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Youth in Transition Toolkit:


Key elements of the Framework

Learning expectations

A circular graphic depicting the Minnesota Youth In Transition Framework. The words 'Youth in transition' are in the center, surrounded by four overlapping circles. The four circles contain the words: Best Life, Outcomes: Use skills to envision and advocate for their best life. Independent Living, Outcomes: Successfully live as independently as possible. Employment, Outcomes: Find competitive, integrated work they enjoy. Postsecondary Education and Training, Outcomes: Obtain industry-recognized credentials. Surrounding the four circles are the words: learning expectations, guiding principles, and shared practices. Learning expectations is highlighted.Learning expectations define the topics all youth in transition in Minnesota should explore as a part of consistent high-quality transition planning. Exploration of these topics helps students to develop the knowledge, skills and supports they need to prepare for and live the life they want in adulthood.

To support a youth's learning and development within each topic, four learning stages have been defined: awareness, exploration, preparation and implementation. Youth, their families and their support team can use these learning stages to identify and assess a youth's progress toward their goals. Look for defined learning stages for each topic in the Support youth section of this toolkit.

The Framework’s learning topics are organized into four categories:

1. My best life
2. In(ter)dependent living
3. Employment
4. Postsecondary education and training

Note: Each learning topic aligns with a specific Pre-Employment Transition Service (Pre-ETS).


My best life

The Best Life learning topics help youth and families set a vision for what their best life as an adult looks like. The topics in this area establish the foundation for learning in the other areas (in(ter)dependent living, employment and postsecondary education and training).

Best life topics include self-awareness, developing a vision, advocating for a best life, planning for a best life, and more.

For a list of all learning topics, check out the Guide to the Learning Expectations (PDF).

In(ter)dependent living

The In(ter)dependent Living learning topics help ensure youth and their families understand their options and have the skills they need to successfully manage adult life within their community. Exploration of these topics can also help youth see how to build connections and make meaningful contributions so they become valued members of the community.

The blended term 'in(ter)dependence' reflects the many different ways youth can manage adult life—in some areas they might want to build their independence and in others they might tap into their community and other supports. Learn more about in(ter)dependence › 

In(ter)dependent living topics include community living options, transportation, money management, healthy living, safety, recreation and more.

For a list of all learning topics, check out the Guide to the Learning Expectations (PDF).


The Employment learning topics help youth define what meaningful work means to them and launch them on the path to find fulfilling work that matches their strengths, interests, preferences and needs.

Employment topics include career exploration, work-based learning, benefits planning, managing the job process, and more.

For a list of all learning topics, check out the Guide to the Learning Expectations (PDF).

Postsecondary education and training

The Postsecondary Education and Training learning topics help youth identify continued education and training options that will help them reach their work and life goals. They can help them develop the knowledge and skills they need to access and prepare for postsecondary education or training.

Postsecondary education and training topics include postsecondary options, enrollment, financial aid, skills for success, and more.

For a list of all learning topics, check out the Guide to the Learning Expectations (PDF).


Resources to support youth in their learning

Organized by the four learning topic categories, the Support youth section of this toolkit has information, resources and tools professionals can use with youth to support them in moving through the learning stages and meeting the learning expectations as they relate to each youth’s goals and dreams.

Check out resources and tools to support a youth's learning and development around:


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