A growing body of evidence indicates that effective transition planning is essential for improved graduation and post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. The importance of transition planning is illustrated by its increasing focus in the several reauthorizations of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA; Pub. L. 94-142, §§ A–D). Despite progressively greater legislative emphasis on effective transition planning, however, students with disabilities continue to graduate at significantly lower rates than do their peers without disabilities—64.6 percent compared to 83.2 percent, respectively (EDFacts Data Groups 695 and 696, School Year 2014–15; September 15, 2016). In addition, individuals with disabilities experience significantly higher rates of unemployment and significantly lower rates of employment in comparison to peers without disabilities (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2014).
To assist pre-service and professional learning educators in closing the graduation and post-school outcomes gaps, the Transition Planning CEM is organized by the five areas outlined in Taxonomy of Transition Planning: student-focused planning, student development, interagency collaboration, family engagement, and program structure (Kohler, Gothberg, Fowler, & Coyle, 2016).