A Comprehensive Transition Assessment Program for Secondary Students with Disabilities 

 Transition Assessment & Rubric System (TARS)

Developed by Rachel De Bruin and published by Ability Centered Educational Services (ACES)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to administer age-appropriate transition assessments for students 16 and older (or younger if appropriate) who qualify for an Individual Education Program (IEP). The purpose of these assessments is to determine a student’s strengths, preferences, interests, and needs related to his or her postsecondary education, employment, and independent living goals. The Transition Assessment and Rubric System (TARS) not only meets this legal mandate but it is the first comprehensive transition assessment program of its kind.  First, it offers a unique age-appropriate transition assessment for each high school grade level. Just like academic skills, students are expected to gain and master transition skills relevant and unique to their age and grade. And just like age-appropriate academic assessments, transition assessments must also measure unique sets of skills appropriate for a given age and/or grade level. The TARS accomplishes this through providing four levelized and age-appropriate assessments for secondary students. Second, the TARS system measures the transition skills that have been found consistently in peer-reviewed research to correlate to positive postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities. More specifically, each of the TARS assessments measures transition competencies related to self-determination, career development, and independent living which are each considered top predictors of postsecondary success. Third, the TARS provides a rubric for each assessment that helps the assessor to interpret the results of the assessment and identify strengths and weaknesses across age-appropriate transition competencies. The rubric also assists the assessor to formulate present levels of performance statements for each transition competency domain. For those transition competencies that have been found to be an area of need, an aligned TARS Goal Bank is provided to assist the IEP team in developing annual goals related to those needs.

Go to the TARS Assessments