Examples of IEP Transition Goals

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

As a special education teacher, one of your most important goals is helping your students get ready for the world beyond the educational system. This lesson offers you some examples of what a transition goal might look like for your students.

Why Do IEP Transition Goals Matter?

Are you a secondary special education teacher or administrator? If so, you understand the importance of preparing your students to transition out of the educational system. This transition will, of course, look a little different for every student. Whether a student is graduating from high school or leaving early, it's important to develop transition goals on his or her Individualized Education Plan, or IEP. These transition goals are often divided into three categories:

  • Educational goals describe what kind of school or formal training the student will receive subsequent to leaving high school.
  • Employment goals describe what kind of work the student will do after leaving high school. This can be part- or full-time work, and such work may or may not be related to a long-term career goal.
  • Independent living goals are important for students who are leaving their family-home at the same time that they leave high school. These goals describe how a student will live independently and what aspects of their lives they will take responsibility for.

As with any other IEP goals, transition goals should be concrete. Describe exactly what your students will do and what time frame they will do it in. Transition goals should be realistic and should reflect the individual student's capacities and needs. Often, transition goals are developed alongside the student, and it is therefore important that they be stated in language the student can understand.

Let's explore some specific examples of transition goals in the three categories.

Educational Goals

  • Within three months of graduating from high school, Marianne will be enrolled as a full-time student at the local community college. She will be registered for four courses and will be signed up at the learning support center to receive appropriate modifications on her assignments and exams.
  • Within two months of graduating from high school, Nate will be enrolled at an HVAC academy as a full-time student and apprentice. He will be taking two evening courses toward his HVAC certification, and per the guidelines of the academy, he will be apprenticed to a senior HVAC engineer during the days.
  • Within two months of graduating from high school, Martin will have enrolled as a full-time student in a four-year college, where he has already obtained acceptance. He will be registered with the learning support services office and will receive weekly academic support sessions with a counselor. He will be taking three courses.
  • Within two weeks of leaving high school, Julia will be enrolled in a GED preparation course. She will be registered to take the GED exam during the summer months and will attend biweekly classes to help prepare for this exam.

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