Less Stress AND Measurable Post-Secondary Goals - You Can Do It!

Posted by Misty Crouch on 11/1/2019 7:00:00 AM

Do you struggle with writing measurable post-secondary goals?  Do you stress about transition IEPs and the monitoring of those?  Do you just need a little help narrowing down the vast number of resources to just a few that would help you get started on what a transition IEP even is?  You are not alone and there are people and resources that can help! Like many things in education, you can research and find hundreds or thousands of resources, but I have found that less is best.  How do you choose? Several years back, when I was responsible for monitoring my district’s IEPs, I went straight to the expert with whom we had frequent calls and professional development to correct our non-compliance findings.  The resources listed below have been updated since that time, but they are my go-to resources when assisting someone with transition IEPs.

In Indiana, when a student turns 14 between the initiation and duration dates of their IEP,or when they enter grade 9, their IEP must meet the requirements for transition IEP’s and include the following components:

  • Measurable postsecondary goals
  • Transition services to provide information for the student’s future decision making on their  post-secondary goals
  • Annual IEP updates based on age-appropriate transition assessments
  • Annual IEP goals related to the student’s transition needs focusing on education/training, employment, and independent living (if applicable)
  • A course of study to effectively enable the student to achieve their goals

Ensuring measurable post-secondary goals are included is a teacher’s first step to writing a quality IEP for a transition-age student.  As a teacher begins the transition process with a student, it is important to communicate with the student to identify their post-secondary goals.  The statements for each area (education/training, employment, and independent living (if applicable), must be measurable and not contain any words similar to the following: “think”, “might”, “may”, “need to”, etc. 

It’s often just replacing a vague word or adding a little more detail that is the difference between a non-compliant finding on your transition IEP and a quality, measurable post-secondary goal statement.   Instead of “I will look for a job working with cars”, you could say “I will work full-time at a garage as a mechanic.” Instead of “I may want to go to college,” you could say “I will enroll at Ivy Tech to study early childhood education.”  Similarly, instead of “I need to learn to manage money and care for myself, you could say “I will independently prepare for work each day, including dressing myself, making my lunch, and getting to the bus.”

The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) provides an excellent online directory of transition materials and training information.  Their searchable database includes recently updated resources that can assist both veteran teachers and those new to the profession in writing quality transition IEPs.  Here are two that I have added to my transition resource binder that might be helpful to you the next time you sit down to work on a student’s transition IEP:

The Indiana Transition IEP Rubric 2018-2019

Transition Services and Activities: Making the Connection

Over the next several articles, I will explore some specific resources for the requirements of a transition IEP.  Next month’s article will feature information on resources on transition services and tips for writing more individualized transition services for your students.

If you have questions about transition IEPs or If you have a transition topic that you need more resources for or another topic you would like covered in this year’s transition articles, please email me at mcrouch@earlywood.org.

Misty

~Misty Crouch, Transition Coordinator