Resources for Faculty to Learn Transition

Here are resources to help you learn what you need in order to teach transition concepts in your postsecondary program.

Transition IEP Requirements

The Transition IEP Requirements: Training and Reference Tooltransition iep requirements training & reference tool is a multimedia training and reference tool about the transition IEP process. It covers what must be part of the process and what must be written into the IEP itself. Work through the pages to learn or remind yourself about Indicator 13 requirements and best practices.

Legal requirements

There are five major pieces of federal legislation that form the current web of rules and customs of the special education world:

  1. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensures students with a disability are provided with Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that is tailored to their individual needs. Indicator 13 explanation and NH resourcesIndicator 14 one page overview.
  2. Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) reauthorized the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law.
  3. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.
  4. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
  5. Assistive Technology Act (Tech Act) provides federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education to states to develop training and delivery systems for assistive technology devices and services.

The above links take you to user-friendly explanations at the Parent Center for Information and Resources. You can also find information on the first four at US Government sites:

There are also extensive New Hampshire Rules for the Education of Children with Disabilities (PDF, 133 pages, 2017). These new and revised rules became effective March 24, 2017.

Find more on the Transition Law reference page.

Updated 3-30-2017

Free online transition training modules

Helping Students with Disabilities Plan for Post-High School Settings

Helping Students with Disabilities Plan for Post-High School Settings, from the Iris Center at Vanderbilt University, focuses on the transition process from high school to postsecondary settings. Among other topics, it discusses IEP planning, engaging students in the process to make them better advocates for their own needs, and the importance of outside agencies such as vocational rehabilitation. Module outline

Transition training modules from the University of Kansas

The Transition Coalition at the University of Kansas provides seven free research-based online training modules for professionals and others involved in transition planning. These modules use up-to-date research and were tested by practitioners across the country. The modules include best practices in transition, working with families, transition assessment, career development, transition for youth with ED/BD, cultural diversity and self-determination.

Two good options for family engagement training

One choice is Collaborating with Families, from the Iris Center at Vanderbilt University. It highlights the diversity of families and addresses the factors that school personnel should understand about working with the families of children with disabilities.

It’s an engaging training with a variety of delivery methods (videos, audios), especially at the beginning, and takes about an hour to complete.There’s good information and self-reflection, but not many tools. Module outline

The second choice is Mindful Engagement Modules, from the Louisiana SPDG project, based on the work of Joy Epstein, Anne Henderson and Karen Mapp. There are 10 different modules, each 20-30 minutes long. While not specific to special education and transition, the modules offer a lot of good tools in general for family engagement. The format is narrated PowerPoints, and the modules are well-paced and move along quickly. Modules overview

Transition competencies, related standards, and recent literature

The Next Steps NH project developed a set of core competencies to enhance special education teacher candidate knowledge and skills about transition, based on existing standards and frameworks. Review the competencies and the other resources on this page for a better understanding of transition in preservice curricula and inservice professional development.

 Preservice Special Education Program Transition Competencies

The Transition Competencies for Preservice Special Education Programs were developed in 2014 and revised in 2018 by the Next Steps NH project to enhance special education teacher candidate knowledge and skills about transition. There are six core transition competencies and 31 corresponding key elements. The standards are not required for New Hampshire state certification, but are intended to enhance curriculum efforts by providing a set of important transition skills and knowledge for beginning special educators.





Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Transition Standards

The Council for Exceptional Children’s Advanced Special Education Transition Specialist Standards. (2013) were the primary guide for the development of the transition competencies. These standards have been used as guidelines for job descriptions, in college and university educator preparation programs, and as rubrics to access the knowledge and skills of transition specialists and teachers.

Taxonomy for Transition Programming

The transition competencies were framed by the Taxonomy for Transition Programming (Paula D. Kohler, 1996) in order to connect to the larger context of established transition program improvement areas. The Taxonomy is a model for planning, organizing, and evaluating transition education, services, and programs. A larger group of authors (Paula D. Kohler, June E. Gothberg, Catherine Fowler, Jennifer Coyle from Western Michigan University) recently released an update, Taxonomy for Transition Programming 2.0 (PDF, 12 pages, 2016).

See also a PowerPoint showing the background and development of Taxonomy 2.0

Teacher Preparation to Deliver Evidence-Based Transition Planning

Teacher Preparation to Deliver Evidence-Based Transition Planning and Services to Youth With Disabilities is an article by Mary E. Morningstar, University of Kansas, and Valerie L. Mazzotti, University of Oregon (PDF, 58 pages, July 2014). It describes an innovation configuration matrix that can guide teacher preparation professionals in the development of appropriate transition planning and services content. An innovation configuration is a tool that identifies and describes the major components of a practice or innovation.

Implementing Secondary Transition Evidence-Based Practices

Implementing Secondary Transition Evidence-Based Practices is a multi-state survey of transition service providers by  Valerie L. Mazzotti, University of Oregon and Anthony J. Plotner, University of South Carolina (PDF, 11 pages, 2016). Results showed that providers had limited training, access, and preparation related to evidence-based practices.

National and state websites

Several state and national organizations provide in-depth information about postsecondary transition and transition IEPs:

The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) houses a large collection of transition information, written in a conversational tone, about different aspects of special education.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities improves the lives of people with learning difficulties and disabilities by empowering parents, enabling young adults, transforming schools, and creating policy and advocacy impact.

WestEd’s National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) helps states transform their systems to improve outcomes for children and youth with disabilities. NCSI provides technical assistance to support schools in improving educational results and functional outcomes for children and youth with disabilities. Featured are Cross State Learning Collaboratives, networks of shared leadership and peer support among states on topics related to improving outcomes for children with disabilities. Click on the Resources tab, then Learning Collaboratives and scroll down to Graduation and Post-School Outcomes resources.

National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability – for Youth specializes in topics related to employment and youth with disabilities. The focus is on empowering youth to participate in planning their future. This is a particularly good resource for students, written in language that is both motivational and age-appropriate.

The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) assists State Education Agencies, Local Education Agencies, State VR agencies, and VR service providers in implementing evidence-based and promising practices ensuring students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, graduate prepared for success in postsecondary education and employment. NTACT is the successor project to NSTTAC (National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center) and their website houses many of the NSTTAC resources.

The Parent Information Center on Special Education (PIC on Special Education) is New Hampshire’s Parent Training and Information Center. Since 1975, the PIC has been providing information, training, and support to families who have a child with a disability to help them be effective team members in the special education process.

The National Parent Center on Transition and Employment, from Minnesota’s Parent Training and Information Center (PACER), keeps the needs of families at the forefront and helps youth with disabilities find success in postsecondary education, employment, and life in the community.

State-specific transition websites

These websites were developed for specific states, but much of the information applies to all:


Other good sites:


updated 1-30-17