What All Youth Need to Successfully Transition into Adulthood

ODEP's work in the youth arena is based on the Guideposts for Success. The Guideposts represent what research and practice has identified as key educational and career development interventions that make a positive difference in the lives of all youth, including youth with disabilities. They were developed by ODEP in collaboration with one of its research and technical assistance centers, the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth), following an extensive review of more than 30 years of research and best practices in youth development, education, and workforce development. ODEP and NCWD/Youth identified five elements as essential for all youth, including youth with disabilities, to effectively transition into postsecondary education and employment.

The following youth competencies have been identified as valuable for achieving goals related to economic success and participation in community life during adulthood. Developing these competencies can equip youth for smooth transition to adulthood. However, it is important to note that young people can successfully transition without having all the competencies outlined here when they have sufficient supports in place such as family engagement.

The five Guideposts are as follows:

The complete Guideposts for Success document, as well as an explanation of their underlying key principles and who should use them and how, is available on the NCWD/Youth website. Targeted Guideposts have also been identified for: