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Using Diagnostic Assessment

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Diagnostic assessment will provide more in-depth, individualized information on a student and will identify the current level of transition skills: self-determination, employability skills, work skills, work habits, academic achievement, behavior, aptitude, etc. It can help refine a student’s interests (for example, if a student identifies that he or she wants to work, but has not indicated a specific career choice, diagnostic assessment can identify employability and aptitude).

Diagnostic assessments are designed to give more specific information so that intervention/instruction can be developed and implemented for the individual student. For example, if a student has a gap between his or her math skills and an identified career, diagnostic assessment information can identify what instruction or services will be needed for the student to decrease his/her current gaps.

Below are a few examples of diagnostic assessments that may be readily viewed through a “transition lens”:

"Transition Lens” for Diagnostic Assessment

Diagnostic Assessment-- Examples Purpose

Self-Determination Assessment:
AIR, ARC, Choice Maker

Identifies strengths and needs in the area of self-determination/self-advocacy

Academic Achievement:
Diagnostic Achievement Battery, Woodcock Johnson, Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Wechsler Individual Achievement Test

Measures the developed skill or knowledge

Functional Vocational Evaluations:
Skills Assessment Module (SAM)

Targeted performance assessment of specific job related tasks

Adaptive Behavior Assessment:
SIB-R, Vineland

Behaviors necessary for people to live independently and function appropriately in daily life

Aptitude Test:
Career Aptitude Test
Career Scope Aptitude and Interest Assessment

Measure the ability of a person to develop skills or acquire knowledge

Measures aptitude and interest. Results from the two areas are matched in work groups.

Environmental Assessment:
Unilever Environment Assessment

Determines if the environmental setup meets a student’s abilities and interests

Jenny’s Story

After Jenny looked at the number of math classes she would have to take while still in high school and at a community college before gaining the skills to meet the requirements for the architecture program at the University of Colorado Boulder, Jenny indicated that becoming an architect may not be the right career choice for her; she dislikes math and this research helped her see the amount of math required in her current career choice.

Jenny and her teacher decided to complete some additional diagnostic assessments and research on O*NET to identify other possible career options.

After completing a career aptitude test and job tryout, Jenny displayed strengths and interests in design techniques, creativity, communication, and planning. Under related occupations for architecture on O*NET, Jenny and her teacher found the career of “Set and Exhibit Designers.”

View the O*NET description of set and exhibit designer

After researching the job, completing the job tryout, and talking with a Set and Exhibit Designer, Jenny decided it seemed like a job she would really enjoy. It relates to architecture without requiring as much math, and it matches Jenny’s strengths.

Based on this new assessment data, which appropriate PSGs, transition services, course of study, and measurable annual goals could be included in Jenny's IEP?

View how much more specific, individualized, and realistic Jenny’s IEP could be based on additional transition assessment

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