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Transition School to Work (TSW) Program

The Transition School to Work (TSW) program focuses on the provision of vocational rehabilitation (VR) services to eligible and potentially eligible high school students with disabilities who are interested in employment after leaving high school. The goal is a smooth, seamless transition from high school to post-high school career development and/or employment. To learn about one of our Transition School to Work partnerships and how it is having a positive impact on the students, families, community, and school, please view one of the following videos:

Planning for eligible students should mirror the regular transition process. In Tennessee, planning for transition begins at age 14. We refer to this period as the preparation phase – getting the student ready to benefit from services. Consultation should intensify as the eligible student moves further along the school path. Services for eligible students could be added to the transition page of the IEP no later than 16 years of age.

VR counselors should work with appropriate school personnel to determine how they plan to disseminate VR information to students and their families. The dissemination could take place at school sponsored events (fairs, career nights, college nights, etc.) or through individual meetings at the school. VR materials will be provided to school personnel so that they can share with parents or guardians. 

All VR eligible students receive counseling and guidance from a vocational rehabilitation counselor. Examples of other transition services that lead to employment might include vocational assessment, assistive technology evaluation, postsecondary training including Project SEARCH and Walgreens REDI, and/or job placement. Postsecondary training might include on-the-job training, training at the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (Smyrna, TN), or training at the vocational/technical or college/university levels.

High school teachers, school counselors, family members or students may request that a VR counselor become involved early in the transition planning process. Career exploration is foundational in successful transition planning. It is a service that allows the student to participate in tours of businesses, job shadowing opportunities, and research on their career interests. From these experiences the student, the family, the school personnel, and the VR counselor can develop a career goal and pick classes and work-related activities that will help the student meet that goal, through the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE).

For more information about TSW, please contact:

Blake Shearer
Transition Director
James K. Polk Building, 15th Floor
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN, 37243
(615) 350-4064
Blake.A.Shearer@tn.gov

Click here to access the Transition School to Work application. 

Click the links below to view sample job descriptions.