What Are Post-Secondary Transition Services?

Post-Secondary Transition Services as defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are:


 ...a coordinated set of activities for a student, which promotes movement from school to post-school activities: 

  • post-secondary education
  • vocational training/education
  • integrated employment 
  • supported employment
  • continuing and adult education
  • adult services
  • independent living
  • community participation


..based upon the individual student’s needs, preferences and interests, and shall include: 

  • instruction
  • community experiences
  • relative services
  • the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives
  • acquisition of daily living skills
  • functional vocational evaluation


The ultimate goal of transition planning is meaningful employment and a quality adult life for all individuals with disabilities.

Transition planning is a student-centered team effort.

Therefore, students must actively participate in their plans. Other team members may include: 


• Family members
• Special educators 
• General educators, including vocational education teachers as appropriate
• Other school staff as appropriate (i.e., guidance counselors, school psychologists)
• Community and Adult Service agencies/representatives

What is included in the student’s transition plan?

• Anticipated Post-Secondary Goal(s)
• Student career information
• Current year activities
• Recommended services for current year
• Recommendations for next year  

How are transition services identified? 

Begin with a conversation between the student, the student’s parents & school personnel about the student’s career goals/interests. Needed services & supports are then determined to meet those career goals.

  • Assessments - Vocational, Functional Behavior, Interest Inventories, 
 • Learning Styles and Assisted Technology
  • Specialized Instruction or Training
  • Community-Based Work Experience
  • On-the-job Training 

When does transition planning take place?


Plan annually as part of the IEP:

• Age 14-Transition planning must begin not later than the IEP to be in effect when the student turns 14 years of age.

• Age 18-Legal age of majority. Student and parent(s)/guardian(s) must be informed one year prior to this age that the IDEA rights will be transferred to the student upon turning 18. 

What activities can family members provide at home?


 Self-advocacy and Communication:

• Assist in developing self-advocacy and self-management skills
• Help develop decision-making and communications skills
• Encourage and facilitate social activities with peers
• Help set realistic goals
• Work with legal and financial experts, as appropriate, to initiate future financial and residential planning


 Daily Living:  

• Encourage self-reliance and independence at home  

• Teach daily living skills like banking, cooking and cleaning   
• Promote good savings, money management and budgeting practices
• Explore and promote community resources
• Provide opportunities for leisure time activities such as participation in sports, daily exercise, and hobbies 

Work-related: 

• Reinforce work-related behaviors at home (i.e., grooming, following directions, completing tasks assigned)
• Provide career awareness experiences
• Encourage work at a neighborhood job. 

What is the family’s role in transition planning?

• Family participation is essential to effective transition planning. 
• Families provide information about student’s life skills, interests, and aptitudes.
• Families can also teach and practice independent living skills at home with their sons or daughters in a way that school staff cannot.  

Contact Information:
Jennifer Tingley
Special Ed Director
804.693.7880 

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