Practical Tips


Make sure the assessment process is comprehensive and ongoing.
Too often, teachers give one or two age appropriate assessments when a student turns 14 years old and then never add any additional evaluations. Previous data and the need for additional assessments should be reviewed annually.

Use the assessment data to drive instruction.
If a student has identified a particular postsecondary outcome, then instruction and transition services should support the attainment of that outcome.

Explain the assessment process and its benefits to all members of the transition IEP team.
It is important that the transition team understands both the reasons for collecting data and the data itself. Help team members to see the coordination between the data, instruction, accommodations, services, and postsecondary outcomes.

Teach students about careers and career readiness.
Teachers should make sure students have knowledge of the career and technology courses available within their schools. Additionally, they should help the students explore and navigate websites such as Virginia Career View, Virginia Wizard, and Virginia Department of Education Career and Technical Education Career Clusters.


Ensure that your student has age appropriate transition assessments.
If these assessments are not specifically discussed at your student’s transition IEP meeting, make sure to ask about them. If they are included and not explained, ask what they mean.

Include your voice and input in the data collecting process.
As parents, you have valuable information regarding your student’s skills in the home and in the community. You also know a great deal about your student’s strengths, preferences, interests, and needs that can help guide instruction.

Help your student learn about job responsibilities and careers.
Encourage your student to have responsibilities (chores) in the home and to participate in volunteer opportunities, summer jobs, part-time jobs, and internships. Make sure information related to these experiences is included in the transition IEP as part of the transition assessment data.

Learn about vocational/career and technical education programs in your area and tour them.
These centers may be school-based or statewide programs. Some may serve students while they are still in high school, and others are intended for students after graduation.


Always do your best in school and on all assessments.
It is important for you to know and capitalize on your strengths. Strengths, not weaknesses, build careers.

Ask questions and understand your assessments and the IEP process.
Know that it’s your life; you need to have a voice in decisions made about you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Be self-directed.
Being self-directed means that you know about yourself and what you want your future to be. It requires that you make plans to reach your goals, and that you know the supports you will need along the way.

Participate in your IEP meeting.
One way you can do this is by explaining the results of your assessments and how they relate to your postsecondary goals.

Volunteer in your school and community.
Volunteer experiences and jobs are a good source of situational assessment data. This information helps you and your transition team better understand your individual preferences.