Transition Time Summarizing Transition Assessment Data in the PLoP

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

This article is the second in a four-part series that addresses the requirement to gather assessment data for the purpose of developing appropriate measurable postsecondary goals and designing transition services for secondary students with disabilities. The Transition Time article in the September/October 2007 issue of Link Lines provides the regulatory requirement to conduct transition assessment, defines and clarifies the purpose of transition assessment, and identifies the scope of data to be collected.

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA), the Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLoP) portion of the individualized education program (IEP) is "a written statement for each child with a disability...that includes a statement of the child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance ..." §300.320(a)(1). Much of the assessment data to be summarized in the PLoP for a student of transition age is captured through transition assessment. Indeed, "the most central and critical use of transition assessment information is as a component of the Present Level of Performance ..." (Sitlington, Clark, & Kolstoe, 2000, p. 123) .

Guidelines for Summarizing Transition Assessment Data
  • Report current levels of academic achievement and functional performance in objective, measurable terms (Sitlington, Newbert, Begun, Lombard, & Leconte, 2007)

  • Summarize student interests, preferences, and strengths (IDEA 2004 §400.43(a)(2)) that impact the development of postsecondary goals

  • Identify student needs (IDEA 2004 §400.43(a)(2)) that pose barriers to realization of postsecondary goals

  • Report only formal and informal data for which documentation is available using the format that follows:

    • State the source of the data

      • Interview - Position of interview source (for example, guidance counselor)

      • Instrument - Name of instrument (for example, Transition Planning Inventory)

      • Record review - Name of document (for example, PERT evaluation summary report)

    • Record the date/s data were collected

The following excerpt from a student's PLoP illustrates these guidelines:

Robert recently took a formal interest assessment to determine his vocational interests. His top interests lie in Consumer Economics, Service Skilled, and Communication (Career Occupational Preference Survey, March 2007). Following high school, Robert plans to go to culinary school and become a chef. He met with his guidance counselor during his junior year to research options for culinary arts training as well as the requirements for acceptance to such programs. He has decided to pursue a two-year program (student interview, April 2007). Robert currently works 20 hours a week as a carhop at Sonic. His supervisor reports that Robert appears to like his job, is on time, and takes direction well. He gets along with his coworkers and dresses appropriately for work. Robert becomes easily distracted and frustrated during busy times. He does not take initiative and requires continuous prompting (interview with supervisor, June 2007). Results of the Brigance Employability Skills Inventory Robert took in May 2007 indicate that he is able to make most liquid capacity conversions required in culinary arts; however, he has difficulty converting gallons to pints.

Since the PLoP is the foundation upon which the remaining components of the IEP are developed, it follows that a summary of transition assessment results (upon which transition services will be designed) is a critical element of the PLoP.


Sitlington, P. L., Clark, G. M., & Kolstoe, O. P. (2000). Transition education and services for adolescents with disabilities (3rd ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Sitlington, P. L., Newbert, D. A., Begun, W. H., Lombard, R. C., & Leconte, P. J. (2007). Assess for success (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Date: November/December 2007