For Families: Preparing for College

Think College Learn

It is important that students actively participate in their own IEP or transition meetings to help them prepare for the increased expectation that they will speak for themselves and arrange their own supports in college.

It is very easy for adults to take over, making the student a passive observer instead of a leader in the IEP process. The team must make conscious efforts to provide students with ways to express their own dreams for the future, and feel free to agree or disagree with other members of the team. Students need to think about what they really want for the future, identify what kind of help and support they might need to achieve their goals, and come prepared to share this information with their team. This is a powerful step towards preparing for college.

Think about ways to include goals and objectives in the IEP that are geared toward developing skills that will support success in college. Several examples in five different domain areas are included in this Transition IEP Goals table.

Review these tips for IEP teams to help students and families prepare for inclusive postsecondary education for ideas on skills and experiences that can support students as they get ready to transition to college.

While school has a prominent role in preparing students for college, parents will of course play a part as well. Parents can begin the gradual withdrawal of themselves as the conduit to high school teachers and begin the transition to being “a guide on the side” rather than the primary advocate. Think about what a student will need to be able to do while in college and start practicing! Laundry, cooking, money management—all things that young people need to know how to do that can be practiced at home. Listen to what your son or daughter is saying about college, and support their dreams.  These Twenty Powerful Strategies give families some ideas of things to focus on that will be helpful to students when they get to college. 



This table provides numerous IEP goals and related activities that can be used in a transition IEP to support students in developing skills that will help prepare them for inclusive postsecondary education.Read more

This is a very user friendly guide put together by the Florida Youth Council that shares information on the steps involved in the IEP process, why the IEP is important, and how it impacts a student’s life. It is created...Read more

This handout, created by the PACER Center, is for families preparing for their child with disabilities to go to college. The helpful checklist and related resources will guide the selection of transition goals and activities that will likely be key...Read more

A list of twenty powerful strategies families can use to help support their sons and daughters to gain the skills necessary to be successful in college.  Created by transition expert Dr. Karla Wade.Read more