Secondary Transition

What is Secondary Transition?

Transition means change or movement from one stage to another.

Educationally, Secondary Transition means the process of providing high school students with the skills, knowledge, and community connections that will help them to achieve their post high school, life goals. It is a process that must begin by grade 9 but could begin much earlier. It is the aim of Secondary Transition that when students graduate, they have a plan for their future; the skills to make the plan work; and have established relationships with the people and agencies that can continue to assist them.

Minnesota statue requires five transitional areas to be considered:

  1. Post-secondary education and training
  2. Employment and vocational skills
  3. Community participation
  4. Independent living skills
  5. Recreation and leisure activities

In addition, quality Transition programs will also heavily stress the development of self-advocacy skills, foster an understanding one’s disability and its implications for both school and employment; encourage increasing participation in the IEP process, and educate students and parents on the dramatic changes in disability services following graduation.

High school students will continue to work on improving academic skills. Secondary Transition programs provide specialized instruction in “real world” skills and knowledge that can lead to successful competitive employment and independent living. The direction for instruction in transition relies on student preference, interests, and ability.

Another essential component for most students is work-based learning. Students are placed on actual community job sites and so that they can learn firsthand, the skills necessary to be a good, marketable employees. Finally, a transition curriculum will assist the student in identifying the people and agencies outside of school setting that can provide them with the help and guidance they may need.

Creating a transition plan requires collaboration and creativity. Unlike school services, adult agency services are not mandated by federal law. Team members need to network broadly in order to assist the student in making the appropriate connections for services.

The hope of secondary transition is for every student to be as successful, as independent, and as involved in their community as they are capable.

For more information contact:

Jess Knutsen
Northern Lights Special Education Cooperative
302 14th St.
Cloquet, MN 55720
(218) 879-1283
FAX (218) 879-1285

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