University of Oklahoma
Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment

Student-Directed Transition Planning






About SDTP

The eight Student-Directed Transition Planning (SDTP) lessons facilitate high school to adult life planning partnerships between students, their families, and educators. SDTP uses the Student-Directed Summary of Performance as a means for students to learn, organize and present transition information (Martin, VanDycke, D’Ottavio, and Nickerson, 2007). Educators use the eight SDTP lessons to teach their students the knowledge needed to actively participate in their transition-focused IEP meetings. Student knowledge gains can be measured using pre/post tests available in true/false or multiple choice formats. The topics of the eight SDTP lessons include:
• Awareness of Self, Family, Community, and Disability
• Concepts and Terms for Transition Planning
• Vision for Employment
• Vision for Further Education
• Vision for Adult Living
• Course of Study
• Connecting with Adult Supports and Services
• Putting It All Together: The Summary of Performance

Teachers deliver the lessons using PowerPoint files, which may be presented with an LCD projector or copied and shown to students using an overhead projector. A detailed Teacher’s Guide provides step-by-step instructional suggestions. Teachers may print and copy activities for students to complete using pencil or pen. In late 2007 students will be able to complete activities on-line, lesson-by-lesson, and the results will automatically transfer to their individualized Summary of Performance. Students will take their Summary of Performance to their IEP meeting to facilitate transition discussions and decision-making.


An Outreach Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education awarded to Dr. James Martin at the University of Oklahoma’s Zarrow Center provided funding to develop SDTP (Grant # H324C040136). Dr. Selete Avoke served as the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education’s Project Officer to the SDTP Project, and provided valuable guidance along the way.

Lorraine Sylvester, Lee Woods, and James Martin from OU’s Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment, along with Sandra Poolaw from OU’s American Indian Institute and Riverside School wrote the SDTP lessons. When referencing the SDTP project, we recommend using the following citation:

Sylvester, L., Woods, L. L, Martin, J. E., & Poolaw, S. (2007). Student-directed transition planning. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma, Zarrow Center. Retrieved add final date, from

The following SDTP advisory committee members provided guidance and feedback on lesson scope, sequence, and content:
•  James, Alarid, PhD., New Mexico Highlands University
•  Dr. Dennis Arnold, Federal Project Director, Kickapoo Nation School
•  Dr. Ginger Blalock, Professor Emeritus, and New Mexico’s Transition Project Coordinator, University of New Mexico
•  Dr. Carole Brito, New Mexico Highlands University
•  Tom Fee, Kickapoo Nation School
•  Rolletta Sue Gronewald, formerly the Transition Consultant for the New Mexico Special Education Bureau and now New Mexico Special Education Director
• Dr. Michael Juda, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Eastern Navajo Education Program
• Kim Nickerson, Project Director and Transition Specialist, Oklahoma Department of Education, Special Education Services
• Marilyn D’Ottavio, Transition Coordinator, Albuquerque Public Schools
• Sandra Poolaw, American Indian Center for Excellence in Exceptional Education (AICEEE); American Indian Institute
• Linda Swirzynski, Transition Coordinator, Oklahoma City Public Schools

In addition to (and including some of) the SDTP Advisory Board members, many people helped to establish social validity of the SDTP lessons in a variety of venues including national conferences, informal round table discussions, phone, and e-mail discussions. In particular, many thanks to the educators (secondary and postsecondary), adult service providers, and graduate students who spent many hours (summertime too!) reviewing, editing, discussing, and perfecting the SDTP lessons. These include:
•  Frank Boswell, Disability Program Navigator, Oklahoma                             Employment Security Commission, Clinton, Oklahoma
•  Mary Cash, Lincoln Alternative School, Stillwater, Oklahoma
•  Janet Cundiff, Special Needs/Compliance Officer; Metro Tech Student Services, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
•  Sharon Isbell, Compliance Officer, Parkview-Oklahoma School for the Blind, Muskogee, Oklahoma
•  Denise North, Special Education Specialist, Oklahoma Career Technology Office, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
•  Linda Swirzynski, Transition Coordinator, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
•  Ralph Wiser, Transition Specialist, Oklahoma City Public Schools,                 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma   

Graduate students from the Zarrow Center Learning Enrichment, past and present, helped with writing, constant editing, site contacts, data collection, and data analysis. Our thanks to
•  Penny Cantley
•  Chauncey Goff
•  John Grahmn              
•  Chen-Ya Juan 
•  Nidal El-Kazimi
•  Juan Portley   
•  Stacy Vollmer
•  Pei Fang Wu
•  Rudy Valenzuela
•  Ashraf Hussain

We also thank the many teachers, students, and their parents who allowed us to pilot the SDTP lessons and tests in order to determine their effectiveness. Due to confidentially requirements we cannot list your names.

@University of Oklahoma, 2007