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School-Based Transition Services, services student starting at age 14 or earlier as needed. It is a team approach working with parents, students, IEP Case Managers, Head Teachers, Transition Specialists, and outside agencies to help develop post-secondary goals in the IEP under the Transition Plan. After completing all high school graduation requirements, the team can also determine if Community-Based Transition Services is an appropriate next for the student to continue working on their post-secondary goals.

Transition Outcomes, serves students 18-22 years old who have completed the high school portion of their programs, yet continue to have transition needs in the areas of employment, post-secondary education/training, independent living, and community connections. This service is not mandatory and determined need by the IEP team with the student/guardian.

Transition Services key elements: Agencies and Providers, Annual Goals, Age Appropriate Transition Assessment, Student Vision, Course of Study

What is Transition Services

Transition Services means a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability designed within a results-oriented process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’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. The coordinated set of activities is based on each 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, the acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.

[20 U.S.C. Sec. 1401(34); 34 C.F.R. § 361.5(c)(55)]

In general Transition Services start at age 14 or earlier as needed in the state of New Mexico. Students approaching their 14th birthday, start the early steps in transition planning by the identification and assessment of their interests, needs, preferences and strengths. Transition planning is intended to be a thoughtful and a systematic process. Here are the key elements in Transition Planning and the IEP:

  • Age-Appropriate Transition Assessment (AATA)
  • Student Vision
  • Post-Secondary Goals
  • Course of study
  • Transition services
  • Agencies and providers
  • Annual goals

In reality, these steps do not occur in a linear way, but are blended and ongoing. Some steps overlap. Some are concurrent. All will require review and updating at some point. However, in practice, IEP teams will find that the lines between the steps fade and the process becomes an ongoing system of movement towards meaningful adult life. This process is ongoing and can span from age 14-22.

Services Offered

Transition planning is provided to all students in New Mexico starting at 14 years of age or earlier as needed. Once a student has met all of his/her high school graduation requirements, an IEP team will determine if a program of study has been completed. Students who have not completed their program of study will receive a certificate of transition and are eligible to continue receiving special education services until the end of the academic year in which the student becomes twenty-two years of age

Students who have met all high school graduation requirements on a Modified Option or Ability Pathway, but have not completed their program of study, may have a transition IEP. The IEP committee will determine the most appropriate setting to complete a program of study based on each student's unique and varied transition needs.

Community-based learning helps students develop skills that allow them to become as independent as possible. Community-based instruction teaches functional skills in the community where target skills would naturally occur.

Predictors of post-school success include, in part, the following:

  • Community-based instruction.
  • Successful work experience.
  • Community experience.
  • Career awareness.
  • Self advocacy/Self determination.
  • Self care/Independent living skills.
  • Strong social skills.
  • Family involvement with high expectations.
  • Support from self-family-friend network.
  • Interagency collaboration.

Visit the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) website

From Our Principal

Students who find a community based transition program most meaningful:

  • intend to live an independent, self-determined life,
  • have participated in successful work based learning experiences during high school,
  • currently work or plan to work in their community,
  • are eligible to work, or are willing to pursue eligibility,
  • currently use, or will use adult forms of transportation to travel in their community,
  • do not display unsafe behaviors,
  • are active participants in their transition planning,
  • do not require continuous one to one intervention or assistance and,
  • have their long term support team participate in all transition planning.