Annual Goals

I-13 Requirement

Is there at least one annual IEP goal related to the student’s transition service needs?

Essential Elements

  • An annual goal is NOT in compliance just because it is labelled a “transition” annual goal.  An annual goal is in compliance when it clearly states the need the goal addresses, which would have been identified via formal or informal transition assessment. 
  • For Indicator 13 compliance, at least one annual goal must relate to the student’s transition service needs.
  • Annual goals address transition needs when they state the present level of academic or functional skill or knowledge that needs to be improved in order for the student to achieve their postsecondary goals. 
  • Consider each of the student’s postsecondary goal areas (education/training, employment, and independent living) when developing the IEP, and identify the specific knowledge and skills the student needs to gain/improve to achieve their postsecondary goals. If that knowledge and skill need is unknown, the team should discuss what formal or informal transition assessment(s) should be performed to identify these needs.  
  • The annual goal must contain the behavior or skill to be measured, the conditions under which the skill or behavior will be measured, the criterion or level of performance expected, and short-term objectives or benchmarks. See examples and how to link annual goals and transition service needs in resources from the NH DOE below.

Student Voice

Transition assessments should identify skills or knowledge students will need in future academic, employment or independent living settings. Students who need to learn to use their voice and be good advocates for themselves can do this through Annual Goals.

Annual goals might help a student address a need related to:

  • setting and achieving goals
  • understanding pros and cons of a particular path
  • increasing self-awareness
  • becoming actively involved in their IEPs meetings
  • leading their IEP meetings
  • describing their strengths and challenges

Teams can help a student see the relevance of annual goals by having related service providers (e.g., speech, OT, PT, counseling) focus activities on transition needs like interview scripts or disclosure

Background Information


Explanation of the annual goal requirement and how it connects to other transition components on the IEP. 3:11-minutes.


New content 2-28-24