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Secondary Transition Guidance


Related Topics:

Assessment | Standards Based IEPs |Graduation | Data | Improvement Activities


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) defines Secondary Transition or “transition services” 34 CFR §300.43 as a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability that:

  • Is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the student with a disability to facilitate the student’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment); continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation;
  • Is based on the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and
  • Includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation

Additionally, IDEA 2004 regulations 34 CFR §300.320 (b) and §300.321(b) address transition assessments and postsecondary goals. The Texas Administrative Code TAC §89.1055 (g)(1-9) describes the issues important to the development of the IEP (Individualized Education Program) by age 16. TAC §75.1023 lists the transitional service requirements for a student’s completion of career and technology education courses, and Texas Education Code TEC §29.011 lists transition-related responsibilities of public schools.

Resources below will provide additional information to related sites. The resources may change as more information becomes available.

State Resources

Statewide Leadership Functions/Projects

Transition in Texas: Statewide High School Transition Network
As the state lead for Secondary Transition, the Education Service Center XI facilitates the coordination of the 20 regional Education Service Center transition specialists’ activities in an effort to meet the needs of high school students receiving special education services across the state of Texas. In collaboration with the network members; ESC Region XI is responsible for coordination of a statewide needs assessment process, determination of state priorities, development of the network plan, and evaluation of the effectiveness of statewide activities and services.

Legal Framework
The Legal Framework is a template in an electronic format that summarizes state and federal requirements for special education by topic for parents and educators. A framework addressing Transition Services has been developed.

Texas Project First
The Texas Project FIRST website is designed to give parents accurate and consistent information about Special Education in Texas. On the home page, visitors will find the age-range menu which is provided to help parents find information most relevant to the age group of their child. Transition topics can be found under Age Ranges 11-16 and 17 -21.

State Agencies

Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities is a 27-member board dedicated to ensuring that all Texans with developmental disabilities have the opportunity to be independent, productive and valued members of their communities. Using a variety of methods, the Council works to ensure that the service delivery system provides comprehensive services and supports that meet people's needs, are easy to access, and are cost effective. 

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is dedicated to helping Texas meet the goals of the state’s higher education plan, Closing the Gaps by 2015. Meeting those goals means a bright future of economic vitality, social independence, and civic engagement for the citizens of Texas.

National Resources

Family Center on Technology and Disability
The Family Center is a resource designed to support organizations and programs that work with families of children and youth with disabilities. The Center offers a wide range of information and services on the subject of assistive technologies. 

National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE)
For 70 years, NASDSE has been providing dedicated leadership to continuously improve educational services and outcomes for students with disabilities in the states and federal territories. Focusing on aligned policies and practices to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities is critical to ensure their full participation and contribution in education, employment and society.

The IDEA Partnership Project (Partnership Project)
The IDEA Partnership is dedicated to improving outcomes for students and youth with disabilities by joining state agencies and stakeholders through shared work and learning. The IDEA Partnership reflects the collaborative work of more than 55 national organizations, technical assistance providers, and organizations and agencies at state and local level. Together with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the Partner Organizations form a community with the potential to transform the way we work.  

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)
The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) coordinates national resources, offers technical assistance, and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities in order to create opportunities for youth to achieve successful futures.

Postoutcomes Network
Assists with the dissemination of research findings and develops professional papers, briefs, teaching materials and other publications, designed to share information with a wide and diverse audience about research, promising practices, and policy recommendations.  

The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities (NDPC-SD)
NDPC-SD supports the national implementation of provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to provide successful school outcomes for students with disabilities. NDPC-SD supports states in assisting local education agencies to increase school completion rates and decrease dropout rates among students with disabilities. 

National Post-School Outcomes Center (NPSO)
The mission of the NPSO is to help state education agencies establish practical and rigorous data collection systems that will measure and profile the post-school experiences of youth with disabilities. The results will be used for national, state, and local reporting and—most importantly—to guide and improve transition services to this population. 

National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC)
NSTTAC assists states in building capacity to support and improve transition planning, services, and outcomes for youth with disabilities. Objectives include: assist State Education Agencies with collecting data on IDEA (2004) Part B State Performance Plan Indicator 13 and use this data to improve transition services; generate knowledge that provides a foundation for states to improve transition services that enhance post-school outcomes; generate knowledge that provides a foundation for states to improve transition services that enhance post-school outcomes; and disseminate information to state personnel, practitioners, researchers, parents, and students regarding effective transition education and services that improve post-school outcomes.

US Departmentof Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts

Technical Assistance and Training

Education Service Centers
For technical assistance and training on this topic and other aspects of the provision of services for students with disabilities, contact your regional education service center.

Division of IDEA Coordination

1701 North Congress Avenue | Austin, Texas 78701-1494

Telephone: 512-463-9414 | Fax: 512.463.9560


Updated: February 10, 2011

Page last modified on 9/12/2014 12:08:03 PM.