So, What IS a “Transition Program”?
Life is never stagnant — we are all transitioning throughout our lives. For the adult with disabilities, however, “transition” has a specific meaning. It is part of the overall Individualized Education Program, or IEP, and it defines the move from public school to adult life. The IEP transition plan, as it is called, is required by law for students with a learning disability.
Why Is Transition Planning Important?
All students need guidance to make the leap from high school to the next step. Students with learning disabilities, however, need even more help because their leap is that much greater. The IEP transition plan tries to ensure not only that youth will be able to function as adults in the real world but also to increase the likelihood they will pursue some form of post-secondary education.
In other words, the IEP transition plan goes beyond simply finding a place for students after high school. It provides a personalized course of action based on students’ strengths, desires, and dreams for a fulfilling life.
iCan Dream Center is an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Transition Program that provides students aged 17-21 with a supported, meaningful, and successful transition into adulthood.
In addition to reinforcing the traditional academic high school curriculum, we teach students how to apply their knowledge and develop the critical skills needed to transition into a fulfilling life after high school.
Students gain compensated work experience, earn credits toward graduation (if needed), and participate in various community activities.
Goals are developed collaboratively between student, family, and transition staff using a person-centered approach. Our team links students to the services they need upon their exit, whether it is employment, vocational training, or adult services. The linkage is individual and personal to each student.
How Can I Support These Kinds of Community Programs?
It is SO important for transition programs to enjoy heavy community support! From internship opportunities where youth can practice the vocational skills they learn in the program, to community partnerships providing job training for qualified youth, to sponsorships for special events, iCan Dream Center and ALL transition programs require the entire community to rally around the success of diverse learners!