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Transition Services

Transition services are experiences, supports, and instruction other than academic courses that will assist the student in achieving his or her postsecondary goals.

Essential Elements

  • At least one transition service should be listed in association with each measurable postsecondary goal.
  • Transition service areas include instruction, related services, community experiences, or development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.
  • The transition services and activities (actions/steps) described under all of these areas form a coordinated plan for the transition from school to post-school adult life.
  • While each of the transition service areas must be considered in relation to the measurable postsecondary goals, the criteria for meeting this requirement do not determine whether the postsecondary goals were or were not written so they are measurable.  The focus is on the determination of transition services in association with the postsecondary goals.
  • Transition services are a “coordinated set of activities designed within a results-oriented process.” The activities should specify what will occur, who is responsible, and when (within the current IEP year) the transition activity will take place. Coordinated means that the transition activities are planned and the responsibility for completing the activities is shared. Schools, parents, outside agencies, and students cannot, individually, do all of the activities necessary to help the student achieve their desired measurable postsecondary goals.  The activities must be well planned and shared between all parties.
  • As with other components of the postsecondary transition process, this information must be updated at least annually, but also at any point that information in the IEP changes or will not be completed during the time period.

Adapted from O’Leary (2010), Reviewer Reference Form for the Transition Requirements Checklist©

Examples of transition service documentation in the IEP

Transition area Transition service Time period Person/agency responsible
Employment Amir will complete two different job shadows in his interest area of computers. 2014-15 school year High school job coordinator, guidance counselor, parents, established community partners, student
Postsecondary education Jim will contact the Disabilities Resource office at his three colleges of choice and find out the services they offer students with disabilities and how to access their services. 2014-15 school year Case manager, guidance counselor, student
Independent Living Rhonda will take a trip to a community college bookstore and independently purchase supplies needed for… 2014-15 school year Student, parents


  • A one-hour webinar from the Stratford Learning Center in New Hampshire, part two of a series. It continues the examination of case studies from Part 1 by examining the Courses of Study and Transition Services that will reasonably enable students to meet their postsecondary goals. This session also includes information about NH School to Work and Extended Learning Opportunities, and touches on engaging with different NH services: Developing Courses of Study and Transition Services (Part 2)

I-13 Requirement

Are there transition services in the IEP that will reasonably enable the student to meet his/her postsecondary goal(s)?

For New Hampshire Indicator 13 requirements and information, visit:

Interviews with Dr. Ed O’Leary:
Transition Services

Overview and Historical Perspective

Areas of Transition Service

Long Range Planning