Transition Services

Transition services are experiences, supports, and instruction other than academic courses that will assist the student in achieving his or her postsecondary goals.

Essential Elements

  • 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.
  • The transition services and activities (actions/steps) described under all of these areas form a coordinated plan for the transition from school to post-school adult life.
  • While each of the transition service areas must be considered in relation to the measurable postsecondary goals, the criteria for meeting this requirement do not determine whether the postsecondary goals were or were not written so they are measurable.  The focus is on the determination of transition services in association with the postsecondary goals.
  • Transition services are a “coordinated set of activities designed within a results-oriented process.” The activities should specify what will occur, who is responsible, and when (within the current IEP year) the transition activity will take place. Coordinated means that the transition activities are planned and the responsibility for completing the activities is shared. Schools, parents, outside agencies, and students cannot, individually, do all of the activities necessary to help the student achieve their desired measurable postsecondary goals.  The activities must be well planned and shared between all parties.
  • As with other components of the postsecondary transition process, this information must be updated at least annually, but also at any point that information in the IEP changes or will not be completed during the time period.

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: 2019-20 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: 2019-20 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: 2019-20 school year

Agency responsible: Student, parents




I-13 Requirement

Will transition services reasonably enable the student to meet his or her postsecondary goals?

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

Updated 5/10/17