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Photograph representing student working on computer. Photograph representing mentor/student relationship using technology. Photograph representing student success in graduating high school and seeking employment.
Project Mission: Mentoring Through Technology to Promote Student Achievement

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, a Project Partner Go to Web site

About Us

The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition is a collaborative effort between the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota; Center on Disability Studies, National Center on the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports at the University of Hawaii; TransCen, Inc. of Rockville, Maryland; Institute for Educational Leadership, Center for Workforce Development, Washington, DC; PACER Center of Minnesota; and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.

The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition is funded by and is a partner with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, cooperative agreement # H326J000005.


The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition’s goals specifically focus on youth with disabilities and families, policymakers, professionals at all levels, and the service delivery system as a whole. The primary goals are to:

  • Ensure that all students with disabilities, including those with significant needs, have access to the full range of learning experiences in the general education curriculum
  • Empower students and families to participate at all levels of secondary education and transition
  • Ensure students’ access to and full participation in postsecondary education, employment, and independent living opportunities
  • Strengthen state and local capacity to effectively improve secondary education and transition policies and practices
  • Improve collaboration and system linkages at all levels

The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition has established four technical assistance networks to plan and support the delivery of technical assistance and information dissemination. Technical assistance networks address specific areas of national significance and include:

  • Secondary Education Assessment and Curriculum Network
  • Postschool Outcomes/Results Network
  • Student and Family Participation Network
  • Systems Linkages and Services Coordination Network

In addition, the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition leverages the existing capacity of other researchers, technical assistance providers, and dissemination centers (e.g., Regional Resource Centers, other Office of Special Education Programs technical assistance and dissemination centers, RRTCs, University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, clearinghouses, IDEA Partner Projects, and others) in organizing and providing technical assistance and disseminating information.

The Center responds to technical assistance and information needs of six major audiences:

  • State-level education reform and systems change initiatives
  • Local education agencies and community-based programs
  • Workforce development agencies and initiatives
  • Youth with disabilities and families
  • A national network of technical assistance and dissemination providers
  • Federal agencies and national organizations

Reason for Involvement in this Project

The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition led the establishment of Connecting to Success out of a desire to bridge the "digital divide" and make innovative learning opportunities available to youth with disabilities. Although many e-mentoring projects exist throughout the U.S., few have focused specifically on serving students with disabilities. This project represents an exciting opportunity to improve transition processes for youth.

Role in Connecting to Success

The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition serves as the coordinating entity for the project, working in partnership with the Youth Trust. National Center on Secondary Education and Transition provides expertise on issues pertinent to the transition process and youth with disabilities.

Contact Information

David R. Johnson, Principal Investigator
National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
University of Minnesota
Institute on Community Integration
150 Pillsbury Drive SE, Room 102
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: 612-624-1062
Fax: 612-624-8279

Other Partners

• The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
Iowa Paths Systems Change Project
The Minnesota Department of Education
U.S. Department of Labor

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This page was last updated on October 2, 2007.