“To positively impact student transition outcomes, it is vital that professionals collaborate with each other to ensure the “coordinated set of activities” required by the IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act”
(Oertle, Plotner & Trach, 2013, p. 25)
Domain 7: Interagency Collaboration
As defined by Stodden, Brown, Galloway, Mrazek & Noy (2005), an interagency transition team involves a variety of stakeholders to support youth with disabilities including representatives from postsecondary, special education, vocational rehabilitation, employment, State department programs, independent living programs, adult agency providers, transportation, public safety, and family members. The purpose of interagency teams includes: identifying local needs and services; increasing opportunities for seamless transition; helping others to understand the transition process; and encouraging youth with disabilities to live, work and learn in the community. Noonan, Morningstar & Erickson (2008) find that interagency collaboration leads to an increase in transitions indicators. Outcomes linked to interagency collaboration include: employment at graduation from high school, higher rates of student participation in career assessments, increase referrals to adult service agencies, and increase participation in postsecondary education. They define these elements as essential components for interagency collaboration: flexible scheduling and staffing; follow-up after graduation; administrative support for transitions; using a variety of funding sources; state involvement and support; building relationships; facilitating meetings with agencies, students and families; training students and families; simultaneous training of school and vocational staff; transition council meetings; and sharing of information (Noonan, Morningstar & Erickson, 2008). Stodden et al (2005) explain that transition requires interagency collaboration because it is intended to prepare students to live, learn and work in the community and individual needs and preferences need to be considered. The role of rehabilitation providers is to inform youth and their families of available opportunities and to help them navigate the system (Oertle, Plotner & Trach, 2013). The school should have a designated transition coordinator (Noonan, Morningstar & Erickson, 2008) whose role is to help to build relationships with multiple outside agencies, provide information to parents, and assist with securing services (Meadows, 2014). Overall, schools should work together with community resource providers, rehabilitation professionals and other outside agencies to ensure a student is adequately prepared to be successful for post-school life and to establish connections to adult service providers and resources before a student graduates.
Seamless Transition Model
Simonsen, Stuart, Luecking & Certo (2013) describe the seamless transition model and how it relates to the transition process. “Seamless transition occurs when the first day after school exit looks the same for youth as their last day of school” (Simonsen, et al, 2013, p. 132). In other words, students should have a competitive job with appropriate adult supports and services during their last year of high school that they will continue after graduation. Components of a seamless transition model include: student-centered planning, work experiences during secondary school, employment in integrated setting, non-work experiences in the community, adult agency specialists working with student before graduating, cost sharing resources between school, VR, state agency, and an expectation of paid work with support before graduation. A critical element of the seamless transition model is interagency collaboration. Stakeholders involved in the seamless transition model include: youth, families, school system, VR, independent living agencies, community rehabilitation providers. The Table below identifies roles and responsibilities for these stakeholders.
These artifacts are a collection of coursework completed in SPED 859 as well as resources that I have used within my district. These artifacts are aligned to the following transitions competencies:
Community Resource Directory
Supports 7.1, 7.2, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6
This website was created for SPED 859 and includes a list of community services, supports, and local agencies in Kansas City, MO. They are organized according to the following categories: financial and legal supports, employment, independent living and advocacy, mental health and other needs, community living and participation, and extensive supports and developmental disabilities. This a good tool for identifying agencies that provide transition-related resources. If someone needs to find an agency that serves multiple purposes, it is recommended to use the matrix located on the website.
*Note to see contact info for agencies please scroll and use arrows to switch between categories.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Transition Survey
Supports 7.1 & 7.12
This artifact includes a survey related to collaborating with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students and families in regards to the transition planning process as well as a reflection of my district's practices. Overall my district does an effective job at including CLD families, but needs to improve on informing families so they are more aware of community resources and can adequately advocate for supports their child needs after graduation. The survey is a good tool to reference to make sure the needs of CLD students and families are being considered in the transition process.
Interagency Collaboration/Transition Teams
A very important aspect of my work is building and maintaining relationships with outside agencies and community partners. I am the school contact for Vocational Rehabilitation, Pre-Employment Transition Services, Propel Program (Post-Secondary option) and the Whole Person (Center for Independent Living). I work with these agencies to schedule sessions for students at the high school on a monthly basis.
I am on multiple transition teams. I am a Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Transition Liaison, which is a select group of special education school staff that work with the state department and agencies to enhance transition programming at the district and regional level. One important component of this transition team is facilitating training at the Annual Transition Training Institute. This is a way to share information and resources as well as collaborate with educators and agency providers across the state of Missouri to improve transition practices. I am also part of the Regional Transition Network in Kansas City which is an interagency team that coordinates a Transition Resource Fair and Reverse Job Fair. Lastly, I consistently attend Professional Development offered by community partners or agencies like Vocational Rehabilitation, MPACT and the Regional Professional Development Center.
Pre-Employment Transition Services comes to the school at least once a month to work with transition-aged students at the high school either through group presentations or one-on-one counseling. This video provides an overview of the agency.
The Transition Resource Fair is an opportunity for students, families, and educators to learn about community resources, post-secondary options, and local adult service providers.
Vocational Rehabilitation PD
This is an agenda from the Vocational Rehabilitation Professional Development, featuring an opportunity to learn from adult agencies, community resource providers, and rehabilitation professionals.
Transition Training Institute Agenda
This document includes an agenda of the sessions at the Transition Training Institute including sessions led by both school staff and agency providers.
Guadalupe Centers Charter School District. (2017). Authorization for Release Of Information & Authorization to Invite Outside Agency to IEP Meeting. [PDF File].
Kotowski, J. (2018, October 14). CLD Survey. Interagency Services for Transition to Adulthood. 859. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.
Kotowski, J. (2018, November 28). Running Project. Interagency Services for Transition to Adulthood 859. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.
Kotowski, J. & Guadalupe Centers Charter School District (2019). Community Resource Fair Flyer. [PDF File].
Meadows, D., Davies, M., & Beamish, W. (2014). Teacher control over interagency collaboration: A Roadblock for effective transitioning of youth with disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 61(4), 332–345
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (2018). Transition Liaison Directory. [PDF File].
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (2019). Transition Training Institute Agenda. [PDF File].
Noonan, P. M., Morningstar, M. E., & Gaumer Erickson, A. (2008). Improving interagency collaboration: Effective strategies used by high-performing local districts and communities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, (31)3, 132-143.
Noonon, P. M., Erickson, A. G., & Morningstar, M. E. (2013). Effects of community transition teams on interagency collaboration for school and adult agency staff. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 36(2), 96-104
Oertle, K. M., Plotner, A. J., & Trach, J. S. (2013). Rehabilitation professionals expectations for transition and interagency collaboration. Journal of Rehabilitation, 79(3), 25-35.
Regional Transition Network. (2018). Regional Transition Network Brochure. [PDF File].
Simonsen, M., Stuart, C., Luecking, R., & Certo, N. J. (2013). Collaboration among school and post-school agencies for seamless transition. The road ahead: Transition to adult life for persons with disabilities (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: IOS Press.
Stodden, R. A., Brown, S. E., Galloway, L. M., Mrazek, S., & Noy, L. (2005). Essential tools: Interagency transition team development and facilitation. National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), 1-55.
University of Missouri [mizzoueducation]. (2017, November 28). Pre-Employment Transition Services. [Video file]. Retrieved from
Vocational Rehabilitation. (2019). VR Transition Fall Kickoff Agenda. [PDF File].