Domain 8: Leadership & Policy

Morningstar, Kochhar-Bryant, Cashman, & Wehmeyer (2012) discusses the evolution of transition policy.  They define the stages in transitions policy as: 

  • 1960s-80s: Policy focused on vocational education and career development. 

  • late 1980s-90s: Policy defined transition services and specific requirements in IDEA

    • The 1st significant transition policy was in 1984 from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) where transition was defined as a bridge from school to work and it was recommended that services be provided specifically for transitions. 

    • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990 ​defined transition services and mandated specific transition requirements including how to monitor and report student outcomes. 

  •  1990s-2000s : Policy focused on academic achievement and accountability for students and standards-based reform movement. 

    • IDEA 1997 and 2004 reauthorizations emphasized transition services and access to general education curriculum

    • Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has led to greater access to general education curriculum and higher graduation rates and post-school employment rates for students with disabilities.

  • Current (2000s-today): Policy determines effective transition practices and interventions and focuses on conducting research related to transitions. 

Morningstar et al (2012) emphasize that transition policies and practices should align with general secondary education reforms.

Mazzotti, Test & Mustian (2014) indicate that coordination across local, state, and federal policies is needed to create successful transition programs that lead to post-school success.   Teachers need to be aware of different instructional practices that can be used in the classroom to teach specific skills.  This is not just limited to special education teachers.  Test, Bartholomew & Bethune (2015) state general educators should know about evidence-based practices and predictors to help their mainstreamed students with disabilities.  Mazzotti & Plotner (2016) indicate that academic instruction evidence-based practices are being used by service providers who are not teachers.  Holzberg, Clark & Morningstar (2018) emphasizes that there needs to be an increase in professional development  specifically for transitions that includes relevant content, opportunities for applying learning, team-based work, and planning and implementation over time. As Morningstar et al (2012) explain, to promote effective secondary transition models, tiered systems of intervention should include self-determination and self-regulation skills for all students and academic skills need to be merged with transition skills.  Transition specialists should be active participants in the secondary education reform movement so that all students can participate in programs that lead to post-school success. 


Evidence-Based Practices & Predictors (8.10)

Test, Mazzotti, Mustian, Fowler, Kortering, & Kohler (2009) identify 16 evidenced-based predictor categories that are linked to improved post-school success in education, employment and independent living domains.  These predictors should be used as a foundation for transition programming for youth with disabilities. Test, Bartholomew & Bethune (2015) emphasize that evidenced-based practices should support IEP goals, student skill development, academic interventions, identify transition services, and school reform. According to Mazzotti & Plotner (2016) the most commonly used evidence-based practices relate to self-management strategies.  Mazzotti et al (2009) recommend that schools should make sure all students, especially students with disabilities, have the opportunity to participate in programs related to the four outcomes that predicted success in all 3 domains of transition:  inclusion in general education, paid employment, self-care/independent living skills, and student support.

Predictors by Outcome Area

The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) has created a visual table depicting the evidenced-based predictor categories and how they relate to the transition domains of Employment, Education/Training, and Independent Living.  NTACT adds an additional predictor of Parent Expectations to the 16 categories developed by Test et al (2009).

Effective Practices and Predictors Matrix

NTACT has developed a list of evidence-based, research-based and promising practices related to the post-secondary predictors.



These artifacts are a collection of coursework completed in SPED 856 and 756 as well as resources that I have used within my district.  These artifacts are aligned to the following transitions competencies:


8.1 Adhere to district, state, and federal transition requirements

Quality Indicator of Exemplary Transition Programs (QI-2)

Supports 8.1, 8.2, 8.5, 8.9, 8.10

This artifact includes a completed QI-2 survey developed by the Transition Coalition as well as my reflection of the survey results.  The QI-2 survey helps to identify strengths and areas of growth related to transition requirements, policies and best practices.  My reflection demonstrates how I use data to advocate for the improvement of transition practices in the district.

Transition Policy Implementation

Supports 8.1, 8.2, 8.5, 8.9, 8.10

This Prezi was developed for SPED 756. It discusses current implementation of transition practices in my district, a critique of the practices, and recommendations for improving practices.  It also includes an overview of the Least Restrictive Environment and inclusion in general education curriculum. This Prezi demonstrates how I am using evidence-based practices and research-based literature to propose changes to improve post-school success .

Indicator 13 Checklist

Supports 8.1, 8.2

This artifact was completed for SPED 856.  It contains a completed Indicator 13 Checklist for a case study IEP and a reflection on the quality of the IEP based on the transition requirements.  I use the Indicator 13 checklist to check IEPs in my district for quality in regards to the transition components.  The checklist is a good way to ensure teachers are meeting the requirements for transition planning.

State Special Education Profile

Supports 8.1, 8.2, 8.8, 8.9, 8.10

This artifact is my district's State Special Education Profile.  Overall the district met the Missouri Target for Indicator 2 (dropout rate), 13 (transition services), and 14 (post-school outcomes).  We were lower than the target in graduation rate (Indicator 1) and had a lower number of students enrolling in post-secondary education programs.  Parent survey results indicate 80% of district parents feel they are engaged in the special education process.  This file also shows that 73% of students are in the general education environment more than 80% of the time, which is higher than the state average.

Discussion Post

Supports 8.5, 8.10

This artifact is the final discussion post from SPED 756, Special Education Leadership.  The prompt for the discussion was to describe the significance of one major takeaway from each of the four quadrants (Principles of Law,  Practices, Critique, and Remedies) for your professional development. This discussion provides major takeaways regarding special education policy and how it can ground my work in the district.


Don't Limit Me (8.5, 8.6)

This video post is a reflection to the video Don't Limit Me featuring the perspective of a student with disability, Megan.  This video discusses the policy of least restrictive environment, case rulings regarding equal opportunity for students with disabilities, and how to improve educational experiences for all students.


Analyze an IEP (8.1-8.4, 8.6, 8.7, 8.10)

This artifact was completed for SPED 756 and the assignment was to critique a case study IEP using an evaluation tool and to provide recommendations for how to improve the IEP.  The video provides my analysis including the importance of using a strengths-based approach when creating transition IEPs.



Allen, Cathleen. (2013, July 20). Don’t Limit Me. [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Holzberg, D.G., Clark, K.A., Morningstar, M.E. (2018) Transition-Focused Professional Development: An Annotated                               Bibliography of Essential Elements and Features of Professional Development. Career Development and                               Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 41(1), 50-55.

Kotowski, J. (2018, June). Indicator 13 Analysis. Transition Education and Services. SPED 856. University of Kansas,                                Lawrence, KS. 

Kotowski, J. (2018, June 4). Running Project Part One. Transition Education and Services. SPED 856. University of Kansas,                  Lawrence, KS. 

Kotowski, J. (2019, February 2). Module 3 Discussion, Analyzing an IEP. Special Education Leadership. SPED 756.                                  University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.  

Kotowski, J. (2019, February 7). Module 4 Discussion, Don’t Limit Me. Special Education Leadership. SPED 756. University                  of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. 

Kotowski, J. (2019, March 3). Module 8 Discussion, Concluding Thoughts on Being a Special Education Leader.  Special                    Education Leadership. SPED 756. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. 

Kotowski, J. (2019, March 3). Running Project. Special Education Leadership. SPED 756. University of Kansas, Lawrence,                     KS. 

Mazzotti, V.L., Plotner, A.J. (2016) Implementing secondary transition evidence-based practices: A Multi-state survey of                      transition service providers. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 39(1), 12-22

Mazzotti, V. L., Test, D. W., & Mustian, A. L. (2014).  Evidence based practices and predictors: Implications for policy makers.                Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 25, 5–18.

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (2019). Special Education District Profile (Guadalupe                         Centers School District). [PDF File].

Morningstar, M. E., Bassett, D. S., Kochhar-Bryant, C., Cashman, J., & Wehmeyer, M. L. (2012). Aligning transition services                    with secondary education reform: A position statement of the division of career development and transition.                          Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 35(3), 132-142.

National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) (2006). Indicator 13 Checklist Form A. [PDF File].                       Retrieved from

National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT). (2019). Effective Practices and Predictor Matrix. [PDF File].                     Retrieved from:

National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT). (n.d) Predictors by Outcome Area. [PDF File]. Retrieved from:         

Test, D., Bartholomew, A., & Bethune, L. (2015). What high school administrators need to know about secondary transition                   evidence-based practices and predictors for students with disabilities. NASSP Bulletin, 99(3), 254-273.

Test, D. W., Mazzotti, V. L., Mustian, A. L., Fowler, C. H., Kortering, L. J., & Kohler, P. H. (2009). Evidence-based secondary                       transition predictors for improving post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. Career Development for                     Exceptional Individuals, 32, 160–181.


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