Course of Study

I-13 Requirement

Do the transition services include a course of study that will reasonably enable the student to meet the postsecondary goal(s)?

Essential Elements

  • The Course of Study is a multi-year description of the student’s educational program from the current year to their anticipated exit year. It is based on the student’s interests and preferences, and designed to help the student achieve their postsecondary goals.
  • The Course of Study lists specific courses by title for each year, and includes core courses required for graduation, as well as non-core courses that directly support the student’s postsecondary goals.
  • The Course of Study can start out broad and get specific over time. It may include any of:
    • Classes and projected electives
    • Community-based work experiences
    • Internships or Extended Learning Opportunities
    • Mentorships
    • Apprenticeships
  • It should be reviewed and updated  annually to ensure the student passed courses, did not drop a course, or to note if the student was not given access to a course.
  • The New Hampshire Standard for the Education of Children with Disabilities requires that the IEP in place in the year a student turns 14 must include a Course of Study. This is a state requirement, not a federal one, and so is not included in Indicator 13 compliance monitoring.
  • Including the Course of Study at age 14 offers a vitally important opportunity for a student and their team to understand diploma options and to choose the Course of Study and diploma option that best aligns with the student’s postsecondary goals.

Student Voice

The Course of Study is the student’s academic plan for high school. This plan should look identical to the plan the student makes with their high school counseling/guidance departments and family. When they all align, it reminds the student of the connection between their goals for life after high school and the courses they are taking.

It is motivating for students to see that the courses they will take connect to their interests and preferences for post-school goals. Their self-confidence increases when they see that their voice matters. 

On the flip side, students whose voices are NOT heard may see their course plan as evidence that caring adults in their life believe they are less capable than peers who get to pursue their interests. They may believe they are less capable of taking a lead role in their transition to life after high school.

Coordination within the IEP team is very important. It is easy for a student to become frustrated by adult expectations and requirements at this stage. When adult expectations and requirements are not aligned with each other (i.e., guidance, special ed, and parents are not on the same page), the student may disconnect from the process.

Background Information


Overview of the course of study (education plan). 5:45-minutes.


Modifications to the course of study. 3:58-minutes.


William’s postsecondary education goal is to enroll in the local community college culinary school. He is expected to graduate his senior year. An appropriate course of study is:

  • Grade 9: English 1, Remedial Math, World Cultures, Science, Assisted Study Hall, Culinary 1
  • Grade 10: English 2, Algebra I, Chemistry (college prep), Assisted Study Hall, Baking, Intro to Computers, Physical Education, Culinary 2
  • Grade 11: US History, English 3, Financial Planning, Advanced Culinary 1&2, Cake Design, Health
  • Grade 12: Writing Lab, work experience at high school café


Updated 10-26-22