Effective Programs

/ March 8, 2021

What Do We Mean By Effective Program?

Group of People at TableWe’ve already provided some tips and strategies on writing a transition plan from an individual teacher perspective. However, teachers do not work in a vacuum. School systems play an important role in the transition planning process. School leaders can build a solid foundation upon which teachers will build successful futures for their students. An effective transition program lays the foundation for each young person’s transition out of school and provides support to all stakeholders involved, including the young person, teacher, and family member.

Why Are Effective Programs Important?

Young people with disabilities thrive in an educational setting that values their postsecondary success and supports their teachers. Though individual teachers have a big impact on their student’s employment success, school administrators can ensure that teachers have resources for their students and families. Teachers need these resources available to them to enhance their ability to develop a comprehensive transition plan.

How Do I Develop An Effective Program?

An effective transition program builds in many elements already discussed, providing access to early work opportunities, collaboration with businesses and the larger community, emphasis on inclusion. These opportunities need to be clearly defined and communicated to young people, their families, and teachers. In addition to developing relationships with employers and the surrounding community at large, schools can adequately train transition educators. Training should be an ongoing process. It is important that transition educators feel empowered to make the best decisions for young people with disabilities and understand all the resources available to them. School systems need to support individual choice and provide the flexibility in work opportunities and learning experiences to nurture young people’s talents and interests.

Where Can I Learn More About Effective Programs?

Explore the resources below to learn more about enhancing the effectiveness of transition programs:

Strategies to Enhance Program Effectiveness

Here are some suggested ways to increase program effectiveness. These suggestions are drawn from National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center’s Evaluation Toolkit:

  • Collect relevant data to better understand how the transition process is currently functioning
  • Designate a transition contact person to coordinate services
  • Ensure that teachers have access to job shadowing, mentoring, and other types of early experience for their students
  • Students and families should be included in program evaluation
  • Create flexible program options to meet the individual needs of each student
  • Provide ongoing training to teachers
  • Develop clear protocols for communication with families and support agencies during the transition process
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