Understanding Transition Curriculum: How It Supports Students’ Post-High School Success

Ever heard of the “Sunday Scaries?” Often times, the Sunday Scaries are referenced on a Sunday night when Monday morning is quickly approaching. For many, this means wrapping up a weekend of relaxation and transitioning back into the 9-5 grind, or for students, it means heading back to a full week of school.

Transitions in general can pose feelings of overwhelm, and that leap from high school to post-secondary life is certainly no different – especially for students with moderate to severe disabilities. With federally mandated laws in place to support a successful transition, educators can help prepare adolescent students make decisions about their lives, identify and achieve goals, contribute meaningfully to society, and develop and strengthen their independence as they move into life beyond education.

What is Transition Curriculum?

For students with IEPs, transition planning and services must start on or before a student turns 16. In some states, or when considered appropriate, transition planning can even begin sooner.

According to the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), transition is a “purposeful, planned movement of adolescents and young adults with disabilities from school to post-school activities, such as postsecondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.”

Transition curricula are designed to support students in developing the skills they need to make a successful transition to post-secondary life. These curricula can cover a range of topics, including self-management,  vocational skills,  leisure skills and more.

How Does TeachTown’s Transition Curriculum Work

TeachTown’s Transition to Adulthood curriculum is an effective program based on evidence-based teaching practices that supports students who are transitioning into adulthood. Specifically designed to meet the needs of students with autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual and developmental disabilities, the program uses point-of-view video modeling, task analyses, computer-based lessons, teacher-delivered lessons, and visual supports to teach critical and functional skills in various areas.

What Skills Can Students Learn From Transition Curriculum?

TeachTown’s Transition to Adulthood curriculum includes teaching skills like these:

  • Community Skills such as using public transportation, asking for directions, and ordering food at a restaurant
  • Personal Life Skills such as tying shoelaces, shaving, and using a debit card
  • Home Skills such as doing laundry, changing a lightbulb, and cooking a meal from a recipe
  • Leisure Skills such as playing a sport, painting, and playing a musical instrument
  • Vocational Skills such filling out a job application, and using workplace technology

A transition curriculum should also include an online assessment tool for progress monitoring like Transition to Adulthood does. Each target skill in the program has an associated online assessment that enables staff to monitor progress, prompt fading, maintenance, and generalization. These assessments break down the target skill into measurable steps and allow staff to track whether the student completed each step independently or required prompting as outlined in the lesson plans. The data are automatically collected and reported for easy analysis.

Transition planning and services are not only critical but required to support our student population as they prepare for post-secondary life. As educators, our goal is to provide our students with the necessary opportunities that will allow them to live a meaningful and full life.

By incorporating transition goals and objectives into students’ IEPs and delivering high-quality transition support in schools, educators can help prepare all students for success beyond K-12 schooling. . If you are looking to implement a curriculum built on evidence-based practices that supports transition students in your district, explore TeachTown’s Transition to Adulthood.

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