What is Secondary Transition?

Secondary transition services prepare students to successfully move from the world of school to the world of adulthood.  Starting by at least age 16, each student’s interests and strengths  are assessed and arranged into a Transition Plan where emphasis is placed on exploratory activities and goal accomplishment in the areas of post-secondary education, employment and independence.  

What's New?

Monthly Webinars for Secondary Special Education Teachers beginning January 30th at 2:30 pm MST.

2017 Tools for Life: Secondary Transition and Assistive Technology Fair - Pocatello, March 6-7. Registration is now open!


You can locate the Moving on Binder by clicking the Documents link under Navigation.
Then click on the Miscellaneous tab to locate both the PDF and electronic version to the Moving on Binder.

Beginning by at least age 16 the Transition Plan becomes a part of the IEP annual review process as a new “section” of the IEP. Student interests and strengths identified in the Transition Plan must in some way be incorporated into the rest of the annual IEP—specifically all annual goals in the IEP must support post-secondary goals and outcomes—and these same goals and outcomes should be considered by the IEP team when making service and LRE determinations.

Transition assessment and planning is done on an ongoing basis (at least annually) to identify and support the student’s needs for both current and post-secondary goals and activities which will be documented in the IEP.

Secondary transition planning is the process of preparing students for life after high school and includes planning for post-secondary education or training, employment, and independent living. Studies show that a large number of students receiving special education services do not pursue education or training beyond high school and, when compared to the general population, are not as successful in the workplace. Transition planning and corresponding programming helps to close this gap. Moreover, transition planning is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 requires states to report data annually on 20 indicators related to compliance and performance of students with disabilities. The 13th Indicator relates to transition services for students: “Percent of youth age 16 and above with an individualized education program (IEP) that includes coordinated, measurable, annual IEP goals and transition services that will reasonably enable the student to meet the postsecondary goals."

The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) has developed an OSEP-approved checklist to help teams evaluate the compliance of transition planning components on the IEP. You can find the OSEP-approved checklist here.

Additionally, Indicator 14 is also related to secondary transition: “Percent of youth who had IEPs; are no longer in secondary school; and…enrolled in post-secondary school and/or employed within one year.” Follow this link to see Idaho’s results most recent data on this and other indicator areas.

IDEA Part 300.321 states that a child with a disability should participate as a member of the IEP team whenever appropriate. Additionally, this same part requires documentation that a transition age student (age 16-21) has been invited to any meeting where post-secondary goals and transition services are discussed. It does NOT require the student to attend the meeting, but when they are not present schools must take steps to consider the student’s preferences and interests.

While not required, it is ideal for transition age students to actively participate in their special education meetings and where appropriate influence the development of the IEP. From an early age schools should provide self-advocacy instruction and support that promotes a student’s understanding of their disability, strengths/needs, and IEP process so that they can better advocate for themselves and maximize independence.


Monthly Webinars for Secondary Special Education Teachers beginning January 30th at 2:30 pm MST.

Title: Monthly Secondary Special Ed Teacher's Webinar #1 - Resources
Date: January 30, 2017
Presenter: Kendrick Lester, Special Education Secondary Transition Coordinator, Idaho State Department of Education


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    Contact Us

    Kendrick Lester

    Secondary Special Education
    Transition Coordinator
    Phone: 208-332-6918

    sde Idaho State Department of Education
    650 W. State Street
    PO Box 83720
    Boise, ID 83720-0027