Secondary Transition

Step One: Use assessment to identify the student’s post-secondary desired goals or vision

  • May 14th, 2011
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Assessment is a critical component of a Standards Aligned System and forms the basis for secondary transition. Assessment for transition planning is an ongoing process of collecting data on the student’s needs, preferences, and interests as they relate to the demands of current and future employment, education, and independent living. Assessment data serves as the common thread in the transition process and forms the basis for defining goals and services to be included in the Individualized Education Program (IEP). Step One has three components which are completed before the initial IEP meeting and updated annually.

  1. Identify interests and preferences: The team uses a variety of formal and informal assessments to determine the student’s interests and preferences. These might include interest inventories; surveys, interviews, online assessments, direct observations, and environmental analysis.
  2. Set post-secondary goals: Based on assessment data, the student identifies what s/he would like to do when high school is completed for each of three areas: Post-Secondary Education/Training, Employment, and Independent Living. These post-secondary goals include the kind of education or training the student will receive, the kind of job s/he might have, where s/he will live, and how s/he will spend time in the community. Federal law requires “appropriate, measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills (§300.320[b]1). Each goal area is updated annually based on assessment.
  3. Further assess aptitudes, abilities, and skills: Once the student’s postsecondary goals for post-secondary education, employment, and independent living have been identified, team members complete additional assessments to determine the student’s current status in relationship to the goals. Assessments include measures of skills such as: reading, math, written language, organizational, work-related, social, independent living, self determination, adaptive behavior, daily living, specific aptitudes, travel, employability, dexterity, and other skill areas determined on an individual basis. Assessments are used to identify gaps between current functioning and those skills needed to reach post-secondary goals. These assessments also help to identify the types of services and supports the student will need to reach post-secondary goals.

Develop Annual IEP:
The IEP team (made up of the student, parents, teachers, and educational and agency representatives) writes the Individualized Education Program (IEP) that includes Steps Two through Five.

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