Transition Planning

Transition Planning is the process that provides assistance to students, parents, and school personnel as they discuss and plan transition from school to adult life. Transition planning should prepare students to exit high school and successfully integrate into their communities, obtain and maintain jobs, get along with others, and live independently. This planning can be thought of as a four-step process and includes assessing interests and strengths, planning appropriate IEP transition goals, instructing with meaningful transition-related activities, and evaluating progress.

Step 1:  Assess.  Educators assess, as applicable, students’ interests, preferences, needs, and aptitude, if applicable, related to desired post school outcomes using formal and informal assessments.

Step 2:  Plan.  Involves interpreting assessment results, using the data to create appropriate IEP goals, selecting the appropriate courses of study and diploma/exit option, and developing appropriate transition services.

Step 3:  Instruct.  Students engage in meaningful transition-related activities and learn the skills needed to reach their post school goals. Students should also be linked to services and agencies needed to meet the transition goal.

Step 4:  Evaluate.   Educators evaluate whether student progress has been made toward achieving the transition skills and transition IEP goals.

Transition planning may begin as early as elementary school. School personnel should begin the process of discussing, with students and parents, the educational progress and needs of the student. The discussion should consider the expectations and aspirations of the student. The process should also include discussions concerning future goals and the skills that are needed to support the transition goals. When the student is in middle school, school personnel should begin using career assessments to identify the career interests, abilities, and needs of the student. The assessment data should be utilized to develop appropriate programming including the courses of study that focus on preparing the student to meet his/her transition goals. Information should be provided to students and parents regarding the different diploma pathways and the requirements for each pathway. During the transition from middle to high school, the IEP Team must consider the highest most appropriate diploma pathway when selecting the pathway leading to the Alabama High School Diploma and courses of study for the student.