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T ransition P ractices S elf A ssessment : Supporting Districts with the Effective Implementation of Transition Planning and Practices. 2009 Special Education Directors’ Conference August 6, 2009. Presented by:. Diane Morrison, Ed.D. Loyola University Chicago School of Education

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Transition Practices Self Assessment:Supporting Districts with the Effective Implementation of Transition Planning and Practices

2009 Special Education Directors’ Conference

August 6, 2009

Presented by:

Diane Morrison, Ed.D.

Loyola University Chicago

School of Education


[email protected]

Susan Walter

Transition Consultant

Illinois State Board of Education


[email protected] or [email protected]

purpose of the tpsa
Purpose of the TPSA
  • Self assessment and reporting tool allows districts and/or special education cooperatives to:
    • Reflect on research-based transition practices and current status of implementation
    • Use a data-based decision-making model to identify priorities for modifying, updating, or infusing transition planning and service delivery.
  • Based on the work of Dr. Paula Kohler in Taxonomy for Transition Programming
    • Kohler, P. 1996. Taxonomy for Transition Programming.
  • Challenges
why are research based practices so important to transition planning
Why are Research-Based Practices so important to transition planning?
  • Outcomes for students with disabilities improve with transition-focused education.
    • Collaboration between educators, families, students, community members and organizations
    • Adult outcomes focus
    • Academic, career and extracurricular instruction and activities
    • Variety of instructional and transition approaches
    • Responsive to local context and students’ learning and support needs
  • Transition planning is the fundamental basis of education that guides development of student’s educational programs.
    • Not an “add-on” activity when students reach 14 ½

Kohler, P. (1996)


The Taxonomy for Transition Programming

  • Family Involvement
  • Family Training
  • Family Involvement
  • Family Empowerment
  • Student-Focused Planning
  • IEP Development
  • Student Participation
  • Planning Strategies
  • Program Structure
  • Program Philosophy
  • Program Policy
  • Strategic Planning
  • Program Evaluation
  • Resource Allocation
  • Human Resource Development
  • Student Development
  • Life skills Instruction
  • Career & Vocational
  • Curricula
  • Structured Work Experience
  • Assessment
  • Support Services
  • Interagency Collaboration
  • Collaborative Framework
  • Collaborative Service Delivery

Kohler, P.D. (1996). Taxonomy for transition planning. Champaign: University of Illinois


Program Structure

and Attributes

Program structures and attributes are features that relate to efficient and effective delivery of transition-focused education and services, including attributes of a school that provide the framework for a transition perspective. By operating from the transition paradigm, schools put in place those structures and policies that reflect the notion that outcomes and activities of 100% of the students are important.

Kohler, P. (1996). Retrieved on November 2, 2003 from


Interagency Collaboration

Interagency collaboration practices facilitate involvement of community businesses, organizations and agencies in all aspects of transition – focused education. Interagency agreements that clearly articulate roles, responsibilities, communication strategies, and other collaborative actions that enhance curriculum and program development foster collaboration.

Kohler, P. (1996). Retrieved on November 2, 2003 from


Student-Focused Planning

Student-focused planning practices focus on using assessment information and facilitating students’ self-determination to develop individual education programs based on student’s post-school goals.

Kohler, P. (1996). Retrieved on November 2, 2003 from


Student Development

Student development practices emphasize life, employment and occupational skill development through school-based and work-based learning experiences. Students’ assessment and accommodations provide the fundamental basis for student development that results in successful transition.

Kohler, P. (1996). Retrieved on November 2, 2003 from


Family Involvement

Family involvement practices are associated with parent and family involvement in planning and delivering education and transition services, including facilitating such involvement. Family-focused training and family empowerment activities increase the ability of family members to work effectively with educators and other service providers and vice-versa.

Kohler, P. (1996). Retrieved on November 2, 2003 from

how was the tpsa developed
How was the TPSA developed?
  • Partnership
    • Illinois State Board of Education/IS-TAC and Loyola University Chicago – Center for School Evaluation, Intervention & Training
  • Developing, refining and validating the TPSA
    • Using the Kohler Transition Taxonomy and a four question evaluation framework
      • If you train, do people implement?
      • If they implement, do they do so with fidelity?
      • If they implement with fidelity, do the interventions sustain?
      • If the interventions sustain, what is the impact on your clients?
  • Alignment process
    • data sources, level (e.g., system, practice, data), and the Kohler Taxonomy
    • State Performance Plan
  • Validity checks - internal and external
protocol for completing the tpsa
Protocol for Completing the TPSA
  • Who completes the TPSA?
    • Recommended – assemble a district and/or school-based interagency transition team (if one doesn’t already exist)
    • In lieu of or in addition to interagency transition team:
      • All staff at a staff meeting (goal of 40 % of all staff)
      • Individuals from a representative group (e.g., Interagency Transition Team or Transition Planning Committee (TPC)
      • Team member-led focus group (e.g., consensus with one score for the group)
      • Random selection of up to 10 people within the school , based on demographics (e.g., 2 administrators, 3 general educators, 2 special educators, 1 support staff, 1 community/agency, 1 family member/student)
protocol for completing the tpsa1
Protocol for Completing the TPSA
  • When and how often should the TPSA be completed?
    • At least annually and preferably at the same time each year (e.g., beginning of school year, end of school year)
  • How is the TPSA completed?
    • Demographic data
    • Who? (e.g., team consensus, team individuals, all staff etc.)
    • Data are entered into a web-based information management system administered by Loyola
    • Reports are generated
how will the tpsa support schools
How will the TPSA support schools?
  • Support for Indicator 13 improvement
  • Assists school districts in determining current practices and setting priorities
    • Internal decision-making
    • Building awareness of staff
    • Action planning to “scale up” transition practices, service delivery and collaborative planning
      • Assessment of change over time
      • Team validation
  • Accessing transition-specific technical assistance and training through ISBE and the Statewide Technical Assistance Center (IS-TAC)
getting started recommendation assemble a team
Getting Started Recommendation – Assemble a Team
  • School-based interagency transition team
    • Extension or sub-committee of existing school/district leadership team
  • Represent ALL stakeholders
    • Students and families
    • Teachers, transition personnel and support staff
    • Administrators
    • Community agencies and advocacy representatives
    • Vocational rehabilitation counselors and adult agency personnel
using your tpsa data strategic planning
Using Your TPSA Data Strategic Planning
  • Critical questions should be answered with respect to the implementation of evidenced-based transition services.

SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats revealed through the self-assessment (TPSA).


SWOT Analysis process is from Dr. David Bell, St. Xavier University, Chicago


In order for change to occur, the driving forces (strengths) must exceed the opposing forces (weaknesses) thus shifting the balance of power or equilibrium(Lewin, 1948)

using the tpsa to conduct a swot analysis
Using the TPSA to conduct a SWOT analysis
  • Current TPSA has 35 statements
    • Program Structure (PS), 6
    • Collaboration (COLAB), 5
    • Student-Focused Planning (SFP), 11
    • Student Development (SD), 8
    • Family Involvement, (FI), 5
  • Review the TPSA reports for each section.
using the tpsa to conduct a swot analysis1
Using the TPSA to conduct a SWOT analysis
  • PHASE 1-
    • Analyze the TPSA as whole and compare to the table in the following slide.
using the tpsa to conduct a swot analysis3
Using the TPSA to conduct a SWOT analysis

PHASE 2- Analyze the subsections

Use the “Tally” report that states the number of in-place items for each sub-section

using the tpsa for action planning
Using the TPSA for Action Planning
  • Analyze subsections to determine
    • Areas of celebration (top three items in place per sub-section)
    • Areas of need (top priority items ranked as highest need)
using the tpsa to conduct a swot analysis5
Using the TPSA to conduct a SWOT analysis

Understand facilitators and barriers that impact sustainable change

SWOT the various subsections

discussion questions
Discussion Questions

Are there weaknesses that are beyond your control?

Do the opportunities available to the school outweigh the threats/barriers?

How can you build the capacity to address your weaknesses?

What resources (human, financial, etc) are available or needed to address your weaknesses?

action planning for change
Action Planning for Change

Process repeats until you have developed a systematic plan to address the various subsections on the TPSA


Jack Kinder.

High achievement

always takes place

in the framework

of high expectation.


N othing will ever be attempted

if all possible objections

must be first overcome.

Samuel Johnson.


Dr. Hank Bohanon, Diane Morrison and Agnes Kielian at Loyola University Chicago – Center for School Evaluation, Intervention and Training

Dr. Paula Kohler, Western Michigan University

Dr. David Bell, St. Xavier University, Chicago

Illinois State Board of Education, Special Education Services Administration