Roadmap to Include College

The process for including college in your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) starts early.

The roadmap below showcases an overview of the process and when to start the discussion with teachers, administrators and vocational counselors about including college in your child’s IEP. It is important to know the milestones and how to ensure the schools are working with you and your child’s for a successful future.

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Need help navigating IEP programs for your student?

The Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership matches mentors with families through Parent to Parent, an entity of Georgia’s Parent Training Information Center. They assist parents with setting goals and success towards grade levels and graduation, communicate with teachers, keep track of student progress in class, and provide supportive activities.

Elementary School

School should be providing the following to help parents and student begin to define their goals for the future:

  • Developing an IEP for the student and encouraging student attendance and participation at IEP meetings
  • Ensuring access to the general curriculum and development of functional skills related to the unique needs of the student
  • Developing self-determination skills as part of the curriculum

Middle School

At entry, schools should begin sharing and discussing the following transition information with student and parent(s):

  • ID’ing post graduation goals
  • Discussing diploma requirements and review student status
  • Discussing acceptance requirements for getting into colleges or technical colleges
  • Providing access to the general curriculum and the needed transition skills related to the student’s unique needs resulting from the disability
  • Offering instruction in communication, self-care, mobility, independent living, and recreation as well as vocational activities

Middle school should be:

  • Creating a transition portfolio with references, descriptions of acquired skills, work/experience history, and related assessment information
  • Completing necessary BRIDGE requirements for Middle School to ensure students are made aware of available college and career options


As Early as Age 14
Parents can contact the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) to start planning for their child’s college life or professional career.

High School

During high school, the schools should be:

  • Providing a series of career development activities
  • Completing necessary BRIDGE requirements for high school to make sure students “understand” available college and career options
  • Discussing the development and need for independent living skills.
  • Determining what the skills the student needs to successfully graduate

The high school IEP team may recommend:

  • A comprehensive vocational/career evaluation
  • Decide at what age the student will exit high school (age 18-22)*
  • Identify employment/vocational options
  • Look at community/independent living
  • Consider community integration and access

*In Georgia, students with disabilities can attend high school until age 22, and still likely transition into IPSE.

After age 18, the high school IEP team may recommend:

  • Student can register to vote.
  • Males must register for Draft/Selective Service.

Last Year in high school

Students should have options on their Transition plan and decide which to pursue upon graduation:

  • Option A: Employment (competitive or supported)
  • Option B: Inclusive Post Secondary Education
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