The roles of Transition coordinators

Clear Roles for Transition Coordinators Benefit All Stakeholders

May 30 2022

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Though transition coordinators are critical in improving post-high school outcomes for students with disabilities, little is known about their roles and many schools are falling short of their transition responsibilities.

Ambiguity Equals Frustration

There is much ambiguity around transition counselors’ roles within institutions, which leads to stakeholders being prone to frustration towards an inefficient system. Seven district-level transition coordinators working in public schools in Massachusetts were surveyed. They were asked to conceptualize their role and reflect upon the factors that shape their effectiveness. The responsibilities of transition coordinators varied, with some having much overlap between counseling and administrative roles. The commitment of key stakeholders–such as special educators, guidance counselors, and importantly, administrators–can be vital in helping improve outcomes of transition planning.

Clear Roles May Improve Student Outcomes

Clarity in roles and responsibilities among transition coordinators, alongside continuous support and communication with key stakeholders, may be beneficial in improving post-high school outcomes for students with disabilities. Further research and discussion must be facilitated to reach a consensus about such roles among transition coordinators.

Notable Quotes:

“A consistent mantra among transition coordinators was that secondary transition is a collaborative effort that involves everyone.”

“As one participant explained, ‘The philosophy of transition comes from everyone. It comes from general ed teachers. It comes from special ed teachers, guidance counselors, your coach, whoever. Like everyone has a role in transition.’”

Personal Take

As a neurodiverse individual who is currently exploring post-high school life, it would have been great if there was a transition coordinator at my school. However, I think this role is pretty western-centric.


Emmy Thamakaison

Summarized Article:

Lillis, J. L., & Kutcher, E. L. (2021). Defining Themselves: Transition Coordinators’ Conceptions of Their Roles in Schools. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 21651434211010687.

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