National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
Team Development and Facilitation
Examples of Evidence-Based Models of Interagency Transition Teams
Colorado does not presently have an official state interagency
team. During the years of their Federal Systems Change
Transition grant, a formal state interagency team was facilitated. As
that grant ended the committee disbanded, but grew into other
transition and school-to-career related coordinating and advisory
groups. Outreach efforts to other agencies developed into excellent
working relationships with agency partners. This collaborative work led
to a consortium of stakeholders that became a coalition coordinated through
the Office of Workforce Development.
The original consortium then evolved into Project TRAIN. The Colorado
Department of Education actively participated in these efforts. Project
TRAIN is the closest entity to an interagency team that Colorado
Who’s On the Team?
- Consortium of Postsecondary Disabilities Services coordinators;
- Department of Education;
- Department of Health Care Policy and Financing;
- Department of Human Services;
- Department of Labor and Employment;
- Department of Mental Health;
- Developmental Disabilities Services;
- Division of Vocational Rehabilitation;
- Office of Self-Sufficiency;
- Office of Workforce Development;
- PEAK Parent Center; and
- University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Departments of Pediatrics
Two Examples of How Colorado’s Collaboration Efforts Have Worked
A fifteen-year-old sophomore who has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit
Disorder receives special education services at his local high school.
His parents attended a transition planning workshop where they heard about
the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). They then asked the DVR
counselor to be invited to their son’s annual IEP meeting. The primary
role of the DVR counselor is to assist the IEP team in developing goals
and objectives that support successful transition to work and community
living. The DVR counselor and the transition coordinator plan to share
information on DVR and other community resources with the student and
his parents. In anticipation of referral to DVR, which will probably occur
at the end of this student’s junior year, he and his parents will
contact the DVR counselor annually to keep the counselor informed of his
vocational activities and readiness. Throughout the student’s senior
year, the DVR counselor will work with him, his parents, and his teachers
to determine his vocational rehabilitation needs. In this way, an Individual
Transition Plan (ITP) will be in place before he leaves the school system.
In the second example, an 18-year-old woman has been eligible for special
education services since sixth grade because of a significant identifiable
emotional disability. Several credits short of graduation, she was three
months pregnant with her first child, and she considered dropping out
of school. A school social worker referred her to the local School-to-Work
Alliance Program (SWAP). SWAP is a collaborative effort between DVR and
the local school district which offers services leading to employment.
The school social worker also connected this student with the teen pregnancy
program offered through the school district. Her teacher is assisting
her with credit completion by arranging for her to receive credit for
some of her vocational and independent living activities and by providing
tutoring assistance. Her DVR counselor arranged for a vocational evaluation
and provided counseling which resulted in the young woman choosing the
vocational goal of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). The SWAP coordinator
arranged for short-term skills training which resulted in attainment of
a CNA certification and is assisting her in the search for employment.
Since this young woman met the DVR financial need test, DVR provided
uniforms and shoes and is assisting with transportation. The SWAP coordinator
referred her to a local mental health/DVR youth enhancement program where
she is receiving counseling as she deals with the stress of exiting school,
beginning a career, and becoming a parent. She has also been connected
with the local workforce center, which will assist her with childcare
costs and other supportive services following the birth of her child and
her return to work.
When Does the Team Meet?
The Project TRAIN coalition meets about every other month. Smaller work
groups meet more frequently, with meetings scheduled by the members of
each group based on need. There is also an upper-level group
called the Executive Directors Advisory Group (EDAG), which is attended
by the Colorado Department of Education Director of Exceptional Student
How Does the Team Evaluate Its Work?
Recent discussions have occurred about components missing from the coalition
and strategies that could be used to expand the partnership. Additionally, there
are ongoing discussions about this group and its ability to meet all interagency
coordination needs since its primary focus is employment. In the next
few months, the secondary services team at the Colorado Department of
Education will be reviewing linkages to determine strategies to enhance
interagency coordination efforts. The Colorado Department of Education
team may decide they need a more targeted group in addition to their
participation with Project TRAIN.
For more information, contact:
Colorado Department of Education
201 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
This section provides examples of some outstanding state interagency
transition teams. These states were selected through a Web search for
information, personal correspondence with individuals familiar with interagency
state transition teams, and in some cases, correspondence with state representatives.
While the authors tried to be consistent with information from one state
to the next, the unique nature of each state and its interagency transition
team sometimes did not lend itself to this objective. Further contact
information is included if more indepth information is desired.
The authors express thanks to each of these states for sharing information
or giving permission to use their data in this Essential Tool.
503k, 64 pages
Citation: Stodden, R. A., Brown,
S. E., Galloway, L. M., Mrazek, S., & Noy, L. (2004). Essential
tools: Interagency transition team development and facilitation. Minneapolis,
MN: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration, National
Center on Secondary Education and Transition.
Permission is granted to
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For additional copies of this publication, or to request an alternate
format, please contact: Institute
on Community Integration Publications Office, 109 Pattee Hall,
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This document was published by the National
Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET). NCSET is supported
through a cooperative agreement #H326J000005 with the U.S. Department
of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Opinions expressed
herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department
of Education Programs, and no official endorsement should be inferred.
The University of Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Education, and the
National Center on Secondary Education and Transition are equal opportunity
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