Definition: There are formal processes, structures and outcomes established among school, employers, and employment related agencies, community agencies, and postsecondary institutions, which clearly articulate the roles and responsibilities to assure the following occur in culturally appropriate ways: methods of communication for all parties, information-sharing protocols, referral protocols, service and task responsibilities, funding responsibilities, and points of contact.

Partnership guides and training

  • The Transition Coalition offers a free online training module, Interagency Collaboration: the Groundwork. It gives examples and strategies to help you build or strengthen your team. It includes videos and interactive activities and will probably take a bit over an hour to complete. You do have to create a free account on the Transition Coalition site in order to access the course.
  • Partnering for Student Success: A Practical Guide to Building Effective School-Based Partnerships (PDF, 104 pages, 2016). This toolkit resulted from a study of partnership coordination efforts in Philadelphia, PA. Breaks the process into six elements and provides roles and responsibilities, sample conversation topics, and questions and resources for each element.
  • A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities (PDF, 62 pages, 2020) is a comprehensive overview of how state, local school districts and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) work together with students and families to plan for the future. It links elements of good transition planning back to the related legislation. From the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services U.S. Department of Education (OSERS).

School business partnership examples

Communication strategies

Federal systems

The Literature Review of Five Federal Systems Serving Transition Age Youth with Disabilities (PDF, 66 pages, 2013) from the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), covers each system’s role, its use by the population, central programs and authorizing legislation, challenges and recommendations, and common themes and trends. The five systems are:

  • vocational rehabilitation
  • social security
  • juvenile justice
  • behavioral health
  • workforce investment

Updated 6/21/22