Work Awareness and Transition (WAT) - (Career and Transition Services)

Work Awareness and Transition (WAT) is a course for middle and high school students with disabilities that emphasizes personal awareness, career exploration, and work expectations.

The Work Awareness and Transition (WAT) course is offered at both the middle and high school level for students with disabilities. WAT prepares students for the world of work through exploration and experiences in:

  • Personal awareness
  • Career exploration
  • Workplace readiness skills
  • Work expectations
  • Transition planning

Students participating in WAT in high school have the opportunity to participate in work-based learning activities. The work-based learning experience provides a realistic career exploration activity whereby students learn more about themselves in relation to their work likes, dislikes, interests and attributes. They also have the opportunity to acquire and practice work skills in real work settings.


The WAT curriculum is modified from Virginia’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Career Connections course curriculum including:

  • Career Investigation Phase I (MS)
  • Career Interpretation Phase II (HS)

At the middle school level WAT students are exposed to basic career exploration while identifying their own potential roles, interests and plans for the future as a member of the workforce. High school level WAT students continue with a more in-depth study of potential careers while experiencing real-world work and refining their individualized plans for the future. Both courses focus on the 21 Workplace Readiness Skills that all students are expected to master prior to graduation from high school.


Middle School WAT (Grade 7, 8)

Work Awareness and Transition (WAT) is designed to assist middle school students in special education as they begin to consider high school and postsecondary options through career awareness and career exploration activities. Students learn and practice appropriate interactions with peers and adults, explore interests related to career options and develop work related skills through a variety of in-school work experiences.

High School WAT (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)

This option is available to high school students receiving special education services and is located at the majority of FCPS high schools. Students explore potential career options while developing/improving skills needed for success in employment such as interpersonal/coworker relationships. Most students participate in community work experiences related to IEP goals and objectives.

What supports are available in WAT?

WAT teachers instruct students with disabilities based on their individual needs. Each high school's employment and transition representative supports the WAT course in matching students with work experiences in the school and community. If needed, short-term job coach services are available as well.

Who to contact for more information?

For more information about the WAT program, contact:

  • Your WAT teacher
  • Your school counselor
  • Your special education teacher
  • Your employment and transition representative
  • Career and Transition Services at 571-423-4150