Laws and Regulations


State and Federal Laws and Regulations

State and federal laws and regulations that define terms and specify requirements related to special education programs and services. An overview the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the federal regulations implementing the Act that address transition are provided below.  

For full access to these laws and regulations both at the federal and state level please go to the Michigan Special Education Reference.


What are Transition Services?

Transition services according to 34 CFR § 300.43 means a set of coordinated activities designed to be within a results-oriented process, focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of a student with a disability. Activities are identified to facilitate the student’s movement from school to post-school activities that include the following:

  • Post-secondary education
  • Vocational education
  • Integrated employment (including supported employment)
  • Continuing and adult education
  • Adult services
  • Independent living
  • Community participation

Transition services are based on the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s strengths, preferences and interests; and includes:

  • Instruction
  • Related services
  • Community experiences
  • The development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives
  • If appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of functional vocational evaluation


How are Transition Services Addressed in a Student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP)?

Transition Services according to 34 CFR § 300.320(b) must begin not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student turns 16, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP team, and updated annually, thereafter, the IEP must include appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living skills; and the transition services (including courses of study) needed to assist the child in reaching those goals.


Who should be invited to an IEP when transition services are being discussed?

The IEP team meeting must be attended by the required members in 34 CFR § 300.321(a) which includes the following individuals: 

  • The parents of the student
  • Not less than one regular education teacher of the student (if the student may be participating in the regular education environment)
  • Not less than one special education teacher of the student, or where appropriate, not less than one special education provider of the student
  • A representative of the public agency who is 
    • Qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of specially designed instruction
    • Is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and the availability of the public agency’s resources
  • An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results
  • At the discretion of the parent or the public agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student
  • Whenever appropriate, the student with a disability

If the purpose of the meeting will be the consideration of postsecondary goals and transition services for the student, the public agency must invite the student. If the student does not attend the IEP team meeting, the public agency must take steps to ensure that the student’s preferences and interests are considered.

Additionally, any agency who is likely to provide or pay for transition services should be invited with the parent’s or the student’s (who has reached the age of majority) consent.

What is a Personal Curriculum?

The Personal Curriculum (PC) is a process to modify specific credit requirements and/or content expectations based on the individual learning needs of a student. The PC is designed to serve students who want to accelerate or go beyond the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) requirements and students who need to individualize learning requirements to meet the MMC requirements. Districts are required to develop a PC if a parent or allowable party requests one under one of the allowable uses. After development, all parties must agree to the PC before the PC takes effect.

Where Can I find more Information about Personal Curriculum?

Guidance is provided by the Michigan Department of Education on their website.,1607,7-140-6530_30334_49879---,00.html