Special Education

Coordinated Set of Transition Activities (School to Post-School)


Beginning with the first IEP to be in effect when the student is age 15 (and at a younger age, if determined appropriate), and updated annually, the IEP must include a statement of needed transition services and a statement of the responsibilities of the school district and, when applicable, participating agencies for the provision of services and activities that promote movement from school to post-school opportunities, or both, before the student leaves the school setting.

Transition Services

Transition services means a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability, designed within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the student with a disability to facilitate the student’s movement from school to post-school activities, including, but not limited to:

  • postsecondary education,
  • vocational training,
  • integrated employment (including supported employment),
  • continuing and adult education,
  • adult services, and
  • independent living or community participation.

The coordinated set of activities must be based on the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s strengths, preferences and interests, and includes:

  • instruction;
  • related services;
  • community experiences;
  • the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and
  • when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.

Transition planning focuses attention on how the student's educational program can be planned to help the student make a successful transition to his or her goals for life after high school, including:

  • providing instruction and courses of study that are meaningful to the student's future and will motivate the student to complete his or her education;
  • teaching students the skills and knowledge needed in adult life (including career development and occupational skills); and
  • providing contacts (linkages) with adult agencies to provide a smooth transition.

Transition services should address identified transition needs of the student and prepare the student to achieve annual goals relating to transition to reach his or her projected postsecondary goals.

Information needed to determine transition services

To determine the transition services the student needs, the Committee should consider the student’s most recent evaluation information including vocational assessments, teacher recommendations, annual reviews, student strengths, preferences, interests and goals and parent concerns.

Statement Of Needed Transition Services

The statements of needed transition services, developed in consideration of the student’s needs, preferences and interests, should specify the particular activity or service and the participating agency (i.e., the school district or another agency) providing the service. The beginning date for the service should be provided if the date of initiation is different than the date of initiation for the IEP.


The IEP must identify any instruction that the student might need to prepare the student for post-school living. Instruction is a component of a transition program that the student needs to receive in specific areas to complete needed courses, succeed in the general curriculum and gain needed skills. 

Instruction could include the courses of study the student needs to take to reach his/her postsecondary goals (e.g., Regents classes in English, Biology and a Second Language; 2 semesters of career and technical education classes in Culinary Arts & Hospitality Technology).  Instruction could be indicated as skill areas (e.g., instruction in problem solving skills, how to use public transportation, how to use a particular assistive technology device, how to balance a checkbook, to develop self-advocacy skills).

Related Services

The IEP must identify any related services (e.g., rehabilitation counseling services; school social work; orientation and mobility services) the student may need as a transition service to support the student in attaining the projected post-school outcomes. (Related services recommended as a transition activity must also be documented under the IEP section "Special Education Program/Services").

Community Experiences

The IEP must indicate if a student needs to participate in community-based experiences or learn to access community resources (e.g., after school jobs, use of public library, community recreational activities) to achieve his or her projected post-school outcomes.

Employment, Other Post-school Adult Living Objectives

The IEP must identify what services or activities the student needs to prepare him or her for employment and to assist the student in meeting other post-school adult living objectives (e.g., participation in a work experience program; assistance with completing college or employment applications; practice in interviewing skills; travel training).

Activities of Daily Living

If appropriate to the needs of the student, the IEP must indicate the services or activities that will assist the student in activities of daily living skills (e.g., dressing, hygiene, self-care skills, self-medication).

Functional Vocational Assessment

The IEP must indicate if the student will need a functional vocational assessment as a transition service or activity. A functional vocational assessment is an assessment to determine a student’s strengths, abilities and needs in an actual or simulated work setting or in real work sample experiences.

What is the Definition of a Participating Agency?

Participating agency means a State or local agency, other than the public agency responsible for a student’s education, which is financially and legally responsible for providing transition services to the student.

To the extent appropriate and with parental consent (or the consent of a student who is 18 years of age or older), the school district must invite a representative of any participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services to a CSE meeting where the purpose of the meeting is to consider the postsecondary goals for the student and the transition services needed to assist the student in reaching those goals.  If an invited agency does not send a representative to the meeting, the district must take other steps to involve the other agency in the planning of any transition services for the student.

When an agency agrees to provide a service, the IEP must include the service and the implementation date of the service if it is different than the implementation date of the IEP.

What if the participating agency fails to provide services as planned?

If a participating agency fails to provide agreed-upon transition services contained in the student’s IEP, the district responsible for the student’s education must, as soon as possible, initiate a meeting to identify alternative strategies to meet the transition objectives, and if necessary, revise the student’s IEP.

Quality Indicators

The recommended coordinated set of transition activities:

  • are based on individual student’s needs and post-secondary goals.
  • are reasonably calculated to assist the student to reach his career and other post school goals in the areas of employment, education and community living.
  • are focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the student with a disability to facilitate transition to postsecondary life.
  • are based on assessment information, including vocational assessment.
  • focus on the student’s strengths, interests and abilities.
  • reflect involvement and connections with general and career and technical education programs as well as post-school supports and programs.
  • are developed with students and parents as active participants.
  • clearly identify the responsibilities of the school district and other agencies.
Last Updated: January 28, 2014