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.