Secondary Transition Guidance

On this page you will find information about transition from school settings to post-school settings. This transition process should begin as early as possible but a state law passed in the summer of 2011 requires that "appropriate state transition planning must begin for a student not later than when the student reaches 14 years of age."

Post-school settings and activities include:

  • Post-secondary education;
  • Vocational education;
  • Integrated employment (including supported employment);
  • Continuing and adult education;
  • Adult services;
  • Independent living; and
  • Community participation.

As early as possible, schools should begin developing programs and services, based on a student’s strengths, preferences, and interests that focus on:

  • Instruction;
  • Related services;
  • Community experiences;
  • Development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and
  • If appropriate, daily living skills and a functional vocational evaluation (34 CFR 300.43).

The Texas Administrative Code (TAC) describes the following 10 issues important to the development of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students receiving special education services. Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, not later than when a student reaches 14 years of age, the ARD committee must consider and, if appropriate, address the following issues in the IEP:

  1. Appropriate student involvement in the student's transition to life outside the public school system;
  2. If the student is younger than 18 years of age, appropriate involvement in the student's transition by the student's parents and other persons invited to participate by:
    a. the student's parents; or
    b. the school district in which the student is enrolled;
  3. If the student is at least 18 years of age, involvement in the student's transition and future by the student's parents and other persons, if the parent or other person:
    a. is invited to participate by the student or the school district in which the student is enrolled; or
    b. has the student's consent to participate pursuant to a supported decision-making agreement under Texas Estates Code, Chapter 1357;
  4. Appropriate postsecondary education options, including preparation for postsecondary-level coursework;
  5. An appropriate functional vocational evaluation;
  6. Appropriate employment goals and objectives;
  7. If the student is at least 18 years of age, the availability of age-appropriate instructional environments, including community settings or environments that prepare the student for postsecondary education or training, competitive integrated employment, or independent living, in coordination with the student's transition goals and objectives;
  8. Appropriate independent living goals and objectives;
  9. Appropriate circumstances for facilitating a referral of a student or the student's parents to a governmental agency for services or public benefits, including a referral to a governmental agency to place the student on a waiting list for public benefits available to the student such as a waiver program established under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 1396n(c)), §1915(c); and
  10. The use and availability of appropriate:
    a. supplementary aids, services, curricula, and other opportunities to assist the student in developing decision-making skills; and
    b. supports and services to foster the student's independence and self-determination, including a supported decision-making agreement under Texas Estates Code, Chapter 1357.

The Texas Transition and Employment Guide (Spanish version) provides information on statewide services and programs that assist students with disabilities in the transition to life outside of the public school system.

‚ÄčThe Texas Project First website provides parents with information about Special Education in Texas. On the site’s home page, parents will find information most relevant to the age group of their child. Transition topics can be found under Age Ranges 11-16 and 17-21.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) participated with the Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission on an Employment-First Task Force, created by the 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session (2013). During its tenure, the task force was responsible for promoting competitive employment opportunities that provide a living wage for individuals with disabilities, including the state's Employment-First Policy.

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities is a 27-member board that ensures all Texans with developmental disabilities have the opportunity to become independent, productive and valued members of their communities. The Council works to ensure that the service delivery system provides comprehensive services and supports that are easy to access and that are cost effective.

Links for additional information: