School Counselors: Facilitating Transitions for Students with Disabilities from High School to Post-School Settings
Transition planning helps move students from high school to adult life. The law requires that post-secondary education transition planning be in place by the time students with disabilities reach their 16th birthday. Measurable post-secondary goals are developed to help prepare students in several areas:
Click on the movie below to hear Ed O’Leary summarize post-secondary transition requirements (time: 2:09).
Transition requirements include the IEP to be in effect when that child reaches the age of 16. We have to have appropriate, measurable post-secondary goals. The measurable post-secondary goals have to be based upon one for education/ training, there has to be one for employment, and where appropriate there has to be one for independent living skills.
We still have to do a course of study—which is the delineation and writing out, identifying all the courses that the student will be involved through completion of their education program—engage the student in the discussion planning and decision making about what it is that they’re gonna be taking, when they’re going to be taking it, what year what semester, so that the student begins to see that the courses that they will be taking will have a direct impact on their achieving their measurable post-secondary goal. Look at transition services. And that addresses the areas of instruction and related services, community experiences, employment, daily living, etc.
From an employment standpoint, one of the steps might be to complete an application for the division of vocational rehabilitation, and then responsible parties would be student, family, and vocational rehabilitation.
The research shows and talks about how critical it is that the student has a relationship that is closely tied to an adult while that student is in the school system. Relationships and engaging the student is real critical to helping them succeed post school. One of the major efforts that we need to do a better job of in school––whether that’s special education or regular education teachers, as well as counselors––is to do a better job of actually engaging the student in the discussions and decision makings about what is happening in school, their courses, putting together that plan for the future, and connecting with that student while that student is still in the school system.
Revisiting Initial thoughts
Think back to your initial responses to the following questions. After working through the resources in this module, do you agree with your Initial Thoughts? If not, what aspects of your answers would you change?
What is the transition planning process for students with disabilities?
What is the school counselor’s responsibility in the transition planning process?
How can school counselors further promote successful transition planning?
When you are ready, proceed to the Assessment section.