Secondary Transition

Transition services are a coordinated set of activities, provided to the student by the school and sometimes other agencies, to promote successful movement from high school to adult life. The transition process prepares students for adult life by focusing on the areas of post-secondary education, employment, community participation, and independent living skills.

What is Transition?

Transition Planning addresses your student’s current interests and abilities and their long term goals for the future. The law requires Transition Planning for all special education students beginning at the age of 14, updated annually. The Individual Education Plan (IEP) will address goals and objectives for a one year period from information gathered in the Transition Plan. The goal of Transition Planning is to prepare students with disabilities for their world after their secondary school experience ends. Transition Planning involves the collaboration of the student, family, school(s), and agencies.

Transition Planning is based on:

  • Student needs to become career and/or college ready
  • Student interests and preferences
  • Valid Transition Assessment Data

Transition Coordinator

The Transition Coordinator provides leadership, coordination, and support to special education staff and community agencies to enhance the transition of students to identified post-secondary opportunities. The Transition Coordinator is trained to collect and analyze data, report out to community partners, and design professional development to increase the performance of schools to meet state standards.

Career Preparation Specialist

The Career Preparation Specialist provides students with career assessments, employment seeking and retention skills, and exposure to and exploration of potential occupations. Activities include partnerships with area businesses to place students in work experiences throughout the school year and during summer months. In each job setting qualities such as punctuality, work ethic, dedication, and task completion are emphasized.

Meaningful Employment Initiative

A new initiative launched by the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District is aiming to create meaningful connections in the regional workforce between students with special needs and businesses of all types.

“We are working to connect our students with valuable employment experience as they transition from school to life, and in return, local businesses are gaining dedicated, reliable employees who work hard every day and fill important roles,” said Lauren Ringle, Char-Em ISD Special Education Coordinator. “It really is a win-win for the students, the business and the community. It is truly a joy to watch these young adults gain confidence in their abilities by handling meaningful responsibilities.”

Ringle and local secondary special education teachers collaborate with area agencies that assist young people with disabilities, such as Michigan Rehabilitative Services and North Country Community Mental Health, to connect with employers who have both a need for a reliable worker and a desire to help others in their community.

“It’s about matching the employers’ needs with the right worker. This looks very different for each employer, but with some creative thought employers can come up with many duties that would provide important experience,” Ringle noted. “Currently, we have students and young adults in the workforce prepping tables, filling condiment stations, rolling silverware, filling sugars jars, busing tables, serving as service clerks, bagging groceries, managing bottle returns, stocking shelves, collecting carts, taking out trash, washing tables, washing floors, and performing other similar duties.”

For more information about the Meaningful Employment program and how your business can get involved, please contact Ben Hicks at the Char-Em ISD at (231) 547-9947 or email

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