What is the school counselor’s responsibility in the transition planning process?
Page 5: Transition Assessments
To guide the transition process, school personnel use the results of a variety of assessments in conjunction with the student’s measurable post-secondary goals. These transition assessments involve the continual collection of information about a student’s strengths, needs, preferences, and interests. The IEP team uses the assessment results to identify appropriate measurable goals and the transition services that need to be included in the student’s IEP.
Areas of Data Collection
Although school personnel could assess a myriad of skills, they typically categorize all of the options as personal, educational, or vocational. By combining assessments that address these different categories, personnel obtain information on a student’s current performance and identify those skills needed for the future. As with all areas of the IEP, the team must determine on a case-by-case basis which assessments to give students.
|Education/ Training||Academic strengths, educational needs, and communication skills||
|Employment||Interests, aptitudes, and work-related values||
|Independent Living/ Personal||Social, behavioral, and life skills||
Formal and Informal Transition Assessments
School personnel should use a combination of formal and informal transition assessments to obtain a comprehensive picture of a student’s skills.
- Formal assessments – surveys and tests that are standardized for a particular group of students (e.g., vocational inventories, college entrance exams)
- Informal assessments – a process of gathering information from resources other than standardized assessments (e.g., medical records, work samples, classroom observations, interviews with teachers)
Listen to Ginger Blalock discuss both formal and informal assessments.
Ginger Blalock, PhD
Professor Emeritus, Department of Special Education
University of New Mexico
Guidelines for Administering Assessments
Professionals who conduct transition assessments should be knowledgeable and experienced in administering and interpreting a wide range of assessment tools. While professionals with specialized training, such as school psychologists, are qualified to administer certain assessments (e.g., intelligence tests), school counselors may be the ones to administer the majority of transition assessments if their qualifications allow. Factors such as district size or school policies can affect whether school counselors administer transition assessments. Assessments should be:
For Your Information
developed by the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT), offers information on selecting transition assessment instruments and methods, both formal and informal, and on conducting age appropriate transition assessments.
Transition Update - Determining Sandra's Assessments
Mr. Hunter explains that the IEP team has requested that Sandra take several assessments that will help them to develop a transition plan for her life after high school. In mapping out which assessments Sandra will need over the years, Mr. Hunter needs to identify what skills related to the healthcare field Sandra currently possesses and what skills she will need to build on in order to attain her post-secondary goals. The information he gathers will help the IEP team identify possible career options for her in the healthcare field.