The period or process of changing from one state or condition to another is known as transition. Transition causes changes in behaviors, roles, routines, expectations, relationships and environments. On most occasions, transition requires a significant amount of planning, support, adjustment, and preparation. Whether it’s shifting to a new city, getting married, moving house or changing jobs, life is full of transition periods.

Starting school, moving from primary school to secondary school, and from there into adult life are the most significant transitions for young people and school-aged children. One of the most significant changes that young people experience is the transition from school into adult life. For them, this transition time is exciting yet challenging. In order to ensure their effective transition, a systematic approach is required from them and those around them. This approach takes into consideration the transition programs, activities, experiences, policies and practices.

An example of this systematic approach is an individual transition plan. This transition plan helps young people to transition from school to post school life as seamlessly as possible. In order to prepare a student for a post-school environment, individual transition plan brings together the student and individuals directly involved in helping him/her make the transition.

Transition Plan Templates

Furthermore, it makes the transition from school to adult life smooth by ensuring that students are provided the skills and services necessary for making the transition. In short, a transition plan formalizes the transition process to provide student’s the program and services they require for making the transition. A transition plan template can help you to understand this better.

Individual transition planning

In order to achieve their future directions and goals, young people use individual transition planning. An individual transition plan allows them to plan now for a future they desire. Transition planning is a process that:

  • Maximizes choices
  • Provides direction and purpose
  • Empowers
  • Informs decision making
  • Makes transition to adult life smooth

Individual transition planning is extremely important for young people, their families, their careers, and their communities. This is the reason they’re included in many state and federal government strategies, education and training policies, and curriculum review. The government recognizes that young people cannot make smooth transitions into adult life without individual transition planning.

Additionally, they recognize that enhancing post-school outcomes and quality of life isn’t possible without making smooth transitions into adult life. Therefore, an individual transition plan is used to ensure a better future for young people and school-aged children. What is individual transition planning? You can find this out by looking at a transition plan template.

Understanding the transition plan

A critical document that supports the expected changes in a student’s environment, transition plan helps students and their families to plan for the future. The purpose of this plan is ensuring that individual student requirements are successfully met. A transition plan is used to:

  • Determine the student’s needs
  • Identify the services available to meet those needs
  • Formalize the transition process
  • Monitor the student’s progress
  • Provide transition process information and training to parents

Furthermore, the key transition points included in the transition plan are:

  • Starting pre-school
  • Pre-school to primary school
  • Primary school to secondary school
  • Secondary school to post school/adult life

Apart from the aforementioned transition points, other transitions that can impact the student include:

In order to define annual goals and objectives, a transition plan maps out long-term adult outcomes. The plan outlines the things required by a student to work, play, and live as an adult. Ideally, the plan should be written five to seven years before graduation. The people involved in writing the transition plan include the student, parents, school staff, service coordinator, allied health professionals (if required), and adult service provider.

In order to make a smooth transition from school to post-school life, a student requires certain training and services. The training and services are to be provided by the individuals mentioned above. A transition plan informs the aforementioned individuals how they can provide the student these services and training. The objective of a transition plan is:

  • Addressing the needs, interests and preferences of the student
  • Encouraging participation of parent/ guardian in the transition process
  • Outlining the responsibilities of parents and students
  • Identifying and specifying people responsible for different aspects of the transition process
  • Defining annual goals that include skills and steps
  • Identifying a coordinated set of activities that exhibit use of various community/adult-living experiences and strategies
  • Encouraging coordinated efforts between rehabilitation and vocational education programs, service providers, and agencies.

Generally, a transition plan includes:

  • The change about to occur
  • Where and when the change will occur
  • What is required to make a smooth transition, by whom and when
  • (If known) how the individual reacted to previous transitions
  • Supports such as short movie, social scripts, sensory supports, transitions stories and visual sequences that are based on information gained from learner profile
  • For future use, evaluation of the plan

Transition Plan Examples

To understand a transition plan and what’s included in it better, you can take a look at a transition plan template. Students are more likely to cope with change, accept new staff members, and successfully transition to another environment if you set them up for it by using a well-developed transition plan. Therefore, developing a clear transition process for the student is important. Following are the steps involved in writing effective transition plans:

Writing the initial plan

Depending on whichever comes first, write the first transition plan during a student’s 8th grade year or when he or she is 15 years old.

Updating the plan

After you’ve written the initial transition plan, update the plan every year.

Documenting the student’s invitation

You must document on the transition plan that the student received invitation to attend his or her TP meeting.

Documenting the invitation of outside agencies

You must list the names of outside agencies on the transition plan if they’re invited to a transition plan meeting. However, they must have the consent of parent to attend. 

Encouraging students to attend TP/IEP meetings

You must invite and strongly encourage students to attend their transition plan/IEP meetings. In case they aren’t able to attend, meet them beforehand to find out about their needs, interests, and preferences.

Transfer of rights

When the student turns 18, inform them and their parents that their rights as an adult are transferred to them. You must document this in the transition plan.

Interests, strengths, Preferences etc

You must include as much information as possible in this section. This information is provided by the student. This section includes any strengths, interests, and preferences etc of the student. Furthermore, listing information obtained student and parent transitions surveys is also important. In order to help them focus on career interest, you must provide 8th grade students with a transition assessment or survey.

Specify what the student will do after graduation in the desired post-secondary goals section. You must word these goals carefully. This section must state what the student ‘will do’ after graduation rather than what he or she ‘would like to do’ after graduation. For example, you should write ‘Matt will acquire a job in the marketing field’ instead of ‘Matt would like to acquire a job in the marketing field’.

The desired post-secondary goals must take cue from the needs, interests, and preferences of the student. For example, if a student’s interests are in the engineering field than this outcome goals mist take cue from that.

Transition activities, services, and goals

Write down what needs to be achieved to reach the desired post-secondary goals in the transition activities, services and goals section. In order to help the student achieve the desired post-secondary goals, ensure that the student performs the activities and uses the services required to achieve these goals while he or she is still in school. You can do this by writing the transition activities, services, and goals. While writing the transition activities, services, and goals, you must keep the grade/age of the student in mind.

In order to allow the student to achieve a goal within a year, you must include activities that are specific to that particular goal. Furthermore, goals must be very specific and not general. For example, “Matt will obtain information about post-school options from two post-secondary schools.” You will make the goal more measurable by writing specific numbers. 

Agency or person involved

Including the student’s name in the transition plan is important. Furthermore, you must invite the agency to the TP meeting if you list them on the transition plan. For example, you must invite a vocational rehabilitation counselor to the meeting if you refer a student to a vocational rehabilitation agency and list the agency on the transition plan.

Completion date

Write the date of completion once the transition goal is achieved. Usually, this date comes a year after the date on which the goal is written.

By following the aforementioned steps, you can write effective transition plans. Alternatively, you may refer to a transition plan template.

Transition Plan Samples

Some important terms and words to remember

Following are some important terms and words to remember.


The general direction a person is going in is what this identifies. Example of this would be attending classes at the computing college or living in an apartment.

Individual Education Program (IEP)

Students who receive special education services are the target market for the Individual Education Program. A written plan, the IEP identifies the present strengths of a student as well as his or her educational objectives and goals for the school year. The IEP contains specific plans for making people become more independent.

Individual Program Plan

A written plan, an individual program plan provides goals that aren’t related to education such as recreation and work goals.

Special Education

In order to become independent and productive adults, some students require educational experiences in addition to their regular education. These additional educational experiences or services are known as special education.


This is probably the most important word or term to remember. A carefully planned process, transition allows students to move from school to adult life.

Career Transition Plans

Career transition assistance plan

Apart from the individual transition plan, another transition plan is the career transition assistance plan. In certain matters, the federal government functions like a typical business. For instance, when priorities change and budgets are cut, the federal government must adjust its staffing. However, this is a slight difference in working—unlike companies, federal agencies do not offer outplacement services to discharged employees. Instead, they assist the laid-off employees to look for new position within their agency by using a career transition assistance plan.

Using a career transition assistance plan, federal agencies assist laid-off employees by prioritizing them for competitive service vacancies. Furthermore, agencies must use this transition plan to notify the discharged employees about the vacancies they plan to fill in their local community. In order to receive assistance through CTAP, laid-off employees must apply to a position that

  • Is at or below their previous grade level
  • Is in the local community
  • Has the same promotion potential as their previous position

Apart from the aforementioned criteria, the laid-off employees must be well qualified for the job and must prove their eligibility before the closing date of the announcement. Career assistance transition plans usually include agency career transition services, agency Special Selection Priority and agency reemployment Priority List (RPL). To find out more about CTAP, you may refer to a transition plan template. A transition plan template includes everything that you need to write the CTAP.

Whether you’re looking to help students move from school to adult life or are assisting laid-off employees find a new job, transition planning is critical. A great way to perform transition planning is using a transition plan template. Fortunately, we have many transition plan templates that you can download and use.

TemplateLab May 3rd, 2019