Addressing Post-High School Needs
According to law, starting at the age of 14, in a student’s annual Individualized Education Plan (IEP) the team must address the student’s transition needs. This process is called transition planning. Transition planning means that the IEP will address what the plans are for the student upon receiving their high school diploma.
Typically, a student that is 14 is in the eighth grade, and it may seem quite early to start. The truth is that many students have no idea what their plans for the future will include. By starting at an early age, they can be exposed to the various options they have for their future. Having these goals in place also helps the student's support team to focus on developing skills to achieve these goals.
A typical transition plan will address the following three areas: independent living, post-secondary education, and employment. Generally, when a student is 14 the IEP team will begin with something as simple as a transition survey to see where the student’s strengths are to determine which option would be best for them in the future.
The younger students will also meet with their guidance counselor to talk about what they would like to do after they graduate. A goal for someone this age may state, “The student will begin to explore post-secondary options through transition surveys and a meeting with their guidance counselor." Again, at this age it is all about exposing them to their future possibilities.