Let's Talk About Seamless Transition
The sequential delivery of specific preparatory and coordinated services that begin in early high school and that result in uninterrupted transition from public secondary education to employment and/or post-secondary education.
The entitlement of free public education has been an important aspect of school life for students with disabilities who by law have the benefit of an Individual Education Plan throughout their public school experience. They also have the benefit, beginning at age 16, of mandated planning for the eventual transition from this publicly supported education to employment and adult life. Unfortunately, without careful planning and coordination with necessary services outside of the school systems, youth with disabilities often experience an abrupt end to the supports and programs they need to sustain what they learned and the skills they may have acquired during their education. This is because, although there are many services that these youth might be eligible for as adults, there is no entitlement to post-school services that many youth with disabilities need to continue their pursuit of a fulfilling work career.
The goal, then, of effective transition programs and services is to mitigate this potential interruption of support by facilitating a sequence of transition service features that result in uninterrupted pursuit of employment and adult life goals. In the ideal scenario, school systems provide rigorous and appropriate educational services, IEPs are student driven and involve their families, work-based experiences and employment supplement the academic curricula, and connections with postsecondary support services such as vocational rehabilitation, developmental disabilities and mental health services, and/or postsecondary education are made well in advance of projected school exit. It is this scenario that the research synthesis conducted by NASET (2005) and NCWD/Y (2005) suggest as the optimal approach to insure that youth transition seamlessly from publicly supported special education to successful employment and/or postsecondary education and adult life.
For transition to be seamless the following needs to be in place:
- A plan that identifies the student's goals, the means to achieve them, and the services involved in facilitating the pursuit of these goals; AND
- Supports at the point of transition so that there is no disruption in the pursuit of this plan. The youth and his/her family know what is next and who can help them take the next steps toward post-school employment success
It is this scenario that the Maryland Seamless Transition Collaborative will help selected Local Education Agencies (LEAs) implement.
Promising Transition Interventions >>>
Sustaining Seamless School to Career Transition >>>
This presentation defines seamless transition, discusses critical transition features, and calls for federal interagency research to validate the Transition Systems Integration Model.
Integrating Service Systems at the Point of Transition for Youth with Significant Disabilities: A Model that Works >>>
Features of the Transition Services Integration Model (TSIM) are described in detail in this brief, in addition to results of pilot demonstrations in California and Maryland yield encouraging results for youth transitioning from secondary education to community based employment.
High school inclusion + seamless transition = desired outcomes: A brief report >>>
Data indicate that students with significant disabilities who experienced inclusive education and a seamless transition entered their adult lives well situated for success.