The transition to and from a new school or program may present feelings of nervousness, anxiety, excitement, and opportunity for students, their families, and school personnel. Both seamless transitions and poorly planned transitions may have long-lasting effects on students and their families. Whereas seamless transitions have resulted in continuous development and progression of academic and social skills, research has documented that poorly planned transitions from Pre-K to elementary school, elementary to middle, middle to high school, and high school to adulthood may result in poor outcomes for students, such as major declines in academic performance, increased likelihood of school drop-out, and the development of mental health issues, such as depression. Teachers and schools must learn what is required to transition students seamlessly from one school/program to another in order to assist students in continuing their academic and personal development, and to prevent them from experiencing negative effects of poorly planned and inadequate transitions. This course will examine specific challenges that may arise during times of transition, and will equip school personnel with the knowledge that is necessary to prevent these adverse effects from happening. Course participants will also learn about the transition planning process and will develop transition plans using recommended frameworks that can be utilized in their own schools and school districts, in addition to learning about strategies to employ when working with students who are transitioning to/from a new school/program to ensure they will be as successful as possible.

Teachers enrolled in this course will...


  1. the definition of transition
  2. specific challenges that may arise from transitioning to a new school or program


  1. parent and professional collaboration is key for successful transitions to occur
  2. transition planning is essential for a seamless transition
  3. planning should begin well in advance of a school move or program change

and Be Able To

  1. support students while they enter or exit a school/program
  2. make recommendations to ensure a seamless transition to/from a school/program
  3. identify strategies to help students adjust to change appropriately

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