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Youth in Transition Toolkit:


Postsecondary education and training


Youth may choose to continue their postsecondary education and training after high school for various reasons.

For many, the ultimate goal is to achieve a fulfilling career — though education beyond high school provides many other benefits as well. Education gives young people an opportunity to experience greater independence, meet new people, explore interests, and learn about themselves and the world around them. Preparation for postsecondary education and training will help youth have a better understanding of what lies ahead.

  • Awareness: Understand postsecondary education and training concepts.
  • Exploration: Identify personal strengths, preferences, interests and needs related to postsecondary education and training.
  • Preparation: Practice skills, make decisions and get ready to enter into postsecondary education or training.
  • Implementation: Apply skills as independently as possible in postsecondary education or training settings.

Postsecondary education counseling

Hear what young people have to say about postsecondary education and training

Watch this 4 minute video and learn how these young people found success in postsecondary education or training, opening new doors and supporting their ultimate goals after high school.

Postsecondary Education and Training


LEARN: Develop your knowledge

Learn how to help youth explore postsecondary education and training options.

Get a primer on effective practices for postsecondary education and training with this postsecondary education and training preparation toolkit (PDF) from the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition. Also review Transition of students with disabilities to postsecondary education: A guide for high school educators from the Office for Civil Rights.

Postsecondary education and training options

  • PSEO and concurrent enrollment
  • Certification programs
  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Degree programs
  • Military opportunities
  • Community education

Postsecondary education and training enrollment

  • Entrance exams
  • Applications
  • Essays and resumes
  • Financial aid

Skills for success in postsecondary education and training

  • Learning strategies
  • Study skills
  • Test-taking skills
  • Organization
  • Time management

Self-advocacy in postsecondary education and training settings

  • Accommodations, modifications and assistive technology
  • On-campus supports
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Other services and supports

The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) offers counseling on postsecondary education opportunities, and Think College provides a directory of programs for students with intellectual disabilities. 

DO: Work with youth

Find resources to help youth explore postsecondary education and training options.

Review this comprehensive postsecondary resource guide (PDF), developed by disability coordinators from Minnesota state colleges and universities, to help high school youth prepare for postsecondary education. Topics range from planning for college and self-advocacy to choosing and paying for college and differences between high school and college.

The expert guide for students with disabilities to succeed in college from Test Prep Insight covers all aspects of college life for youth with disabilities, including common challenges, tools for overcoming these obstacles and tips for academic performance.

Choosing a college was developed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to help youth explore local and national college options. Review with youth tips for evaluating colleges, validating a school's claims and more.

Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disabilities.

Options currently available in Minnesota include:

Youth Aspirations: Imagining and navigating futures in higher education helps youth envision higher education and begin to take steps toward their aspirations, including relying on supports, navigating barriers and reimagining what's possible.

Share preparing for college from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education with the youth you support. Youth will learn what classes to take in high school, how to earn college credit in high school and how to map out a college prep timeline.

Encourage the youth you support to watch the PACER Center's videos on preparing for postsecondary education.

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