Transition for High School to the Workforce Checklist

Freshman and Sophomore Years

Before your child turns 16, meet with the IEP team to begin transition planning. This is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Make sure the transition IEP focuses on your child’s plan to enter the workforce.
Encourage your child’s active participation in IEP meetings.
Prepare for IEP meetings together with your child. This will help your child identify dreams and goals and learn to self-advocate.
Teach and model problem-solving skills. Include how to gather information and consider options. This will help your child become independent.
Throughout high school, help your child develop social and interpersonal skills.
Explore career options with your child by researching potential choices.
Encourage your child to participate in valid, reliable interest testing to make sure that the career they are considering is achievable.
Meet with a benefits planner to understand the effect of income on Social Security benefits and health care.
Review your child’s high school transcript to make sure they are completing the courses necessary for graduation.
Encourage your child to participate in extracurricular, volunteer, and community activities.

Junior Year

Encourage your child to research the North Dakota labor market, companies they would like to work for, and places they would like to live.
Invite representatives of adult agencies to IEP meetings to ensure a smooth transition to these services.
Contact the regional VR office to determine eligibility for VR services. VR may be able to help develop your child’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).
If you are concerned about your child adjusting to the world of work, review materials available in bookstores, libraries, and online.
Talk to high school counselors, members of the IEP team, and local leaders of advocacy agencies.