Planning for the future can be a daunting task for many. We dream of the things we wish to have: a career, home, car, retirement, etc.; but we may struggle with how to make these desires come to light. Creating a plan, assessing our skills and interests, setting timelines, determining our support needs, and monitoring our progress toward each goal increases the probability that we will achieve our goals and have the future we desire. For teenagers transitioning from high school to the next phase of young adulthood, each of these steps can be overwhelming. Without guidance throughout the planning process, students with or without disabilities often flounder in high school and beyond. For students with disabilities, this type of support is required, and is called transition planning.
Transition planning focuses on an individual’s plans and dreams for the future. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 defines secondary transition as a coordinated set of activities within a results-oriented process, focused on improving academic achievement and functional performance to facilitate movement from school to post-school activities. This is an interactive process that requires a student-centered team approach to conduct assessments, instruction and implementation for a successful outcome. In Virginia, the student's transition Individualized Education Program (IEP) team begins the transition planning process prior to the student turning 14.
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe. ” –Anatole France
The mission of the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Transition Innovation (VCU CTI) is to enhance postsecondary outcomes for Virginia’s youth as they transition to postsecondary education, training, employment and adult life. We are dedicated to improving services to youth, schools and families. This site will assist you in learning the evidence-based practices that are currently being implemented in Virginia, as well as research-based strategies for effective practices in many areas related to transition. It will outline some of the pieces and parts of the transition process and provide you an opportunity to explore and enhance your knowledge of assessment tools, inventive employment solutions, living independently in the community, postsecondary education/ training options and youth development. We view the transition process as a hopeful one as we strive to improve the future for Virginia’s youth with disabilities.