Transition Assessments

I-13 Requirement

Is there evidence that the measurable postsecondary goals are annually updated and based upon an age-appropriate transition assessment? 

Essential Elements

  • Transition assessment is an ongoing process of collecting information about strengths, interests, preferences and needs using formal and informal methods.
  • Results from age-appropriate transition assessment must be used to develop measurable postsecondary goals. Show supporting transition assessment information and summaries of any transition assessments in the present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, and/or in the student’s file.
  • In addition to helping students identify their strengths, interests and preferences, transition assessment can be used to help the student identify the knowledge or skills they need to achieve their postsecondary goals. Team members are also invaluable sources of information for identifying gaps in student skill or knowledge related to their postsecondary goals.
  • These gaps in skills or knowledge are Transition Service Needs. They should be the focus of a transition-focused, student-driven IEP planning process, and can be documented in the Transition Services/Needs section of the NHSEIS IEP.
  • Selecting the right age-appropriate transition assessment is a team decision, and considers the student’s understanding of their disability, self-determination skills and overall engagement in the IEP process.
  • An age-appropriate transition assessment must be administered annually, completed before the IEP meeting, and have the administration date clearly documented. This demonstrates evidence of implementation for an ongoing process of collecting data on the student’s strengths, needs, preferences, and interests as they relate to the demands of current and future working, education, and independent living.
  • For each postsecondary goal there should be evidence that at least one age-appropriate transition assessment was used that provided information on the student’s needs, taking into account his or her strengths, preferences, interests, and opportunities.
  • You can consider the standardized testing, evaluations, and assessments used with all students to be transition assessments if they provide useful information about your student’s skills, interests and preferences, and post-school readiness. Use the information for initial discussions about postsecondary goals, and needs for ongoing, individualized assessment. 
  • Put a copy of completed age-appropriate transition assessments in the student’s file. They should be dated, and be connected to the student’s postsecondary goals.

Student Voice

Step one of student-focused transition planning is developing measurable postsecondary goals, based on transition assessment.

The student’s responses to transition assessment questions will reveal their depth of understanding about life after high school. What they do or do not understand should heavily influence which transition assessments you use next.

Background Information

Overview of Requirement


The Struggle to Meet the Requirement



Example 1: Peter

Information obtained from transition assessment

  • Administered in 10th grade on 11/15/2021
  • Likes working with computers
  • Likes designing with computers
  • Good writer
  • Participates in yearbook doing the computerized design
  • Enjoys taking pictures
  • Works on the school newspaper
  • Likes to play video games
  • Wants to live at home when attending the community college
  • Wants to rent an apartment and live with a friend after earning a degree and getting a job in multimedia production

Postsecondary goal statement

After graduation, Peter will enroll in a multimedia production program at a local community college.

Documenting transition assessment results in the IEP

During an informal interview conducted by his case manager on 11/15/2021, Peter shared that he wants study multimedia production at a local community college. He also shared that he enjoys working with computers, especially from a design aspect. He does the computerized design work for the school’s Yearbook. Peter is a good writer and works on the school newspaper. He stated that he will live at home when attending community college, but would like to get an apartment with a friend after earning his degree and getting a job in multimedia production.

Example 2: Michelle

Information obtained from transition assessment

  • Administered in 9th grade on 1/12/2022
  • Helps her mom take care of her cat and dog
  • Has an aquarium
  • Helps her mom to cook dinner by washing dishes
  • Keeps her room clean
  • Enjoys spending time with her neighbor’s pets
  • Likes to watch Animal Planet
  • Is afraid of strangers
  • Wants to live with her parents

Postsecondary goal statement

After graduation, Michelle will receive on the job training at a local pet care center.

Documenting transition assessment results in the IEP

Michelle completed a picture interest survey and discussed her responses with her case manager on 1/12/2022.  Michelle shared that she loves animals and wants a job where she can take care of them.  Her favorite television channel is Animal Planet.  Michelle shared that she enjoys helping her mom take care of the cat and dog by filling their food and water bowls every day.  She has an aquarium and loves watching the fish come up to the top to get their food.  Michelle enjoys spending time with her neighbor’s pets. She is afraid of strangers and does not want to live by herself. Michelle wants to live at home.

More documentation examples

  • “Results of an informal transition interview completed with guidance counselor on October 1, 2022, indicated that John had a strong interest in working with computers.”
  • “The Transition Planning Inventory completed in advisory block on April 4, 2022, showed that Carol is in need of transition supports in the following areas in order to plan for her postsecondary goal…”
  • “The Career Matchmaker completed online on January 5, 2022 (copy of summary results in student’s file) showed a number of career choices compatible with Todd’s stated interests, which included…”
  • “A Functional Vocational Assessment completed on February 1, 2022, by … indicated areas of employment that Scott could access with appropriate accommodations, which included … (copy of vocational assessment in student’s file).”

Updated 10-9-23