Measurable Postsecondary Goals

Measurable postsecondary goals (MPSGs) specify the student’s plans for life after high school. They reflect the student’s current thinking and may change over time as the student matures.

Essential Elements

  • The IEP contains a measurable postsecondary goal or goals for the student in education/training, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills. The IEP must include a measurable postsecondary goal in both education/training and employment. Independent living skills is an optional goal and should be included where appropriate.
  • The goal can be counted or measured.
  • The goal will be met after the student graduates/terminates from school.
  • Based upon the information available about the student, the goal or goals seem appropriate for this student.
  • The measurable postsecondary goal(s) of the student should be stated in such a way that one could measure (at one year following school exit) the extent to which the student has been able to achieve what he or she set out to do and the extent to which the education system did a good job of preparing the student for the next step in life.
  • The goals must be reviewed at least annually and updated as necessary if the student’s interests change.

Background Information

Overview of MPSGs

There are three areas: education or training, employment, and as needed, independent living. 4:55-minutes.

Essential Elements of a MPSG


Student Engagement

Engaging students in writing their postsecondary goals. 4:08 minutes.


Education/training: four-year college or university, technical college, two-year college, military, specific vocational or career field, independent living skill training, vocational training program, apprenticeship, on-the-job training, Job Corps, or other program

Employment: paid (competitive, supported, sheltered), unpaid, or other

Independent living skills: adult living, daily living, independent living, financial, transportation, and other skills


Education/training: Upon completion of high school, John will enroll in the general associate degree program at River Valley Community College.

Employment: Upon graduation from high school, Riley will work full time as a general laborer for a construction company.

Independent living skills: Upon completion of high school, Paul will live in a community-based independent living situation.


Neither of these statements reveals actual goals. The statements are just expressions of interest.

  • Education/training: Clare thinks she would like to pursue postsecondary education at a four-year college.
  • Employment: Clare has expressed interest in graphic arts and animal technician fields of employment.


  • Person-Centered Planning is an ongoing process used to help individuals plan for their future. In this process, groups of people focus on a person and that person’s vision for the future.
  • Life After High School Transition Tool Kit (PDF, 80 pages, 2018)written to help parents understand issues related to postsecondary transition planning. Includes examples.
  • Clear presentation of the three types of postsecondary goals, what makes a good one, and what makes a bad one. Also includes clear explanations of annual goals and transition services. Center for Parent Information and Resources
  • A one-hour webinar from the Strafford Learning Center in New Hampshire, located on the Institute for Disability’s website. Three different student case studies help participants understand how to write appropriate, measurable postsecondary goal statements that describe the student’s vision for life after high school, and how to use and document relevant age-appropriate transition assessments to develop and revise the student’s vision in the years leading to high school completion: Developing Measurable Post Secondary Goals and Age-Appropriate Transition Assessments (Part 1) (scroll partway down the page to find this one)

I-13 Requirement

Is there an appropriate and measurable postsecondary goal or goals that covers education or training, employment, and, as needed, independent living?

Essential Elements adapted from O’Leary (2010), Reviewer Reference Form for the Transition Requirements Checklist

Links checked 5/29/20