Quality Indicators for Secondary Transition

The QuIST is a free program improvement tool developed by the CCTS. It enables school districts to self-evaluate their transition services for students with disabilities. It is NOT used for compliance monitoring.

Districts can complete the QuIST using a computer-scored Excel workbook. The workbook includes formulas that autocalculate the results and display them on a summary scoresheet. 


Why take the QuIST?

QuIST results can help school districts gain a common understanding of what constitutes quality programming and best practice in secondary special education and transition. The process of completing the QuIST promotes planning and continuous improvement to increase post-school outcomes for students.

What does the QuIST cover?

The QuIST is based on Dr. Paula D. Kohler’s Taxonomy for Transition Programming framework (1996). It focuses on five domains, and each domain includes a series of indicators. Using the scale of Almost Always, Frequently, Sometimes, or Almost Never, districts rate how often each indicator is incorporated into their transition practices.


  1. School-Based Activities
  2. Work-Based Learning
  3. System Support
  4. Family Involvement
  5. Agency Connections

Sample Indicators:

  • Provide information to students and parents regarding transition services, postsecondary training, employment, and support services, and their role in the IEP/transition process.
  • Provide community work experiences that emphasize “real” work opportunities.
  • Use post-school data to establish goals and to make program decisions.
  • Seek student, parent, and community information regarding the student’s postsecondary goals and transition services.
  • Use an interagency team process with students and families to link transition services, accommodations, and supports.

Who should take the QuIST?

CCTS recommends that the QuIST is completed at least once a year by a team of four or more school district personnel, including but not limited to:

  • Special Education Teacher(s)
  • Special Education Administration
  • Support Personnel: Counselor, Psychologist, Transition Specialist
  • Building Administration
  • CTE/Career Education Staff
  • Student or family, if possible