ERIC Number: EJ833301
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar-18
Reference Count: N/A
Charting a Course after High School
Samuels, Christina A.
Education Week, v28 n25 p18-21 Mar 2009
This article reports that for students with disabilities, planning for life after high school is regulated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), just like other aspects of special education. But despite tweaks to the federal law over its 34-year history--including a relatively recent change that requires schools to give students a summary of their strengths, skills, and needs when they graduate--developing a solid transition plan remains one of the most challenging parts of the IDEA to carry out. As the IDEA has moved from mainly ensuring compliance by school officials to promoting positive outcomes for students with disabilities, lawmakers have added rules that require schools and students to look to the future. For example, the law says postsecondary goals should be a part of students' individualized education programs (IEPs), by at least the time they turn 16, along with measurable steps to achieve those goals. Students are to be involved in creating their own IEPs as much as possible, and community organizations should be part of the planning if a student will need continuing help after leaving school. The IDEA allows students to remain in school until at least age 21. There is evidence that the changes have created better postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities. A federally financed long-term study of such students, released in 2004, showed that almost 90 percent had started transition planning as outlined by the IDEA. School personnel reported that about three-quarters of students with disabilities were following a course of study that would help them achieve their goals.
Descriptors: Disabilities, College Bound Students, Individualized Education Programs, Federal Legislation, Individualized Transition Plans, Academic Accommodations (Disabilities), Higher Education
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.edweek.org/info/about/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act