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Transition to Adulthood

Life is full of transitions, and one of the more remarkable ones occurs when we get ready to leave high school and go out in the world as young adults.

When the student has a disability, it’s especially helpful to plan ahead for that transition. As a matter of fact the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires it. Transition services are intended to prepare students to move from the world of school to the world of adulthood.


Transition Services & Tips

Transition tips and services focus on individuals with disabilities who are transitioning out of school and into adulthood. While there are services and resources available, they will vary depending on the needs of the individual.

Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) are services provided to Missouri public school students with disabilities, ages 16-21, who may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. These services are provided by MU College of Education and they are provided at no cost. This program is designed to increase successful post-school outcomes for students and to make a difference for students with disabilities at an earlier age by helping with coordination, communicate and collaboration.

For more resources, visit

Transition IEP

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Handbook

  • Describes what is needed to graduate from a Missouri public school
  • Offers different ways to earn credit
  • Outlines what school districts need to do to support students in earning their diploma
  • Lists the minimum number and type of credits needed.

Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP)

The ICAP assures that the student Increases their knowledge of opportunities after high school that include including technical schools, college and what is needed to pursue a certain path. It records the tests and evaluations used to support the student in identifying their strengths, weaknesses, interests, abilities, and values. Students with IEPs and their parents continuously review and make changes to ICAPs to assure that students are on-target for transition and graduation, and that the student’s unique goals for life after high school are at the heart of the ICAP.

Earning Credit Beyond the Traditional Classroom

Typically, high school credits are defined as seat time by something called a Carnegie Unit. But there are other nontraditional methods for earning credit by providing unique opportunities for students to get a head start on applying academics to postsecondary goals. School districts may seek to award credit through other ways besides time-fixed terms, semesters, or school years. Possibilities may include awarding credit based on demonstration of the knowledge, skills and competencies deemed equivalent to that which would be gained in a traditional class setting. Alternate ways for earning high school credit can include virtual education, off-campus programs, proficiency credit, and embedded credit.

Stellar Project

The goal of the STELLAR (Supporting Transition to Engaged Lives by Linking Agency Resources) project is to Assist transition-age youth (14–26) with disabilities, their parents, family members, guardians and advocates; or other authorized representatives of the individual to effectively engage in vocational, independent living, and rehabilitative services.

Some of the strategies that the STELLAR project will focus on are:

  • Career focused and supervised community-based on-the-job training while in school
  • Inclusion of self-advocacy and self-determination skills in the curriculum
  • Interpersonal skills and job-related skills training for students
  • Involvement and coordination of students, parents, businesses, and community representatives in interagency transition teams
  • Meaningful job placement experiences that provide living wages and career opportunities for youth with disabilities
  • Continuous support for both employer and student

For more information about STELLAR or transitioning to adulthood, place contact 800-743-7634 or

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