Transition Central is a program to help provide the necessary support and training for students who are not quite ready to meet the demands of life after high school.  It is intended to help make the needed connections with post school programs, supports, adult agencies and activities that will make our students transition into life after school easier and more meaningful.  Transition Central will concentrate its work in the three areas of Transition:

  • Employment
  • Community Involvement
  • Home Living

Who is Eligible?

The program services students who have completed their local high school requirements but need additional support to develop competitive work, social and life skills.  The students may reside in any of the Ionia Intermediate School Districts.  These districts include Belding, Ionia, Lakewood, Portland, and Saranac.

  • Students must be a minimum of 18 years of age upon entrance to the program.
  • Students will be evaluated annually and expected to reach their goals within two years.
  • Students must have completed their high school academic requirements.
  • Students must show evidence that they will be safe and secure within the community, without educational staff present.
  • Students must show evidence of the potential for competitive employment, including a desire to work.

How We Do It

The ultimate goal of this program is to have students become as independent as possible.


Students will explore employment options and local employment supports.  This includes Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Community Mental Health and Goodwill.  Skills include how to obtain and maintain employment, including:

  • Entrepreneurships
  • Volunteerism
  • Independent and supported work settings.

Community Involvement

Participants have the opportunity to explore different recreation and leisure opportunities available in their communities and how to make necessary connections.  This will also be a time for students to practice safety, transportation, money and social skills in local surroundings.

Home Living

Students will work on learning life skills. 

  • Cooking
  • Laundry
  • Housekeeping
  • Phone Skills
  • Time Management
  • Money Skills
  • Finding Housing

Referral Process

Referrals are to be initiated at the local district level.  Please adhere to the following steps:

  1. Contact your local Employment Training Specialist (ETS).
  2. The ETS will interview the student and complete a transition assessment (if one has not already been completed) then contact Randy Cusack.
  3. Upon receipt of the transition assessment, the student and family if interested, will be scheduled for a visit to Transition Central.
  4. Transition staff will then review the information and talk with the local Transition Coordinator and caseload teacher about the options available to the student.
  5. Typically students attend for up to two years but may decide, upon reaching their specific goals, to exit the program sooner.