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Effective Methods of Transition Assessment and Planning. Texas Transition Conference February 21, 2012. Leann DiAndreth -Elkins, Ed.D . Assistant Professor Special Education Texas Tech University leann.elkins@ttu.edu. ReGina Wise, M.Ed.

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Effective Methods of Transition Assessment and Planning


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    1. Effective Methods of Transition Assessment and Planning Texas Transition Conference February 21, 2012 Leann DiAndreth-Elkins, Ed.D. Assistant Professor Special Education Texas Tech University leann.elkins@ttu.edu ReGina Wise, M.Ed. Educational Diagnostician & Transition Coordinator HONDA SSA, ShallowaterISD reg.wise@ttu.edu

    2. Definition of Transition • “A coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome oriented process, which promotes movement from school to post-school activities…” (IDEA, 2004) • “A period that includes high school, the point of graduation, additional postsecondary education or adult services, and the initial years of employment…a bridge between the security and structure offered by the school and the opportunities and risks of adult life.” (Madeline Will, 1986)

    3. What is Transition Assessment? • “The gathering of information for purposes of planning, instruction, or placement to aid in individual decision making.” (Taylor, 1997) • The framework for transition planning • Outcome-oriented: related to specific individualized adult outcomes

    4. Why do Transition Assessment? • Identify student’s current abilities, career interests, curricular needs, transition goals • Assess future environments and future potentials • Provide data on how student might respond to postschool work, education, independent living, community situations • “Final adult plans represent the accumulation of the student’s growth, education, and experiences before leaving high school.” (Sitlington et at., 1996)

    5. Why do Transition Assessment? • “The most important reason for conducting transition assessments is to help students learn about themselves so as to better prepare them for taking an active role in their own career development.” (Osborn & Zunker, 2006) 4 essential transition requirements of IDEA (1990): • Based on student needs, interests, preferences • Developed through an outcome-oriented process • Coordinated set of activities • Designed to promote movement to postschool settings

    6. Comparison of Laws (Huefner, 2000)

    7. When do Transition Assessment? • Before age 16: provide career awareness and exploration activities, discuss future options • Beginning by age 16: write transition goals/plan • After age 16: ongoing and continuous transition assessment and planning because students are experiencing many developmental changes

    8. Who is involved in Transition Assessment? • Student (when capable of doing so) • Student’s family members • Educators: general, special, vocational • Related service providers: diagnosticians, school psychologists, therapists • Community agency professionals: rehabilitation counseling, employment, services related to specific disabilities • Postsecondary education professionals: college/university, community college, vocational, disability services • Others: paraprofessionals, church workers, volunteer supervisors, student organization sponsors

    9. Where to conduct Transition Assessment? Educational Environment: • Academic skills • Accommodation needs • Test preparation for state exams • Test preparation for college entrance exams • College services needs Career/Vocational Environment: • Leads to career selection • Career development, awareness, exploration • Workplace skills, demands, roles • Work-related aptitudes and characteristics

    10. Where to conduct Transition Assessment? Community Living Environment: • Potential for independence • Individual lifestyle preferences • Self-care and management • Supported-living needs Personal-Social Environment: • Permeates all other environments • Friendships/relationships • Hobbies • Community participation • Marry/have children

    11. How to conduct Transition Assessment? Formal Assessment: • Standardized instruments that include descriptions of their norming process, reliability and validity, and recommended uses. • Have prerequisite qualifications to be able to administer formal assessments Informal Assessment: • Lack formal norming process and reliability or validity information • Most do not require professional qualifications to administer • Inexpensive or even free • Require more subjectivity and data can be used on an ongoing basis

    12. How to conduct Transition Assessment? Standardized Tests: • Should be non-discriminatory • Assess academic abilities: • Intelligence • Academic achievement • Curriculum-based • Assess adult living skills: • Functional-living skills inventories • Adaptive behavior assessments • Assess preferences: • Learning style • Personality • Career interest • Work values • Self-determination Portfolio: • Documents student’s progress throughout their transition process • May include: • Academic work • Journal entries • Assessments • Inventories • Additional transition activities

    13. How to conduct Transition Assessment? Authentic Assessment: • Conducted within student’s actual living, learning, and working environments (current and future) • Assesses student’s real-life skills, self-determination, motivation, and interests • Observations of student in real-life settings • Interviews with student, family, co-workers • Ecological assessment of student’s current or future environment

    14. How to conduct Transition Assessment? Some Practical Ways to Assess: • Paper and pencil tests • Structured student and family interviews • Community or work-based assessments • Curriculum-based assessments

    15. Rojewski’s Practical Framework for Transition Assessment Level 1: • Review existing information • Conduct student interview • Conduct interest assessment • Conduct personality or preference assessment • Conduct aptitude test Level 2: • Targets students career choices and builds on level 1 assessment • Clarify student’s interests • Prepare student to exit high school Level 3: • Work related behaviors and is used when students need additional assistance with identifying long term career goals • General career maturity • Job readiness

    16. Transition Assessment Should Answer Three basic questions: • Where is the student presently? • Where is the student going? • How does the student get there?

    17. How to Develop Data-Driven Goals? Based on assessment data: • Does the student’s strengths, needs, interests, abilities fit with his/her intended future goals? • What are realistic goals for the student? • What are the cultural/family expectations for the student? • With which community agencies should the student begin working? • Is postsecondary education an option for the student? If so, what type and what processes need to be completed?

    18. Resources Clark, G.M. (2007). Assessment for transition planning. Austin, TX: Pro-ed. Clark, G.M., Patton, J.R., & Moulton, L.R. (2000). Informal assessments for transition planning. Austin, TX: Pro-ed. Huefner, D.S. (2000). Getting comfortable with special education law: a framework for working with children with disabilities (p. 60). Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon. Flexer, R.W., Baer, R.M., Luft, P., & Simmons, T.J. (2008). Transition planning for secondary students with disabilities. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Kochhar-Bryant, C.A. (2009). What every teacher should know about: Transition and IDEA 2004. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Miller, R.J., Lombard, R.C., Corbey, S.A. (2007). Transition assessment: Planning transition and IEP development for youth with mild to moderate disabilities. Boston: Pearson. National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center. (2009). Age appropriate transition assessment guide. Retrieved from http://www.nsttac.org/products_and_resources/tag.aspx Osborn, D.S., & Zunker, V.G. (2006). Using assessment results for career development. California: Thomson Publishing. Rojewski, J. (2002). Career assessment for adolescents with mild disabilities: Critical concerns for transition planning. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 25, 73-95. Sitlington, P.A., Neubert, D.A., & Clark, G.M. (2010). Transition education and services for students with disabilities (5th ed.). Boston: Merrill.