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At the IEP meeting held before the student turns 16, and every year after that, the IEP team will discuss transition to adult life.  As a Special Education Case Manager, you must conduct transition assessment, and help your students to identify dreams and goals for "life after high school."  You must draft at least two IEP goals to address their needs, one in the area of training or education after high school and one in the area of employment.  Additional goals should be developed in the area of indepdendent living if important for the student. (Things like budgeting, getting a Learner's Permit for driving, finding an apartment, etc).  You are required to invite the student, as well as the parents. You must identify transition services and supports in the IEP to help the student attain their goals.  It is important that the student attends the IEP meetings at which transition to adult life will be discussed, so that they can be involved in their plan.  You should go over the proposed plan and goals with the student before the meeting, so that they are prepared and are in agreement with what is proposed.

enlightened Transition Checklist for Teachers 

enlightened Transition Process Flowchart 


As a Special Education Case Manager, you will conduct transition assessments In preparation for the IEP meeting. These assessments should be updated every year.  Although you may administer the same assessment again, you may also choose to administer different assessments, or review the results from the prior year and reflect with the student if they still seem accurate. You must have done assessment in the areas of career interests and skills related to employment.  Interests are those areas in which the student thinks they might like to work, and skills are their attributes and abilities for employment.  If there is a strong nexus between a student's interests and skills, they are most likely to be successful in that career field.  It is your responsibility to provide counseling to assist the student in identifying areas of employment that are of interest to them in which they are most likely to be successful

In addition, if the student has needs in the area of independent living, you should conduct assessment in that area as well.

You will note the transition assessments that you administered to the student at the top of the Transition to Adult Life page. 

Many districts offer Vocational Assessment to all students in certain grades.  It is fine to use these assessments as one measure of transition assessment, as long as there is assessment in both career interests  and skills. 

enlightened See the tab at left for a list of many Transition Assessments

There is a Transition Counseling Worksheet that can be used to work with a student in developing all of the components of Transition Planning:



You will assist the student in identifying Plans for Adult Life.  These are their dreams for what they hope to be doing after leaving public K-12 school. There must be a plan noted under Training/Education as well as Employment.  You should also identify one or more plans under Independent Living if the student has needs in that area.   There are pull down menus on the Transition to Adult Life page for transition plans, which may include:


  • Attend two-year college
  • Attend training school

Employment- to be employed in:

  • Agriculture
  • Education

Independent Living

  • Rent an apartment
  • Drive a car
  • Supported living

 yes  It is important to remember that there must be at least one Annual Goal associated with each of the plans for adult life.


You will develop Annual Goals to assist the student in making progress toward their Transition Plans.  There must be at least one in Training/Education and one in Employment.  There may be additional goals in the area of Independent Living.  In general, students with more significant cognitive impairments will need Independent Living goals to assist them in achieving independentce as adults.  However, students with less significant disabilities may benefit from independent living goals in budgeting, banking, driving a car, etc.  The goals will be noted on the Annual Goals pages of the IEP.

It is important that the transition goals evolve and become more specific as the student enters their final years in school.  For example, as a freshman, they may have a goal for online exploration of careers.  But once they have identified one or more careers of interest, in subsequent years they should have opportunities for more indepth experiences such as watching videos on careers and comparing them to each other, researching prerequisite skills for chosen careers, interviewing someone in a career field, a limited job shadow or intership, or an actual volunteer or employment experience. 

You will report progress on transition goals to parents at the same intervals in which you report progress on other IEP goals. If there is difficulty in obtaining an transition goal, the IEP team should reconvene to discuss the barriers and come up with a solution.

Examples of goals might be:


  • Exlpore technical schools in area of interest
  • Visit a local community college
  • Apply for Financial Aid


  • Explore careers on line and their prerequisite skills
  • Participate in a job shadow in a job of interest
  • Create a resume

Independent Living:

  • Read a bus schedule
  • Complete a monthly budget
  • Practice completing rent application

Handbooks with resources for developing IEP goals for transition:

Working with students with autism?  Here's a booklet with checklists and ideas for transition goals: Transition Resources for Diploma- Bound Students with Autism

Working with students with mild/moderate disabilities?  Here is a booklet with checklists and ideas for transition goals: Training and Education for Adults with Moderate/Severe Disabilities Resource Guide



You must note the Transition Services to be provided on the Student Information and Services page of the IEP.  There must be at least two transition services:  One to support the Training/Education goal(s) and one to support the Employment goal(s).  If you have developed  Independent Living goals(s) there should be a transition service to support them as well.  The transition services are in the pulldown menu for Special Education and Related Services field (scroll down quite a bit).  You will also note the location and frequency of the transition services.  It is typical for transition services to be offered less frequently than other Special Education services,  For example, career exploration may be conducted once a month, or a job shadow or Community College visit once in the year.  

In addition, the Transition Services to be provided to the student should also be noted in the Offer of FAPE on the Least Restrictive Environment page of the IEP.  The Offer of FAPE should note who will provide the transition service, and where.  If the student will be receiving Transition Services through a TPP or WorkAbility program, the program would be indicated as the provider of one of the transition services in the Offer of FAPE.

Transition services:

  • College Awareness
  • Vocational Assessment/Guidance
  • Career Awareness
  • Work Experience
  • Agency Linkages
  • Travel Training
  • Other Transition Services




On the Transitioning from Public School to Adult Agencies IEP page, you will assist the IEP team in identifying agencies the student may access in adult life.  In the freshman year, it is ok to indicate "too early to determine" adult agencies to discuss transition at the IEP meeting.  However, at every meeting involving transition planning you need to discuss with the student and family the agencies they may be interested in and ask them if they would like the agency to be invited to the next year's IEP.  If they indicate "Invite" then you must invite a representative from that agency to attend the following year's IEP.  If the agency rep is unable to attend in person, they may attend by conference call, electronic meeting, or send written input.  It will be your responsibility to document their input for the IEP team. If the family indicates that they would like "literature",  you will need to provide written information about that agency to the family at the next IEP meeting. 

You will also indicate when referrals need to be made and by whom.

enlightenedSee the tab at left for information about local public agencies serving adults with disabilities, as well as forms for obtaining input.


Ventura College

Oxnard College

Moorpark College #1



You will indicate on the Course of Study page whether or not the student is aiming for a diploma, and if so, the number of credits needed to graduate.  You also need to indicate the courses that he or she will be taking in the remianing years in school, aimed toward meeting their dreams and goals (transiton plans)  for the future.  This may be done by completing the fields for the remaining number of years in school, or attaching a propsed course of study.

The Course of Study will also note the expected date of leaving public school.  For some students with more severe cognitive disabilities, there are programs available in the public schools for 18-21 year olds (often referred to as "Postsecondary" or "TEAMS" programs).  Students can remain in public Special Education programs until they graduate with a diploma or the end of the semester in which they turn 22, whichever comes first. You will need to have a conversation with the families of these students about whether or not public school Postsecondary programs are an option in which they are interested.  If so, part of the transition process should be conducting orientations and visits to assure a smooth transition to the new program.  (noted on the Least Restrictive Environment page).  Consult with your administrator if you are unsure about the transition to Postseconday programs for your students. 

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