All Tuesday Tips

Planning a Postsecondary Education Path

We have two postsecondary education planning resources that you can use with your students who are looking toward college.
Big Future: This College Board website allows students to set up an account to assist in creating their college path online. There are a variety of student-centered resources available, including student profiles, parent information, career exploration, and a college locator. There are also resources for applying for entrance, entrance testing, and interviewing.

For your college-bound students, this would be an excellent on-going transition service/activity as they progress through the exploration and application process for postsecondary education. Note that the College Board also has a direct link in the footer of their website to services and accommodations for students with disabilities.
College Scorecard: This Department of Education site provides up-to-date, comprehensive, and reliable information on colleges. The site provides a step-by-step guide for students, families, and educators. Students can sort and filter search results to compare schools based on a variety of factors (cost, programs, location, and financial support). Check it out and see if this easy-to-navigate site could benefit some of your students.

A Peak Behind the Curtain

Welcome back and happy 2018, teachers!

By now, most of you are fairly well acquainted with the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) team. In addition to bringing you “Tuesday’s Transition Tips” each week, we also:

  • develop professional development trainings and materials for transition educators and administrators,
  • consult with you in your schools around the state,
  • monitor Transition IEPs and provide coaching to improve your IEP skills,
  • facilitate the work of the regional Cadres of Transition Leaders,
  • bring Cadre teams together at an annual meeting in the spring,
  • and much more.

But you might not know that INSTRC is part of a bigger team. We’re a project of the Center on Community Living and Careers (CCLC), which is one of six centers focused on disability opportunities and issues at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University. CCLC’s mission is to “promote partnerships between schools and support organizations to bring about positive changes in the lives of individuals and families as they live, work, and participate in their communities.”

Our CCLC compadres work closely with Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services. They:

  • consult with community rehabilitation providers around the state;
  • report on employment and community inclusion trends; and
  • provide trainings on benefits, job development, systems and services, and more for community rehabilitation providers, employment specialists, and VR counselors.

Want more information on what CCLC is doing? Take a look at our CCLC project list, or tour the CCLC website.  
And a quick reminder:
Are you a district/cooperative receiving Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)? If so, INSTRC is looking for your stories. Please let us know if you have a Pre-ETS activity, service, or plan that is working exceptionally well. We are gathering “things that are working” relating to Pre-ETS planning, collaboration, and/or services. If you would like to share, please email Mary Held at If you could get this information to us by January 15, we would so appreciate it!

Share Your Pre-ETS Successes

Are you a district/cooperative receiving Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)?  If so, INSTRC is looking for your stories. Please let us know if you have a Pre-ETS activity, service, or plan that is working exceptionally well. We are gathering “things that are working” relating to Pre-ETS planning, collaboration, and/or services. If you would like to share, please email Mary Held at  If you could get this information to us by January 15, we would so appreciate it!


And finally, take a break!! Have dinner with family and friends, go for a hike in the woods, curl up on the couch with a hot chocolate and Rover or Whiskers, read A Visit from St. Nicholas to little ones, sing carols with the choir, and most of all, appreciate and enjoy the season!  From all of us to all of you, peace and joy!

Happy Holidays!

National Technical Assistance Center on Transition

Do you have the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) in your toolbox? NO, you say?! Then Merry Christmas…a gift of a plethora of resources for the field of transition.

NTACT is dedicated to supporting states and LEAs in implementing evidence-based and promising practices to ensure students leave high school prepared for success in the postsecondary world. They provide up-to-date information and resources to support our work with our secondary students.

Just a few of the assets you will find on the NTACT site:
• Resources (including lesson plans) for quality transition planning
• Effective practices in the areas of employment, education/training, and independent living
• Practices to reduce dropouts and increase graduation rates
• Guidance to predict post-school success
• Webinars, both live and archived

Give yourself a gift this year. Check out the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition at: 

Order of Selection Update

Throughout the course of the current school year, there has been a great deal of discussion around Vocational Rehabilitation Services and its implementation of order of selection this year. At our fall trainings, we distributed a list of Frequently Asked Questions. That document was recently revised (10-17), and we wanted you to have the most up-to-date resource as you share information with students and their families. Please access this link for current information:

Still have questions? Find your local VRS office on the Regional Map, here: 

Want even more information? Watch this podcast created by ARC of Indiana: 

The Transition Process: Updates for 2017

As a follow up to the six regional trainings we presented on The Transition IEP: Ensuring a Quality, Compliant, and Student-Focused Process, this week we’re providing you with several resources and a recording of the webinar from October 4, 2017.

We’ve put the video of the webinar on our INSTRC Training page along with:

  • A pdf of the accompanying PowerPoint presentation
  • Examples of transition assessments, transition services and activities, and skill-based annual goals
  • Additional resources, including a link to the DOE’s page on upcoming changes to the Certificate of Completion.

You can find them all on our website at:  
If you have additional questions about any of the topics mentioned in the trainings or during the webinar, please email Joni Schmalzried at

We're Grateful

…for all of you! 

You put in long hours at school, after school, and on the weekends. You make connections. You create new pathways. You encourage, you coach, you cheerlead. And you invest in your students and families. We know what it takes to pave a smoother transition road—and we understand what we ask of you to make it happen. 

It’s been gratifying, as we traveled throughout the state this fall meeting many of our transition colleagues, to hear your stories of challenge, progress, hope, and success. You do good work, and we appreciate it!

To all of our transition teachers and professionals, have a joyous, warm, and family- and friend-filled Thanksgiving!  And an extra slice of pumpkin pie—just because you deserve it!

More Career Videos

We discovered another website for your students who are exploring careers. This one, on a site called Dr. Kit, contains more than 300 video interviews with employees working in a wide variety of fields, from animal care specialists to wine educators.

In each interview, employees discuss a typical day on the job, the types of environments they work in, what they like most and least about their jobs, and the type of education and preparation someone new to the career should have. K9 police officer Bruce explains how he cares for his dog, sleep technician Mia talks about the challenges of working a night shift, and pro football player Terrell explains the need to sacrifice body, family, and time in order to be a professional athlete. Preview the many videos here:  

Our INSTRC website resources now include several different websites that feature career videos. As a result, we’ve added a Career Videos page to our Resource Collections on INSTRC.  Click the link here, or use the Resource Collections tab at the top of the INSTRC site and select Career Videos from the dropdown menu.

Under Construction

It has come to our attention that there are a few Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) resources floating out there that do not reflect changes or current practices. As things have changed, we continue to work to review, revise, and/or revisit our materials to make sure that information is accurate and current.

SO…if you are using older copies of the following resources, please discontinue using them as primary guiding documents for your work. We are in the process of updating each of the listed resources and will let you know as soon as we have them revised and they're ready to go. THANK YOU!

  • IEP Rubric (goal statements do not meet current state guidance)
  • Transition Services: Definitions and Examples (many parts still relevant; revision coming soon)
  • Indiana Diploma Decisions (being updated to reflect new Certificate of Completion guidance)

An Opportunity for Transition Expansion and Funding

Indiana special education directors and superintendents recently received a Request for Information from the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) regarding Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)) for students with disabilities who are between 14 and 22 years old and who are eligible or potentially eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

Through this request, the state is hoping to learn more about the provision of existing transition activities and services that “could be enhanced or aligned with Pre-ETS,” as well as new transition strategies that could be put in place for students with disabilities. Core Pre-ETS services are:

  • job exploration counseling;
  • work-based learning experiences;
  • counseling on postsecondary education or comprehensive transition opportunities;
  • workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living; and
  • instruction in self-advocacy.

The deadline for submitting an application is November 21, 2017. For more information, see RFI-18-28   
DDRS is specifically looking for collaborative services that may already in place or that could be implemented within the 33 counties where Pre-ETS are not currently available. For a list of those counties, use the link above and scroll to Attachment B Priority Counties.
Need more information about Pre-ETS? Watch the new podcast from Michelle Fisher at the Arc of Indiana: