What is Transition?


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    All students, as they go through all of their school years, should be gaining skills and knowledge to help them assume desired adult roles in the community. 

    According to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Ed., transition is “the passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another.”   Therefore, when we consider the word by itself, it represents change.  The following definition from the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Career Development and Transition (CEC/DCDT) incorporates the idea of change and applies it to the changing role of students as they transition from high school to post-secondary environments and the role of educators in preparing students for those new roles

    "Transition refers to a change in status from behaving primarily as a student to assuming emergent adult roles in the community. These roles include employment, participating in post secondary education, maintaining a home, becoming appropriately involved in the community, and experiencing satisfactory personal and social relationships. The process of enhancing transition involves the participation and coordination of school programs, adult agency services and natural supports within the community.
    The foundation for transition should be laid during the elementary and middle school years, guided by the broad concept of career development. Transition planning should begin no later than age 14, and students should be encouraged, to the full extent of their capabilities, to assume a maximum amount of responsibility for such planning.”    (Halpern, 1994)
    To view the definition of transition in federal law and rule, click on Federal Requirements for Secondary Transition on the left side menu.





Last Modified on December 1, 2017