How can school counselors further support successful transition planning?
Page 10: Communication and Collaboration
To be successful, transition planning requires effective communication and collaboration. According to IDEA, transition should be a coordinated set of activities. This means that the activities or steps that need to be taken in each student’s IEP transition service plan must show coordination between the school, student, family, and appropriate post-school services, supports, or agencies. A transition plan that shows only the activities of one or two parties (e.g., school and family) is neither as comprehensive nor as effective as a plan that specifies the actions and the responsibilities of all critical parties. Additionally, a transition plan that is not coordinated will do little to help students obtain necessary post-school services or achieve their desired post-secondary goals. Frequent communication between members of the team and individuals from outside agencies are the cornerstones of that planning. The school counselor is instrumental in assuring that this ongoing communication occurs.
A school counselor builds relationships with and serves as a liaison between:
- The student
- The student’s family
- Agency personnel, including higher education agencies
By developing these relationships, the school counselor will gain a greater understanding of the opportunities and services that will assist the student with his or her transition. The school counselor can help communicate the needs of the student and families with the collaborating service agencies. Because the waiting lists for adult services can be long, connections to adult agencies may need to begin as early as middle school.
See the table below to learn how Mr. Hunter will use communication and collaboration to establish relationships in order to implement a transition plan that is a coordinated set of activities. This will help assure that Sandra has a successful transition.
|Transition Update – Communication and Collaboration with Sandra and Others|
|Mr. Hunter understands that communication and collaboration efforts are built over time. He knows the importance of really listening to the students to learn what is important to them.|
|Mr. Hunter meets with Sandra to discuss dreams and post-secondary goals for the future. Sometimes, Mr. Hunter meets with Sandra individually. Other times, he meets with a small group of students, including Sandra, to talk about goals and future directions.|
|Mr. Hunter understands how important communication with families is to the process of transition. He meets with Mrs. Montes to talk about her hopes and her concerns for her daughter’s future.|
|Mr. Hunter reflects on the goal statements Sandra and her mom have shared with him. He begins to think about the tools and resources he already knows and has access to (e.g., community resource guides).|
|Mr. Hunter maintains ongoing communication with the IEP team to monitor Sandra’s progress toward her goals (e.g., course of study). He searches for additional resources and agencies that may be able to provide some assistance or support to meet Sandra’s goals and shares this information with the team.|
|As Sandra gets a little older, Mr. Hunter will invite the appropriate agency representatives to the transition planning meetings.|