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
16 East Hwy 61
Esko, MN 55733
(218) 655-5018
FAX (218) 451-4511

Related Files

Due Process  

         ·   Secondary Transition: Addressing Transition in the IEP during Middle School (pdf)
    ·   Secondary Transition: Age of Majority - what to do and when(pdf)

·   Secondary Transition: Considerations (pdf)

·   Secondary Transition: Due Process Basics - What goes where and why (pdf) 

·  ·        ·   Secondary Transition: Transition Services/Activities Examples (pdf)
    ·   Secondary Transition: Transition Programming for Students Between the Ages of 18 and 22 (pdf)


·  Secondary Transition: Due Process for Secondary Transition Students - Graduation Protocol Presentation Feb 2016 (pdf)

·   Secondary Transition: Graduation Due Process Requirements  (pdf)

         ·   Secondary Transition: Graduation Protocol for Students with Developmental Disabilities 18-21

IEP Agendas



Secondary Transition Assessments Updated 2024! (pdf)


Classroom Activities

·   Secondary Transition: Classroom Activities (pdf)

PAES Lab Resources

Increasing Student Participation at IEP Meetings

Related Links