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National Center on Secondary Education and Transition

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 currently has.

Who’s On the Team?

Representatives from:

  • 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 and Psychiatry.

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 Services.

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: 

Barbara Palmer
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.

Table of Contents

Cover Page


Background on Interagency Transition Teams

Four Tools for Interagency Transition Teams
Overview/Introductory Tool: Using Teaming Principles to Guide Your Work
Tool 1: How to Build an Effective Interagency Transition Team
Tool 2: How to Determine Initial Roles, Responsibilities, and the Team Vision
Tool 3: How to Conduct Interagency Transition Team Meetings
Tool 4: Knowing if Your Interagency Transition Team is On-Track and Meeting its Goals

Examples of Evidence-Based Models of Interagency Transition Teams


Additional Resources

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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 duplicate this publication in its entirety or portions thereof. Upon request, this publication will be made available in alternative formats. For additional copies of this publication, or to request an alternate format, please contact: Institute on Community Integration Publications Office, 109 Pattee Hall, 150 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, (612) 624-4512, icipub@umn.edu.

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 employers and educators.