Designing Transition Activities That Prepare Students for Postsecondary and Continuting/Adult Education

by Debbie Grosser, M.Ed., and Dale Pennell, C.A.S.

This is the second in a four-part Link Lines series. Part I (September/October 2008) defined the domains of transition planning for which LEAs must consider students' readiness and seven kinds of activities that may be designed to address identified needs.

IDEA requires IEP teams to design transition activities that address needs identified as potential obstacles to fulfillment of secondary students' postsecondary goals. These activities describe one-time or short-term events that IEP team members plan and support as students complete them.  This article provides illustrations of activities that support students' transitions to postsecondary, continuing, and adult education environments.

Services that support the transition of students with disabilities to postsecondary education are activities that prepare students to access and make progress in degree-seeking programs at two- and four-year colleges, as exemplified in the table below.

 Transition Activities That Prepare Students for Postsecondary Education
Student needs
(Identified in PLoP)
Sample activities
student will complete
Who might support student's completion of these activities?

Understanding of how to identify colleges that match  preferences and needs

Complete college preferences assessment 
(functional vocational evaluation activity)

School counselor will administer the assessment, analyze results, and share with student

Knowledge of colleges that match postsecondary employment goals

Select and visit colleges that meet preferences, needs, and career goals 

(community experience activity)

School counselor will identify potential colleges based upon student's college preferences, needs, and career goals 

Parent will arrange for student to visit selected schools

Knowledge of how to create and manage  a personal budget for living expenses at college

Participate in a budget management workshop 

(daily living skills activity)

Case manager will link student/parent to local banks that offer these workshops

Parent will register student for workshop and provide transportation

Understanding of means by which necessary supports may be accessed and  provided at college

Attend Say YES to College conference 

(instructional activity)

Transition specialist will provide application to student 
Parent will complete and submit application and fee

Services that support transition of students with disabilities to continuing and adult education are activities that enable students to enrich their personal and professional lives. These services also prepare students who leave high school without a diploma to access academic coursework to prepare them to pass the general education development (GED) test as adults.

Transition Activities That Prepare Students for Continuing/Adult Education
Sample student needs (Identified in PLoP)
Sample activities
student will complete
Who will support student's completion of these activities?

Knowledge of  recreational therapy classes offered in the community

Meet with case manager at the local Community Services Board to identify recreational therapy offerings

 (related service activity)

Occupational therapist will assist the parent in scheduling the meeting

Parent will take student to the meeting

Knowledge of how to enroll in a GED preparation program

Interview a representate of the school division's adult education program to find out how to register for GED preparation courses

 (adult living activity)

School counselor will arrange for the student to meet with this representative

Case manager will work with student to create a list of questions to ask in the interview

Knowledge of resource services provided through the Workforce Development Center

Meet with a representative from the Workforce Development Center who can explain how this agency supports continuing education to enhance professional skills

 (employment activity)

Transition specialist will arrange a visit to the Workforce Development Center 

Parent will take the student to visit the center


The next issue in this four-part series will address transition activities that prepare students for vocational education and employment.  Look for the February/March edition of Link Lines to view this article.  

Date: November/December 2008