Skip to content

Youth in Transition Toolkit:


The basics

School programs

Though each school operates differently, here are common programs available in many schools:

Special education
By law, Minnesota school districts are required to provide all eligible children with disabilities a free appropriate public education, or special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and to prepare them for further education, employment and independent living, if they are transition age. Learn more from the Minnesota Department of Education or review the Pacer Center's special education overview.

Accommodations through 504 plans
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (commonly referred to as Section 504) is a federal law designed to protect the rights of people with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, including public school districts, institutions of higher education, and other state and local education agencies. To qualify under Section 504, youth must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Learn more about special education and Section 504 from the Pacer Center.

Career and college readiness programs
Many schools have a career and college readiness coordinator or other ways to ensure implementation of personal learning plans.

Career and technical education, work-based learning
Career and technical education (CTE) programs are a sequence of courses that integrate core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge and skills, providing a pathway to postsecondary education and careers. Work-based learning (which falls under CTE) is formalized learning with instruction occurring at the school and at a community-based setting with a local employer. Learn about CTE work-based learning from the Minnesota Department of Education.

School counseling
School counselors are a valuable resource for navigating the programs offered at an individual school. School counseling services can be related services under special education and can be added to an IEP if the youth's IEP team determines the services are necessary for the provision of a free appropriate public education. To find a counselor at a specific high school, use this directory

Next: VR programs »