Drive Change in Your Professional Practice

Work through the steps on the tabs to develop your own transition skills and understanding. Change yourself, change the world!

Step 1: Do a self-assessment of your mastery of transition competencies

In this step you’ll use our Self-Assessment and Professional Development Planning Tool (PDF, 8 pages, 2020) to rate yourself in the key elements of six core transition competencies. The instructions are on the self-assessment.

You can also download the self-assessment in MSWord format

Step 2: Explore resources on the Next Steps NH website

You identified your knowledge and skills gaps in Step 1. In this step, explore resources for filling those gaps with the help of Next Steps resources.

We have linked to a few key pages for each competency element. Explore them by clicking on links in the self-assessment PDF, or by using the accordion version below, Resources to Fill Your Gaps.

Step 3. Identify people who can support and coach you

You’ll learn more deeply when you have people you can talk with about your growing knowledge, and people who can coach you and help you practice new skills. Possibilities:

  • Administration (principal, assistant principal, special education director)
  • Peers in or outside of special education
  • Guidance
  • Employer who has mentored students
  • Students and/or parents who cold give you feedback on your new methods
  • Transition Community of Practice, either state or regional level
  • New Hampshire Extended Learning Opportunity Network (ELON), a collaborative of ELO Coordinators, teachers and other educators

Picking good coaches is important. Take a look at the Coaching Checklist (PDF, 3 pages) we use to improve our own coaching – pick people who are skilled in these areas.

Step 4: Set priorities based on your realities

You can’t do everything. Review the self-assessment and decide which three to five key elements are the most important to tackle for the coming year. You can always add more if you meet your action plan early! Consider:

  • available time
  • other initiatives already underway
  • personal projects

Step 5: Create your personal action plan and get started

Here is where you get to the nitty-gritty. The more specific you are in this planning phase, the more successful you’ll be carrying it out.

This example of an Individual Professional Growth Plan (PDF) is consistent with the NH Department of Education professional development plan requirements. It asks you to state both goals and focus questions. You might, for example, have two goals and five focus questions.

  • Goals(s): Why are you doing this? Example: To increase my skills and knowledge in using transition assessments for career-development planning.
  • Focus Question(s): What do you expect to get out of meeting your goal? Example: What transition assessments can I add to my practice to improve career exploration for my students?

Individual Professional Growth Plan (MSWord)

Step 6: Reflect, review and do it again

Check periodically to see how you’re doing against your plan. This could be a regular activity with one of your coaches. Be willing to revise your plan – things change.

At the end of the school year, assess what you have completed. Be proud! Reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Consider doing the self-assessment again – you may have learned more than you realize. Make notes for next year.

Resources to Fill Your Gaps

Transition assessment FAQs will be a good resource for the four elements below. 

1.1 Describe a variety of formal and informal age-appropriate transition assessments used to identify students’ strengths, preferences, interest, and needs critical to transition planning.

1.2 Conduct transition assessments, understanding strengths and limitations of each, and adapt to individual student needs.

1.3 Engage students in the transition assessment process so that data gathering is done in collaboration with the student.

1.4 Communicate the results of transition assessment information so they are understood by students, families, and professionals.

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge of how to incorporate state and federal transition requirements into an IEP.

2.2 Write measurable postsecondary goals that reflect student voice and are based on age-appropriate transition assessments.

2.3 Design transition services (i.e., coordinated set of activities and course of study) to reasonably enable a student to meet their measurable postsecondary goals.

2.4 Write measurable annual goals and objectives related to a student’s transition needs.

2.5 Demonstrate knowledge and use of strategies to empower students to have a voice in their IEP meetings.

3.1 Demonstrate knowledge and use of self-determination and self-advocacy strategies and curricula.

3.2 Explain how to prepare students to participate in a range of post-school options including postsecondary education and training, employment, independent living, and community engagement.

3.3 Demonstrate knowledge and use of evidence-based transition instruction, curricular resources, and practices.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge and use of work-based learning experiences including Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs)*.

*In New Hampshire, ELOs are rigorous credit-bearing learning experiences that take place outside a classroom

3.5 Demonstrate knowledge and use of assistive technologies to support a student’s transition to postsecondary education and training, employment, independent living, and community engagement.

3.6 Demonstrate knowledge and use of curricular resources and instructional activities that educators can use to support transition planning in general education settings.

4.1 Describe the range of transition resources available in the school and the community.

4.2 Describe the roles and responsibilities of educators, employers, and other service providers in a variety of settings related to transition planning and programming.

4.3 Demonstrate knowledge of strategies used to prepare meeting participants and facilitate transition planning before, during and after IEP meetings.

4.4 Demonstrate knowledge of strategies that facilitate collaboration among transition stakeholders.

4.5 Describe the processes for students to engage with postsecondary education and community services.

4.6 Describe ways to collaborate with general education teachers to integrate transition concepts into academic courses and activities.

4.7 Demonstrate professional ethics in collaborating with students, families, school personnel, community, and agency personnel.

6.1 Identify evidenced-based transition practices, programs, and services that produce successful post-school outcomes.

6.2 Summarize major elements of transition-related laws and policies (e.g., IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act).

6.3 Explain the importance and identify elements of a student-centered Summary of Performance (SOP).

6.4 Describe a range of secondary program options that support a student’s transition interests and needs (e.g., Career and Technical Education (CTE), online courses, dual high school/college credits, Upward Bound, etc.).

6.5 Identify organizations, resources, and publications relevant to transition planning and programming.

Links checked 9/18/20