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Free Transition Plan Template for Students

Transition planning is a process that helps students with special needs or learning disorders prepare for and successfully advance into adult life after they finish high school.

Transition planning is a requirement of the Individualized Education Program (IEP). The planning process includes the development of an Individual Transition Plan (ITP), which outlines the student’s post-secondary goals, the steps needed to achieve them, and the services required to help them reach their goals.

The ultimate purpose of transition planning is to enable students with disabilities to be able to live independently. This allows them to be active members of their communities. It usually begins when the student turns 16 but may start sooner depending on local state requirements.

Including the students in the transition, planning is crucial since it focuses on their interests and strengths. It is a collaborative process that involves parents, teachers, and school staff. Other service providers, such as vocational rehabilitation counselors, may be engaged to develop the plan and coordinate services.

This article will discuss the components of a transition plan and guide you in preparing one for your students. The article will also discuss the importance of making this plan and its specific considerations. Templates for this document will also be provided to assist you.

Statistical Insight: According to the National Center of Education Statistics (2020), students with disabilities are more likely to drop out of school. The dropout rate among them is 10.7 percent, compared to 4.7 percent for students without any disabilities.  

Transition Plan Template

Transition Plan free template is given below:

Transition Plan

    Importance of Transition Planning

    Transition planning is essential, as it helps students with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) prepare for and navigate various changes and challenges as they advance their education and assimilate into the workforce. Planning for this transition can help students clearly understand their strengths and interests and identify the skills and knowledge they need to acquire to be able to live and work independently. 

    Proper planning connects I/DD students with the required resources and support systems. They can utilize these resources to achieve their academic and career aspirations. I/DD students can learn how to communicate with others effectively. They can also learn how to manage their time, money, and other responsibilities.

    A proper transition roadmap can encourage I/DD students to anticipate and prepare for potential academic and personal challenges and to develop strategies to overcome them. This guarantees a smooth transition from one phase of education to the next and increases the likelihood of success in their academic and career pursuits.

    How to Make Transition Plan

    Transitioning from high school can be significantly challenging for I/DD students. You should therefore create an interactive plan to assist these students in the process.

    The steps outlined below will guide you in preparing a proactive plan:

    Step 1: Identify the present level of the student

    The process begins with a Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance Statement (PLAAFP). Assess the student’s current academic and social situation. Examine their current grades, test scores, and attendance record. This will provide a snapshot of their current level of academic performance.

    You can also review previous assessments, evaluations, or reports, such as IEPs, 504 plans, or psychological evaluations.

    Step 2: Identify the transition goals

    Develop measurable and achievable goals that align with the student’s interests, strengths, and aspirations. Transition goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART goals).

    The goals should be in three key areas:

    • Post-secondary education goals may involve taking specific courses or certification programs to enhance the student’s skills and knowledge. They may enroll in a university and complete a degree program in a particular field. The student may also register at a vocational training program to study a trade, such as welding, nursing, or automotive technology.
    • Employment goals may involve obtaining a job in a particular field, such as finance, healthcare, or technology. The student may also want to gain specific skills and knowledge required for a particular job. Alternatively, they may wish to gain work experience through internships, cooperative education programs, and volunteering opportunities.
    • Independent living skills goals may include budgeting and financial management, learning how to cook healthy and nutritious meals, developing skills needed to manage time effectively, or self-care. Other goals may involve medication management, learning to co-exist and communicate effectively with others, and safety and emergency preparedness.

    The goals should align with the student’s plans to ensure the steps taken during the transition process are relevant, meaningful, and supportive of the student’s future aspirations.

    Step 3: Select the assessments to be used

    Choose an assessment procedure relevant to the student’s transition goals. Both informal and formal assessment tools can be used to assess the student’s strengths and needs.

    Standardized, formal assessments include the following:

    • BRIGANCE Transition Skills Inventory
    • Transition Skills Assessment
    • Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF)
    • Vineland Adaptive Behavior Skills
    • Adaptive Behavior Assessment (ABAS)
    • Transition Behavior Scale
    • Responsibility and Independence Scale for Adolescents (RISA)
    • Employability Skills Inventory

    Informal assessments are assessments that are typically not standardized and are frequently developed by teachers or a local agency. Often, informal assessments are open-ended procedures that can be used as is, or adapted for particular uses and situations. They can be used in the classroom, at home, at work, or somewhere in the community.

    These include:

    Tip: You can use assistive technology (AT) to aid you in the evaluation process. AT improves the independence of I/DD students. AT tools such as screen readers, text-to-speech, or speech-to-text software can modify standardized tests to make them more accessible for students with I/DD.

    Step 4: Decide the transition services

    Identify the most appropriate transition services for the student. The services should be in line with the transition goals.

    • For post-educational transition goals, information sessions with the college admissions office can provide the student with information about college options and assistance in the application process.
    • Services for employment transition goals may involve on-the-job training, vocational classes, and apprenticeships. Job placement assistance can also assist the student in finding and securing employment in a particular industry.
    • Services for independent living skills may involve training in cooking, budgeting, home maintenance, personal hygiene, and time management. Social skills training can help the student to co-exist positively with others. 

    Step 5: Invite community agencies

    List the community organizations you will engage to participate in the transition process. There are many different types of community agencies you can invite for this purpose, such as:

    • Disability rights organizations can provide I/DD students with information, support, and advocacy services to help them understand and exercise their rights under the law.
    • Vocational rehabilitation centers can provide vocational training, job placement services, and assistive technology services to help students with disabilities enter the workforce.
    • Community health centers provide I/DD students with healthcare services such as physical or occupational therapy.

    The services of these agencies should align with the student’s transition goals to encourage their participation in the process and increase the likelihood of their success.

    Step 6: Include a summary of performance (SOP)

    When an I/DD student completes the program, state and federal laws require the school to provide a summary of performance (SOP). It should contain information about the academic and functional performance of the student.

    SOP was included in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) as an exit requirement for those students whose eligibility for special education ends when they leave secondary school with a regular diploma or exceed the age limit for free public special education. It includes an overall assessment of the student’s progress and recommends the next steps that will be taken to continue supporting the student’s goals.

    Note: The process of drafting a transition plan may seem overwhelming. If you find the above process complex, you can download a template for a transition plan from this website and customize it accordingly. These are easy to use and flexible, allowing you to adjust and add information according to your student’s specific needs and transition goals.

    Some Important Considerations

    You should remember that preparing the transition plan is a collaborative effort. Since the goal is to make the process seamless, you should make the plan interactive.

    Below are some considerations you should make during the planning process:

    Tailor it according to the student’s abilities

    Tailor the plan to the student’s ability, as it allows you to address specific needs and areas of difficulty. A tailored plan to help in the transition process increases the chances of success based on a detailed understanding of the student’s needs and abilities, leading to better outcomes. 

    Use evidence-based practices

    Use evidence-based practices when developing this plan to ensure it effectively supports the student in achieving their goals. Evidence-based transition planning practices have proven effective through research and extensive studies. Evidence-based practices can assist in providing targeted support and services that are effective. They have also proven to be safe and can help mitigate the risk of employing unsafe practices.

    Provide positive support

    Positive support is essential, as it can significantly impact the student’s academic and social success. Dealing with changes can be challenging for I/DD students. Therefore, positive support can help them navigate these changes with ease. These support structures include constant encouragement, an upbeat attitude, and a robust plan to help students feel confident and more comfortable in their new environment, leading to better academic performance, improved social skills, and overall well-being.

    Additional considerations

    Include the student and their family in the planning stages of the transition to ensure that their preferences are considered.  You should also monitor and evaluate the student’s progress regularly to ensure that the services meet the student’s needs and help them achieve their goals. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What community resources are available to help students in the transition process?

    There are various community resources available to help I/DD students in the transition process. These include:
    -Workability or Transition Partnership Programs (TPP) for job listings
    -Regional Occupational Programs (ROP), Job Corps, State Conservation -Corps (CCC), and community colleges for vocational training
    -Guidance counselors and support groups for mental support.
    These resources can provide students with the support, guidance, and tools they need to successfully adjust to their new environment. They can also help students connect with their peers and build a helpful network.

    Who should participate in an IEP meeting where a transition plan is discussed?

    An IEP meeting should be attended by the student, parents or guardians, teachers, and special education service providers. Other relevant individuals may be present, such as a school administrator, counselor, or community representative. The teacher may also invite specialists working with the I/DD student, such as speech or occupational therapists.

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