Pennsylvania Community on Transition (History)

Pennsylvania Community of Practive on Secondary Transition


In Pennsylvania, post-secondary school transition is a shared responsibility across agencies that are parties to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Memorandum of Understanding (IDEA-MOU).

Twelve offices from four State agencies in partnership with youth, young adults, family members, higher education, employers and other stakeholders comprise the IDEA-MOU partnership.

The IDEA-MOU, enacted in December 1999, identifies how services for youth with disabilities will be provided and coordinated in the State by identifying agency responsibility for services, financial responsibility, conditions and terms of reimbursement, procedures to address interagency disputes, and procedures for coordinating services. While this agreement covers services for students with disabilities at all levels, it has been especially important in launching the cross-systems planning and professional development efforts for the State’s Secondary Transition Initiative.

Since the inception of the IDEA-MOU – and the initial meetings of the Interagency Team – the principles of Community of Practice (CoP) were advanced by creating a shared agenda to support the successful transition of students to post-secondary outcomes, including postsecondary education and training, employment, and community participation. Pennsylvania’s Community of Practice, focusing on secondary transition, embraces the essential elements of CoP. Members share a common interest and responsibility to provide services to youth with disabilities who are transitioning from school to adult services. The CoP in Pennsylvania has a shared vision, is goal-oriented and results- focused.