What is an Individual Transition Plan (ITP)?

Instructor: Loren Rozanski

Loren has a B.S. in History and a M.S. in Special Education. She works actively in the education field.

Learn what an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) is and how to implement a plan for your Special Education students. This lesson will also cover how to choose and achieve goals your students may have after they graduate from school.

What is an Individual Transition Plan?

An Individual Transition Plan (ITP) is a plan developed for special education students that will help them set goals and transition successfully into post-high school life. This plan is part of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), which is a plan created for all students identified as needing special education services in the classroom setting. Both the IEP and the ITP are mandated through a set of laws called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. This act outlines and describes what considerations need to be taken into account when educating students with special needs.

While an IEP is created as soon as a student has been identified as needing Special Education services, the Individual Transition Plan is not included in the IEP until a student reaches transition age. This age differs by school district. Some schools choose to start transition planning with students as soon as they begin high school, and include the ITP in all high school IEPs. However, under IDEA, the ITP must be included the first IEP created after the student turns sixteen. The transition plan has to include several different parts. The first part is a statement of student goals and plans for after high school. This can include going to college, a vocational program, or a plan to begin working or mastering life skills after high school. The second part is how the student plans to achieve those goals and what services the school is going to provide to assist the student in achieving the goals.

For example, John Smith is a tenth grader at ABC High School who has just turned sixteen. His plan after graduation is to become an auto mechanic. John's ITP would include this goal, along with his plan to attend a local technical college after he graduates high school. John's special education case manager writes into his ITP that John will take automotive shop classes his junior and senior year of high school and that John will spend time shadowing an automotive technician.

This ITP has John's goals clearly written, and outlines the services that will be provided to help John transition out of high school and into a local technical college. Let's take a look at how John's plan was created.

Creating a Transition Plan

ITP planning occurs during a scheduled Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meeting, where the following team members are present:

  • The child's parents/guardians
  • At least one regular education teacher
  • At least one special education teacher
  • A school administrator
  • A school support services provider, such as a guidance counselor
  • A translator, if needed
  • The child, when appropriate

The meeting begins by reviewing the child's current IEP and annual goals. Then, the Special Education teacher should ask the child about his or her goals after high school, such as plans to attend school or start working, where they plan to live, and how much independence they would like to have.

The ITP is created at the first PPT meeting after a child turns sixteen.
ppt meeting

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