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"Zunker and Osborn (2006) remind us that the most important reason for doing transition assessments is to help students learn about themselves so as to better prepare them for taking an active role in their career development"  

(NTACT, 2016)


Domain 2: Assessments

The Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) of the Council for Exceptional Children defines transition assessment as:

        "an ongoing process of collecting information on the youth’s needs, strengths, preferences,            and interests as they relate to measurable postsecondary goals and the annual goals that                will help facilitate attainment of postsecondary goals. This process includes a careful match          between the characteristics of the youth and the requirements of secondary environments            and postsecondary environments along with recommendations for accommodations,                     services, supports, and technology to ensure the match" (Neubert & Leconte 2013). 

 Federal law under IDEA, requires “appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills” (§300.320[b][1]). Sitlington & Clark (2007) outline a transitions assessment framework: Assess (students’ preferences, strengths, needs, interests), Plan (interpret results and incorporate into IEP), Instruct (students learn skills to reach post-secondary goals), and Evaluate (determine progress made). Teachers and families should become familiar with different types of transition assessments and what information should be collected in order for the results to be most meaningful for the student's plan. 

Transition assessments should come from a multiple of sources including both formal and informal assessments (including standardized assessments, inventories, surveys, observations, interviews, and situational assessments, etc).   The student, their family and outside agencies should work in collaboration with the school to determine an assessment plan for transitions.  The more input that is gathered from students and families, the more they will be involved and invested in planning for the future. Transition assessments should cover the following areas: interests, preferences, academic achievement, adaptive behavior, interpersonal relationships, emotional development, employability skills, and community participation (Sitlington & Clark, 2007). 

Results from transitions assessments should drive the IEP and be focused on post-secondary goals in employment, further education and training. When going over results and developing a transitions plan, teachers or transitions specialists should guide students to focus on “what skills do I need to live, work and learn where I want” (Neubert & LeCompte, 2013).  This will help students to ensure that students are learning from the transitions assessment process and make progress on career decision making and are more knowledgeable about their options for post-secondary (Kortering & Braziel, 2008).  Transition assessment results should be accessible to all team members so that effective transitions services and instruction can be implemented to support the student in their post-secondary goals. 


Making the Match Framework

Neubert & LeConte (2013)

An essential component of transitions is to help students match their post-secondary goals with their strengths, preferences, needs and interests.  This framework provides an outline of what to do with the information from Transition Assessments to determine if the results match a student’s post-secondary goal.



These artifacts are a collection of coursework completed in SPED 857, 858 and 861 as well as resources that I have used within my district.  These artifacts are aligned to the following transitions competencies:


2.1 Explain transition assessment results to students and families.

SPED 858- Transition Assessment Plan

Supports 2.1, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7. 2.8

SPED 858 focused on Transition Assessments.  The Running Project Part One asked us to complete a transitions assessment plan to identify transition needs for a specific student (Victoria).  It was filled out by reviewing Victoria’s current records and information, as well as what is already known about her from past experience working with her, student and parent interviews, and observations.   The planning document helps to identify areas of need and determine assessments which would help to gather the needed information.  The document addresses the students' interests, preferences, academic achievement, adaptive behavior, interpersonal relationships, emotional development, employability skills, and community participation, the essential components outlined by Sitlington & Clark (2007).

SPED 858- Running Project 2

Supports 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8

The Running Project Part Two asked us to conduct transitions assessments on one transitions domain for the target student.  I developed a comprehensive assessment plan based on the Employment Domain.  The artifact includes a summary report (that was shared with the student and the parent), as well as how this information will be transferred into Victoria's IEP.  Stevenson & Fowler (2016) indicate that adult service providers focus more on qualitative assessments, so the interviews with parent and student as well as the interview simulation and situational assessments address that recommendation.

Informal Assessment Examples

Supports 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7

These informal assessments were conducted for Running Project 2.  Assessments include Transition Planning Inventory, Reach for the Stars, Skills Fit, the Career Clusters Interest Survey from the Missouri Career Guide, Parent Interview, Student Self-Inventory, Interview Simulation, and a Situational Assessment.  This artifact demonstrates the importance of using a multitude of sources for transitions assessments as emphasized by Stevenson & Fowler (2016).

Transition Assessment Timeline

Supports 2.3, 2.4

This timeline is from National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) as a suggestion for how to implement transition assessments in a district from elementary through high school.  It is broken up into different categories: academics, self-determination, vocational, and independent living.  It provides a list of possible assessments to use depending on the category and age level.  This tool has helped me to work with the middle school teachers (and eventually the elementary staff) to understand the importance of starting early to plan for a student's post-secondary future.  Kortering & Braziel (2008) discussed how students do not understand the IEP process or transitions and are unable to make informed career decisions.  This tool will help to address the students' lack of knowledge by helping the students learn more about themselves from an early age.

SPED 857 Transitions Assessment Quiz

Supports 2.3, 2.5

In SPED 857, we selected what assessment to use based on the description of a student's situation.  This assignment helped me to learn more specifically about the different information different assessments provide so that I can make better informed choices about what assessments to use for my students.

Transition Coalition Certificate

Supports 2.1, 2.2, 2.3

The Transition Coalition Modules on Best Practices and Assessment helped to emphasize the importance of using on-going age-appropriate transition assesssments to drive the IEP process and special instruction and services.


Accommodations & Modifications for Assessments

Supports 2.6, 2.10, 2.11

The following artifacts are examples of how to provide accommodations and modifications to support students in all levels of assessment (classroom, state/district,  transitions).

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Modified Geometry Midterm Exam

This is an example of a classroom modified midterm in Geometry.  Modifications include the following: multiple choice options were reduced,  extraneous questions were eliminated, visual supports added, and supports were added to proofs so students could fill in the missing information rather than create the whole proof. This test was also broken up into multiple days so students could have extended time and was taken in an alternative setting.

Modified Algebra 1 Quizzes

These are examples of classroom modified quizzes in Algebra 1.  Modifications include: verbal reminders of how to solve problem, color coding/highlighting, using classroom strategy (underline question, highlight key information) or sayings (is=, of*).  Tests were given in an alternative setting and students could request extended time.

Modified World History

This is an example of a classroom modified test for World History.  Modifications include: use of matching instead of definitions, reduction of multiple choice answers, sentence stems, paragraph structure, and being allowed to use notes on the exam. Students were offered accommodation of extended time (broken up over multiple days) and small group setting.

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Image by Ben Mullins

ACT Aspire (District Test)

Our district requires all students to take the ACT Aspire 3 times during their 9th and 10th grade years.  I am responsible for filling out a Personal Needs Profile so that students can receive their accommodations like extended time, alternative setting, and text to speech (if needed).  This a PNP from one student.

ACT Special Testing

Our district offers students the opportunity to take the ACT three times (2 National and 1 District Administration).  I am the designated Special Testing Coordinator and responsible for submitting application and appropriate paperwork for students to be approved for accommodations on the ACT.  I also am responsible for administering the ACT for students who receive Special Testing Accommodations (double time, read aloud (human or audio recording), and multiple day testing).  This artifact is the approval letter students receive and details possible accommodations students can receive.

State/District Accommodations

This artifact includes accommodations for all students for State and District Tests.  The document is based on information from Form D and Form E in the IEP.  This master roster makes it more accessible for counselors and testing coordinators to make arrangements for students.



Clark, G. M. & Patton, J. R. (2006). Transition Planning Inventory-Updated version. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.

 Gaumer Erickson, A.S., Morningstar, M. E., Lattin, D.L., & Cantrell, L. (2008). Transition Assessment Planning Form.                             Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Transition Coalition.

Guadalupe Centers Charter School District Math Department. (2018). Modified Algebra 1A Benchmark 1.12 and 2.8. [PDF                  File]. 

Guadalupe Centers Charter School District Math Department. (2018). Modified Geometry Midterm Exam. [PDF File]. 

Guadalupe Centers Charter School District Social Studies Department. (2018). Modified Unit 2: Totalitarianism in the                        Soviet Union. [Word Document]. 

Kortering, L. & Braziel, P. (2008). The Use of Vocational Assessments: What Do Students Have to Say. Journal of At Risk                   Youth, 17, 27-35.

Kotowski, J. (2018 , May 20). Transition Coalition Module: Best Practices-MO.  University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

Kotowski, J. (2018, September). Module 6 Quiz: Career Assessment. Career Development for Youth. SPED 857. University                 of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

Kotowski, J. (2019 , August 28). Transition Coalition Module: Transition Assessment: The Big Picture. Assessment for                         Transition Planning 858. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

Kotowski, J. (2019, October). Running Project. Assessment for Transition Planning. SPED 858. University of Kansas,                              Lawrence, KS.

Kotowski, J. (2019, September). Transition Assessment Plan. Assessment for Transition Planning. SPED 858. University of                    Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (2011). Missouri Career Guide.  Jefferson City, Missouri.

 Moon, M.S., Inge, K.J., Wehman, P., Brooke, V., & Barcus, M. (1990). Helping persons with severe disabilities get and keep                     employment: Supported employment issues and outcomes. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

Osborn, D. S., & Zunker, V. G. (2006). Using assessment results for career development (7th ed.). New York: Brookes/Cole                     Publishing.

National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (2016). Age Appropriate Transition Assessment Toolkit Fourth Edition.                         University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Original by NSTAAC and A.R. Walker, L.J Kortering, C. H Fowler, D.                             Rowe, & L. Bethune. Update by C. H. Fowler & M. Terrell. 

Neubert, D. A., & Leconte, P. J. (2013). Age appropriate transition assessment: The position of the Division on Career                              Development and Transition. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 36, 72–83.

Sitlington, Patricia L, and Gary M Clark. "The Transition Assessment Process and IDEIA 2004." Assessment for Effective                           Intervention 32.3 (2007): 133-42. Web.

Stevenson, B.S. & Fowler, C.H. (2016). Collaborative assessment for employment planning: Transition assessments and                        the discovery process. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 39(1) 57-62.

Synatschk, K. O., Clark, G. M., & Patton, J. R. (2008). Informal Assessments for Transition Series Combo Kit. Austin, TX: Pro                         ed. 


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