Transitions for All Students

Career Development Supports Transitions for All Students

Throughout a student’s time in school, many changes or transitions occur.  Students are to adapt to new teachers, new classrooms, new buildings, new schedules and responsibilities while at the same time master higher levels of academic difficulty. Students face challenges at each level of academic development, career development and social/emotional development while in school.

Schools can offer focused support to mitigate transition challenges by informing and preparing students of new expectations, how to adjust to new environments and navigate confidently to each new level toward college and career readiness.  In fact, transitions is a part of school accountability in Nebraska.

What do you need to know?

The Nebraska Career Development model including self-awareness, career exploration and planning can directly fit into a transitions program toward college and career readiness.  The model is complimentary to positive transitions for all students.  Nebraska VR and NDE Special Education offer enhanced transitions services for students with disabilities.  It is an effective strategy with intentional focus on strengths of students, then leveraging strengths to overcome obstacles standing in the way to achieving goals.

Seamless college and career transitions are essential for all however students with disabilities have more considerations.

Career and education planning is not just an option provided to students with special services, but it is a requirement based on the law.  Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires Nebraska VR to coordinate with schools to offer Pre-Employment Transitions Services.

Nebraska VR transition personnel pro­vide transition related services including Pre-Employment Transition Services for students with disabilities throughout the state.  For more information please refer to: http://www.vr.nebraska.gov/students/for_schools.html

Nebraska VR staff will be available, in part­nership with schools, to provide and sup­plement the following Pre-Employment Transition Services:

  • Job exploration counseling;
  • Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living;
  • Work-based learning experiences which may include in-school or after-school opportunities or outside the traditional school setting (including internships) are provided in an integrated environment to the maximum extent possible;
  • Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education; and
  • Instruction in self-advocacy, which may include peer mentoring.

Students in high school typically begin working with Nebraska VR during the second semester of their sophomore year. Students typically receive pre-employment transition services under a potentially eligible category with a signed Pre-Employment Consent and Release form. More individualized services require an application for VR services.

Potentially eligible:

  • Students with a disability who have not yet applied or been made eligible for VR services
  • Students with a signed Pre-Employment Transition Services Consent and Release form

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA mandates students who qualify for Special Education services have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to guide learning, career planning and transitions.

Specific documentation of transition planning services in the Individual Education Program (IEP) is required for students verified with disabilities beginning no later than age 16 and younger if deemed appropriate by the IEP team.  It may be beneficial to reference 92 NAC 51 (Rule 51).  Visit the Nebraska Department of Education website for Transition at: https://transition.ne.gov.  The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) collects data from every state education agency to ensure that all students are receiving career based planning through the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) at: https://transitionta.org

Individuals with disabilities will additionally need to plan for:

  • Benefits planning in relationship to career choices
  • Communicating their disability-related work support and accommodation needs
  • How to find and formally request support or accommodations in education, training and employment settings