teacher leaning over student

Office of Special Education

Services for students with disabilities
from birth through age 21

Transition Services Unit

Ms. Simone Geness, Supervisor

Office Location:
11721 Kemp Mill Road
Silver Spring, Maryland 20902

Phone: 240-740-5900
Fax: 301-649-8018
Staff Directory

Transition Support Teachers by location

DDA/Adult Services

College Info
County/State Resources
May 22 PCR Transition Times– Guardianship and Its Alternatives

Our May 22nd program is in a new virtual format on this topic of interest to many of our families.  For more information, and to view the video presentation prepared by attorney Ellen A. Callegary, please click HERE. And to view a follow-up Q & A session prepared from viewer questions, please click HERE.

Social Security Administration COVID-19 Press Release

Social Security Benefits - Press Release

DDA Supporting Families Webinar

Maryland Transition Resource Guide

Maryland DDA Reopening Memo


Developmental Disabilities COVID-19 Information  

Transition Services

TY'20 Parent Night (parents of students who are exiting this year) Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 

  The transition services unit provides stakeholders with the necessary resources, tools, supports and professional development needed to ensure students a successful transition into further education, employment, and full participation in their community.

Transition Planning Process

Transition services are a student centered planning process that is designed to meet the students educational, employment and independent living outcomes. These outcomes may include:

  • Post-secondary education
  • Job training
  • Employment (supported)
  • Continuing and Adult education
  • Adult services
  • Independent living
  • Community participation

A student's transition plan becomes a part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process beginning at age 14 or younger, if appropriate. Transition planning is a process that should include the following:

  • Identifying the student's post-high school goals
  • Assessing the student's interests and abilities in relation to identified goals
  • Determining courses, experiences, and programs that will prepare the student to reach his/her goals
  • Supporting the student in transition-related activities
  • Determining the student's anticipated adult service needs
  • Linking the student and parent with potential adult services

Students receive an array of services to help them attain their identified post-secondary outcomes and to prepare them to be college, career and community ready. These services may include, but are not limited to; career education, career exploration, social skills and self-advocacy instruction,  career technology education, in-school and community work-based learning experiences, independent living skills instruction, and linkage to community agencies.

Transition Planning Parent Workshops

MCPS Transition Information for Parents and Students, Families of students with an IEP for Ages 14 to 21 - Interpreters available upon request. 

Sponsored by Montgomery County Public Schools Transition Services Unit. 

Questions? Please call MCPS Transition Services at (240) 740-5900

Parent Workshops: Date: Location:
Guardianship & Financial Planning: February 5, 2020   6:30 PM Carver Educational Service Center
Division of Rehabilitation Services: April 16, 2020   6:30 PM Richard Montgomery High School



Listed below are commonly used publications related to transition planning. These publications are organized according to their source - MCPS, Montgomery County, the State of Maryland, and National.

 MCPS Publications:

 County Publications:

 National Publications:

  • The HEATH Resource Center of The George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and HumanDevelopment, is the National Clearinghouse on Post-secondary Education for Individuals with Disabilities.
  •  Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR):  
  • Central resource of information and products for families of children with disabilities

  • OSERS Transition Guide
  •  Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Resource Guide

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Frequently Asked Questions

 1. What is transition planning?

Transition planning is the process of implementing a coordinated set of activities that is designed to help a student with disabilities reach his/her identified outcomes.

   2. What are Outcomes?

Outcomes are the post-school activities toward which the student is working. The IEP team may identify more than one outcome for a student. There are four identified outcomes in the transition section of the Individualized Education Program:

  • Employment
  • Training
  • Education
  • Independent Living 

 3. When does transition planning occur?

Transition planning first becomes a formal part of the IEP during the school year in which the student turns 14, or younger, if appropriate.

 4. What services may students receive?

Students may receive an array of services including, but not limited to the following:

  • Transition planning
  • Instruction geared to post-secondary school outcomes
  • Career education and career exploration
  • Social skills and self-advocacy instruction
  • Career Technology Education courses
  • In-school and community work-based learning experiences
  • Independent living skills instruction (activities of daily living and transportation training)
  • Linkages to community agencies

 5. Who provides these services?

All staff involved in the students educational program are responsible for preparing students to achieve their post-secondary and employment goals. Special responsibility is assigned to the Transition Support Teacher (TST) who coordinates the transition planning process.

 6.What are anticipated post-secondary services?

Each year, as part of the transition plan, the IEP team identifies the services the student may need during the first year following their exit from school. Students must meet eligibility criteria in order to receive services.

 7. How are students linked to post-school services?

Starting at age 14, or earlier if appropriate, the IEP team should discuss and plan linkages to post-school services as part of the transition planning process.

 8. What is the difference between entitlement and eligibility systems?

A free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for individuals with disabilities is an entitlement from birth until the end of the school year in which the student earns their diploma or turns 21 years old. In order to receive post-secondary services and support, a student must apply and be found eligible based on the providing agency's referral protocol.

 9. Which students earn a Maryland High School diploma?

All High School students receive a Maryland High School diploma based upon successful fulfillment of four categories of requirements:  enrollment, course credit, student service learning (SSL) and Maryland assessments.

 10. Which students earn a Maryland High School Certificate of Program Completion?

The Maryland High School Certificate is awarded to students with disabilities who cannot meet the requirements for a diploma, but who meet one of the following standards:

  • The student is enrolled in an education program for at least 4 years beyond grade 8, or its age equivalent, and is determined by an IEP team, with the agreement of the parents of the student with disabilities, to have developed appropriate skills for the individual to enter the world of work, act responsibly as a citizen, and enjoy a fulfilling life; including but not limited to: gainful employment, post-secondary education and training, supported employment, and other services integrated in the community 


  • The student has been enrolled in an education program for 4 years beyond grade 8, or its age equivalent, and will have reached age 21 by the end of the student's current school year.

The final decision to award a student with disabilities a Maryland High School Certificate of Program Completion will not be made until after the beginning of the student's last year in high school.

 11. Can students who receive a Maryland Certificate of Program Completion prior to age 21 re-enroll?

Yes. IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) allows for continuation of educational services to student with disabilities up to age 21.

12. Can students who graduate with a high school certificate apply to college?

Yes. Students who graduate with a certificate may apply for admissions to any Maryland community college, such as Montgomery College. Students should contact the admissions office of the college for specific school requirements.

13. How are parents involved in the transition planning process? 

Parents and guardians are important and valued partners with students and school staff in identifying their child’s post-secondary outcomes, planning the school program, and determining the adult service needs. Parents obtain information on available services through parent meetings and participating in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) planning process.

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County, State, and Federal Resource Contacts

Listed below is the contact information for resources that are commonly used for transition planning.

  •  Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS):
    The DHHS website describes services available to residents of Montgomery County. The Aging and Disability link describes programs and services available to older adults and people with disabilities in Montgomery County. 240-777-1246
  •  Montgomery College and Disability Support Services:
    Montgomery college websites that describes degree, certificate, and Continuing Education programs. Disability Support Services link describes support services and eligibility requirements. 301-279-5058
  •  Montgomery County Department of Recreation:
    Department of Recreations website that lists programs, registration information, and more. 240-777-6800
  •  Worksource Montgomery:
    Worksource Montgomery provides a One-Stop Online delivery system that simplifies access to workforce-related services. Worksource Montgomery has offices in Germantown and Wheaton.
  • The Department of Rehabilitation Services provides short term funding to programs for individuals with disabilities found eligible to meet employment and independence goals. Provision of services is based on funding availability. Call 301-949-3750.
  • The Developmental Disabilities Administration provides long term funding for individuals eligible for adult day, residential, or support services for individuals with developmental disabilities to work and live as independently as possible in the community. Eligibility is based on priority, availability of needed services and funding, and acceptance by the agency of the client’s application. Call 301-362-5100.
  • The Mental Hygiene Administration provides services through the Public Mental Health System. Individuals and families must meet eligibility criteria. Call 1-800-888-1965
  • The Social Security website provides comprehensive information on federally funded disability benefits programs. Call 1-800-772-1213.
  • The Maryland State Department of Education website provides information and resources for parents, students, and educators.
  • The Parents' Place of Maryland is a non-profit family-centered organization that provides information about workshops and services, publications, and resources to enhance the lives of persons with disabilities.
  • NCEST coordinates national resources, offers technical assistance, and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth to achieve sucessful futures.  
  • NCWD/Youth is a source for information about employment and youth with disabilities.
  • This web site is designed to provide resources and tools for students, families and professionals about college option for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Provides a collection of resources and information related to transition planning, post-secondary education, employment services an much more for youth with disabilities, parents, and professionals.
  • A guide to help families find college courses, information on scholarships, and other forms of financial aide.
  • Information on Metro reduced fair card and Metro Access.

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