Transition to Postsecondary Education
Local education agencies (LEAs) have been required to include transition planning, including planning for postsecondary education, as part of the individualized education program for students with disabilities since the 1990 amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA 2004 specifically notes that LEAs are not responsible for conducting "exit evaluations" or, in other words, for updating a student's documentation before he or she leaves the secondary school because of graduation or aging out of eligibility for services. Students with disabilities at both the secondary and postsecondary levels may be eligible for protections under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Academic preparation is a foundational component of a successful transition for students with disabilities. However, also crucially important, and often overlooked, are non-academic skills, such as self-advocacy and self-determination. Students with disabilities transitioning to college must be prepared for a postsecondary environment that is rapidly changing because of the influence of technology in education.