Connecticut IEP Manual

Section 6: Transition Planning

General Information

Transition planning and services are an integral part of the IEP beginning at the annual review following a student’s 13th birthday (in order to be in effect in the first IEP when such student turns 14 years of age), or earlier if determined appropriate by the PPT, and all subsequent IEPs. If the student is below the required transition age of 14 and the PPT determines that transition planning is appropriate, the district must be compliant with all State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) Indicator #13 components, including annually updating secondary transition planning and services.

The IEP shall include (A) Appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training/education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and (B) the transition services, including courses of study, needed to assist such student in reaching those goals.

When appropriate, a student's program should include both instruction (school-based activities) and community experiences (community-based activities)

Transition Assessments

Transition planning begins with age-appropriate transition assessments, an ongoing process of collecting data, from multiple sources, to ensure the student’s interests, preferences, strengths, and needs are addressed as they relate to each transition area: postsecondary education/training, employment, and (where appropriate) independent living skills. The name of each “Transition Assessment” and the “Date” it was administered is recorded in this section. A brief summary of the results from these assessments should be recorded in the “Assessment Data Summary” section. The PPT will use these results to develop (or confirm) appropriate, measurable Postsecondary Outcome Goal Statements, support annual transition goals with short-term objectives, transition services, and agency connections/linkages. Previously administered transition assessments will be listed in the “History of transition assessments” section. Results from age-appropriate transition assessments may also be recorded in the Present Levels of Performance for Transition section. Additional information regarding Transition Assessments can be found on the CSDE Secondary Transition webpage.

Independent Living Skills

Some students may require specially designed instruction to support independent living skills, which includes community participation. The PPT will need to determine if independent living skills will be addressed as part of the student’s transition planning.

Student Participation

For PPT meetings where a purpose of the meeting is transition planning, the District must invite the student with a disability to attend their own PPT meeting. The student’s attendance at the meeting will be shown in this section of the IEP. If the student was not in attendance, a summary of the student's preferences and interests is required and will need to be recorded in the “Summary of the student’s preferences and interests” section. To ensure the student’s preferences/interests are appropriately considered by the PPT, summarize the student’s preferences and interests, as they relate to transition planning, and indicate how the student’s preferences/interests were determined (for example, personal interviews, comments at meeting, transition assessments, etc.). The PPT should document the activities the student has undertaken, including, but not limited to, career exploration activities, job shadowing, situational assessments, parent interviews, that were used to identify preferences/interests as they related to transition planning.

Agency Participation

When planning for a PPT meeting that includes transition planning, the District must consider whether it is appropriate to invite a representative from any outside participating agency to assist in the transition planning and development of transition goals and services in a student’s IEP (for example, postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment [including supported employment], continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, community participation). This will help to ensure that the transition planning is comprehensive and well-coordinated. Written consent from the parent/guardian/adult student is required.

When completing the Notice of PPT Meeting document, the district will indicate if an agency representative was either invited to attend the PPT meeting, not appropriate to be invited, or that the parent/guardian/adult student did not provide written permission to invite an agency representative to assist in transition planning for the student. The information entered when creating the meeting notice will be displayed in the Transition Planning section of the IEP.

The IEP will indicate if any participating agency agreed to provide or pay for services/linkages. If so, the PPT will need to describe the specific services or linkages.

Postsecondary Outcome Goal Statements in the areas of Postsecondary Education or Training, Employment, and if appropriate, Independent Living Skills

This section provides the team with key transition information related to a student’s projected postsecondary goals as required by the IDEA (that is, postsecondary education or training, employment and, if determined appropriate by the PPT, independent living skills, which incorporates community participation. In Connecticut’s IEP, the “postsecondary goals” required by the IDEA are called “Postsecondary Outcome Goal Statements” (formerly “Post-School Outcome Goal Statements”).

Postsecondary Outcome Goal Statements refer to those goals that a student will achieve after leaving secondary school (in other words, high school). They must be written as measurable statements that indicate what a student “will” do rather than “plans” or “hopes” to do, and are based upon the student’s age-appropriate transition assessments.

For every transition-age student with an IEP, Postsecondary Outcome Goal Statements are required to be developed in the areas of “Postsecondary Education or Training” and “Employment.” If the PPT has determined that independent living skills will be addressed as part of the student’s transition planning, then a Postsecondary Outcome Goal Statement must be developed in the area of “Independent Living Skills,” which incorporates community participation.

The standardized format for IEP Postsecondary Outcome Goal Statements is as follows:

[Sentence Starter], the student will [Targeted Skill/Behavior] [Where/How].

Examples of Postsecondary Outcome Goal Statements and Sentence Starters are available for reference on the CSDE Secondary Transition webpage.

Course of Study

This section provides information regarding how a student’s course of study is related to the student’s Postsecondary Outcome Goal Statements. If the student has not completed academic requirements for graduation, the PPT will describe the student’s course of study. The course of study is a multi-year description or list of coursework and/or activities needed to assist the student in achieving the student’s postsecondary goals, from the student’s current year to the anticipated exit year. This could include general education activities needed to assist the student in reaching their transition goals and classes that are contributing credits necessary for the student to obtain a regular high school diploma, with elaboration on the specifics of the course of study as it relates to the student’s postsecondary goals, annual transition goals, and related transition services.

If a student has completed all academic requirements for graduation and requires transition-only services (a decision to be made by the student’s PPT), this section will state, “No academic course of study is required and the student’s IEP includes only transition goals and services.” Such students may also have functional academic goals as part of their transition planning.

Anticipated Exit Criteria

Anticipated Exit Criteria applies to every special education student, not just students currently being exited. This field indicates the anticipated criteria to be used in the future, which will determine that the student no longer requires special education services. Three options are available to the PPT and include:

  • Graduation with a regular high school diploma,
  • Ability to succeed in general education without specially designed instruction, or
  • Reaching the maximum age of eligibility.

Transition Present Levels, Goals, and Objectives:

Similar to the goal areas of academic achievement and functional performance, IEPs with transition planning and services will list parent and/or student input/concerns; present levels of performance; annual goals and short-term objectives; and supplementary aids and services, as they relate to transition planning (See sections 3, 4, and 5 for more specific information). The CT CORE Transition Skills and related resources are available for reference on the CSDE Secondary Transition Webpage.

Current Levels of Performance

For this section of the IEP, the following information will be included:

  • Parent and/or Student Input
  • Present Level of Performance (results from age-appropriate transition assessments may be recorded here)
  • Strengths
  • Concerns/Needs
  • Impact of student’s disability on involvement and progress in the general education curriculum
Annual Transition Goals and Short-Term Objectives

Each IEP that includes transition planning will also have a minimum of one separate annual goal with short-term objectives related to each transition area: “Postsecondary Education/Training” and “Employment,” and where appropriate, “Independent Living Skills.” Measurable annual transition goals and objectives should align with the present levels of performance and directly relate to the student’s Postsecondary Outcome Goal Statement in that transition area and the student’s transition services needs. (See sections 34, and 5 for more specific information.)

In addition to developing at least one annual goal for each transition area, to highlight a connection among the various components of the student’s IEP, the PPT is able to indicate if any academic achievement or functional performance goals “relate to/support” the student’s annual transition goals.

Supplementary Aids and Services

Any potential accommodations, modifications, assistive technology, or adult support related to the components of the student’s transition program should be considered by the PPT. (See section 5 for more specific information.)

Transfer of Rights

At least one year prior to reaching the age of 18, students must be informed of their rights under the IDEA that will transfer at age 18. If the student will be 17 or older by the end of the IEP, the PPT will need to indicate if the student has been informed of the transfer of rights, or if the IDEA rights will not transfer to the student. If rights do not transfer to the student, the IEP will include the date for the supporting documentation (for example, assignment of a guardian or conservator by the Probate Court.)

More information on Secondary Transition can be found on the CSDE website.