What is Transition Services?

Transition Services is a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability that is focused on improving academic and functional achievement and facilitating the student’s movement from school to post-school activities,  including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.

Polk County Public Schools has a “Continuum of Services” in place to support students and families with their successful transition from school to careers. This coordinated set of activities begins by the time the student turns 14 and a Transition IEP is initiated, and continues until the student graduates from high school or through their 21st birthday while he/she attends a post-high school transition program.

Polk County Public Schools’ Exceptional Student Education Department provides a continuum of services to support students with an IEP earning a standard diploma in their successful transition from school to careers.

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Post-High School Transition Program

Transition planning focuses on a realistic plan that a student has for the future and provides the services and supports that the student needs to make a successful move into adult life. The Post-High School Transition Program provides employment opportunities on and off campus through private businesses, technical centers and college campuses.


  • Students must be between the ages of 18-21 and meet all of the requirements for graduation.
  • Students must have some successful CBI, CBVE, and/or volunteer experience.
  • Student/parent/guardian must have a goal for employment or independence.
  • Student attendance and behavior records are considered a factor for eligibility and placement.
  • Student must have sufficient emotional and behavioral stability to participate in all aspects of the program.
  • Student must accept and follow reasonable rules and behave respectfully towards others.
  • Parents/guardians are requested to visit the Post-High School Transition site before a student is selected.
  • Student should be in the process of  becoming a client of Vocational Rehabilitation or related agency.

*Polk County Public School Post-High School Transition Services reserve the right to dismiss the student from a transition program based on factors that may not have been predicted or observed in the normal school setting, at which point the student may either re-register at the student’s zoned school or exit Polk County Public Schools.

Community-Based Instruction (CBI)

Schools provide Community-Based Instruction opportunities to promote the transferring of functional skills into the community. Functional skills refer to those skills that a student needs to increase independence and to enhance quality of life.

Career-Based Vocational Education (CBVE)

CBVE is the term used to define vocational education and training provided by high school instructors to students with disabilities in community work settings. This training is non-paid vocational exploration and assessment. The goal of the CBVE program is to help students identify career interests and develop the skills and attitudes necessary for paid employment.

Post-High School Transition Programs

Polk County Public Schools’ Transition Services teachers and job coaches provide post-high school instruction to promote employability and independence through unpaid work experience. This program serves students with disabilities who are 18 through 22 years of age and have graduated with an IEP. PCPS currently has post-high school sites at locations throughout the county.


PCPS offers both full-time and part-time internship programs for students with disabilities ages 18-22 who graduated from high school with an IEP.

Project SEARCH is a collaborative job training program between PCPS, Center For Independent Living, Vocational Rehabilitation and Lakeland Regional Health.

School Nutrition is an on-the-job training program at one of PCPS school cafeterias. Students work and rotate through the different stations of food service in a cafeteria setting. This is a five-month, part-time paid internship for students.

Current Locations


Auburndale High School

Bartow High School

George Jenkins High School

Haines City High School

Kathleen High School

Lakeland High School

Lake Gibson High School

Lake Region High School

Tenoroc High School

Ridge Community High School

Roosevelt Academy

Winter Haven High School



Polk County Public Schools



Central Florida Aerospace Academy at Sun ‘n Fun

Lakeland Regional Health (Project SEARCH)

RP Funding Center

Lake Wales
McLaughlin Annex


Lake Alfred
Polk Training Center


Winter Haven
Ridge Technical College

Agency Collaboration

Agency for Persons with Disabilities Logo
Vocational Rehabilitation Logo
Center for Independent Living Logo
Project 10 Logo