Document Type

Transitions ACR

Publication Date





Young adults with mental health difficulties are capable of successfully engaging in school, training, and employment. The support these individuals receive as they progress through secondary education can help them realize their potential in life after high school. Many times, teachers see different results for these students such as high school drop-out, lower rates of post-secondary education and employment, and even higher rates of involvement with law enforcement, poverty, and homelessness upon their exit from high school; however, with the right information, resources, and determination teachers can make a lasting impact on these students.

To help students with emotional disturbance experience post-secondary success, teachers need resources to assist them with planning and preparing for students’ transition from high school into education and training programs and employment in young adulthood. This practice guide will offer practical ways to plan for these students’ successful transition from high school to post-secondary life, which can lead to positive outcomes for students with emotional disturbance.

Learn more about the Translating Evidence to Support Transitions project on our website.

Subject Area

Education and Training, Transition Age Youth


high school students, mental health conditions, emotional disturbance, special education, SED, teachers, transition planning, young adults

Rights and Permissions

© 2020 University of Massachusetts

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.



Email the Authors

Kathleen Biebel, Laura Golden, Sloan Huckabee, and Marsha Langer Ellison