- or four-year colleges and career or trade schools. If a student meets a school’s admission requirements, they cannot be denied because of a disability. However, the student must contact the disability services office at the college for more information.  Click here for a video on The Role of Disability Services on a College Campus. 


Below are other helpful links if you are an individual with disabilities thinking about post-secondary options.


Special Education FAQs

Contact your school district. Ask for your student to be evaluated if he/she has a disability and may need special education and related services.  An Evaluation Team Report (ETR) will summarize the findings from the initial evaluation.  The ETR is the tool used to determine eligibility for special education services.  Parents must give written permission for the school to evaluate. For more information:



An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written plan outlining the specially designed instruction and related services that meet a child’s present educational needs.

A 504 plan is a written plan that provides only accommodations (such as extra time, text read aloud, etc.) for students within the regular course of study.

If the ETR finds the student only needs accommodations to succeed in the regular curriculum, those accommodations would be outlined in a 504 Plan.

If the ETR determines that the student needs modified or more specially designed instruction, this would be outlined in an IEP.

There are no IEP’s in college. Modifications, or changes to the school’s policies or practices, are not required when it  alters the nature of the program, class, or activity. 

However, colleges must provide accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 

Your student will have to seek out the supports that the colleges offerThis is different from high school. Colleges may also differ in their requirements for documenting your student’s disability.  Learn as much as you can about the disability services at the colleges your student is considering. 

Your student will be responsible for understanding and explaining their needs to others. Colleges will communicate with your student, not you, unless your student gives them permission to do so. 

Funding to students with disabilities is not provided under the ADA; based on financial need, tuition support may be available through vocational rehabilitation services, federal grants, or scholarships specific to the disability or program of study.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be obtained from your high school guidance counselor. Applications and more information is also available here.

Many students choose not to pursue further education and instead choose to work. Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) is a vocational rehabilitation agency whose major function is to assist individuals with disabilities to prepare for, get, or keep employment. 

Mercer County Assessment Resource Team

This resource team is trained to identify and provide supports for schools and their students with the following:

  • autism spectrum disorder
  • executive functioning disorder (difficulty with self-control and managing behaviors)
  • sensory processing disorder (difficulty receiving information from the senses)
  • social emotional needs (difficulty with thoughts, emotions, judgement)


After the evaluations, the team meets and collaborates with the student’s educational team and family to suggest interventions and available resources. For more information, download their brochure