Got Questions?

Tarjan Center at UCLA
760 Westwood Plaza
58-228 Semel Institute
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1759
Phone: (310) 206-2626

Information on Youth Transition & Related Topics

How should a student with intellectual disability or autism prepare for postsecondary education?

Beginning in middle school, students, their families and educators should have frequent conversations about areas of interest. Each should be engaged in dialogue to answer the following questions:

1)    What steps might be necessary to reach the student’s goals for the future?

2)    What steps might be necessary to reach the student’s goals for the future?

3)    What financial options are realistic for your family after high school?

The California Department of Education developed an information and resource guide to assist students, families, local education agencies and communities in planning and preparation for the student’s’ future by describing practices that promote successful transition. 


  • To get training modules for service providers, administrators and families, go here: training modules.  (The training modules are intended to be used with the Transition to Adult Living: An Information and Resource Guide).


Are K-12 School Districts (High School) required to assist youth in preparing for Transition and postsecondary education?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires schools to help students with disabilities in developing a plan that will lead them to college or the workplace.  This remains an area of challenge for students, families and professionals.  


Is there a national organization whose focus is secondary education and youth transition?

The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) coordinates national resources, offers technical assistance, and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities in order to create opportunities for youth to achieve successful futures.


Why is self advocacy an important skill for students?

Self-advocacy is the ability to effectively communicate, convey or negotiate your rights, preferences and choices. The ability to self advocate is important for students as they transition to adulthood and need to speak up on their own behalf to get the accommodations and services they need. One way a student can learn and practice self advocacy skills is through participation in his or her Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting.


What are factors we should think about as we review college programs?

There are a number of factors to consider when applying for college including the type of college (private or public,  2-year, 4 year); campus size, location (rural/urban), distance from home, competitiveness, campus extracurricular offerings, disability services, student body size, residential options and cost. Students and parents will want to be assured that there the program offered is the ‘right fit’ between student interests, goals, support needs and what is offered. Visiting a college is an opportunity to get many of your questions answered about colleges and meeting with faculty, students, taste the college food, see the social scene and get a sense if the campus and program is what you expected.

  • To explore a website to help student think more about themselves, what to expect from college, and tasks to complete when planning to go to college, click here:  Going to College


How can parents help prepare their young adult?

Parents play an important role in the college selection process. This is a time when you can discuss what is important to your youth, clarify values and choices, and continue to set expectations for success and achievement, provide guidance and support your youth’s choices and decisions.