Transition Services

I-13 Requirement

Are there transition services in the IEP that will reasonably enable the student to meet his or her postsecondary goals?

Essential Elements

  • Transition Services are the skills, experiences, activities, opportunities, and connections necessary to achieve postsecondary goals. They focus on improving academic and functional performance, and facilitate movement from school to post-school as identified in the student’s postsecondary goal statements.
  • Transition service areas may include:
    •  instruction,
    • related services,
    • community experiences,
    • or development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.
  • IDEA defines transition services as a “coordinated set of activities designed within a results-oriented process.” The transition services (activities) should specify what will occur, who is responsible, and when (within the current IEP year) it will take place.
  • Transition Services should address needs related to reaching to postsecondary goals. For more context, see the Transition Assessments page. These needs become a common thread in a transition-focused IEP when:
    • transition assessment is an ongoing process,
    • student transition needs are noted in the present level areas of the IEP,
    • and this information is updated at least annually (required).

Person/Agency Responsible

  • Transition services that will help the student achieve their desired postsecondary goals can be the responsibility of the student, parent, school, and/or outside agencies. Outside agencies like an area agency for developmental services or Vocation Rehabilitation can be one of the Responsible Parties listed in the transition services of a student IEP if, and only if,
    • that agency is part of the transition planning process and
    • agrees to accept responsibility for the service.
  • This presentation is the current status of shared statewide procedures for transition planning in NH. Transition from Special Education to Adult Developmental Services (PDF, 2021, 40 slides)
  • If a particular service (activity) is not delivered by the responsible party in the designated timeframe, the team should NOT wait for the next IEP team meeting to discuss how to address the transition need. If the activity is key to reasonably enabling the student to achieve their goal, the team should meet as soon as possible.
  • For Indicator 13 compliance, a Participating Agency (as noted in #6 of the I-13 checklist) is an agency that is noted as an Agency Responsible under the Transition Services/Needs section of the student’s IEP in NHSEIS.

Student Voice

The questions below will help the team keep student voice central when developing transition services. A transition service that addresses a gap in student understanding may give the student new information about a chosen field, and result in them changing their mind about their postsecondary goals. For this reason, teams should try to consider these questions earlier than compliance requirement to be in the IEP in place at age 16.

  1. What experiences must the student participate in during this IEP year to support attaining their postsecondary goals?
  2. What services and specific instruction are essential during this IEP year for the student to develop skills and knowledge to attain their postsecondary goals?
  3. Do we know enough about this student’s skills that we can identify or design activities to support their postsecondary goals, or is there a need for further investigation?

If a transition service helps a student discover that a postsecondary goal doesn’t fit their interests or preferences after all, THAT IS A GOOD THING! They should be given help to revise the goal and the plan can be adjusted accordingly. If helpful adults get frustrated at the need to change the plan, the student could perceive that learning about themselves, and as a result, changing their goal, is a bad thing. This message is counter to the intent of transition planning. Reviewing and revising goals and plans because new information has been discovered are important adult skills. 

It is important for helpful adults to know if students don’t know the nature of their disability, or if they don’t understand the impact of accommodations and modifications on their learning. For students with this gap, the IEP team needs to discuss how the lack of understanding could impact the student’s future education and employment and identify steps for the student to close the gap.

Background Information


Overview and historical perspective on coordinating transition services. 7:46-minutes.

Areas of Transition Service


Long Range Planning

Importance of considering a long range timeframe when crafting transition services. 5:24-minutes

Examples of transition service documentation in the IEP


Transition service: Amir will complete two different job shadows in his interest area of computers

Time period: 2021-22 school year

Agency responsible: High school job coordinator, guidance counselor, parents, established community partners, student


Transition service: Jim will contact the Disabilities Resource office at his three colleges of choice and find out the services they offer students with disabilities and how to access their services.

Time period: 2021-22 school year

Agency responsible: Case manager, guidance counselor, student

Adult Living

Transition service: Rhonda will take a trip to a community college bookstore and independently purchase supplies needed for…

Time period: 2021-22 school year

Agency responsible: Student, parents




Updated 10-26-22