Pre-Employment Transition Services

What are Pre-Employment Transition Services?

Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) are five specific services designed to help students with disabilities identify their career interests and enhance their awareness of the world of work.

Pre-Employment Transition Services Vi​deo

​ ​

Pre-ETS are generally short term in nature and cover introductory topics emphasizing exploration and preparation for employment and/or post-secondary education.

The Five Pre-ETS Are:

  1. Job Exploration Counseling – explore a student’s skills and interests and career opportunities.

    This could be interest inventories, learning about the labor market or sessions about specific in-demand occupations.

  2. Instruction in Self-Advocacy – learn strategies for effective communication of one’s interests, needs or desires as well as their rights and responsibilities.

    This may include sessions with an instructor about knowing your rights, self- awareness, problem solving or effective communication. The Youth Leadership Forum is one example.

  3. Counseling on Post-Secondary Education Opportunities – gain awareness of career pathway options and the variety of opportunities for post-secondary skill development.

    You’ll learn what training options are available after high school, guidance on how to choose the right type for you, and how to access disability supports if needed.

  4. Workplace Readiness Training – learn the knowledge, skills and abilities that make employees valuable in the workforce. Including: how to interact with peers and supervisors, importance of timeliness, and building an understanding of how we are perceived by others.

    Like classes on how to interact with supervisors and coworkers, strategies to get to work on time, as well as appropriate dress and behavior on the job.

  5. Work-Based Learning Experiences (WBLE) – complete learning objectives through work opportunities and experiences outside of the traditional school setting.

    For example, a work experience at a local, participating employer.

    These Pre-ETS examples are just a few examples of options that may be right for you and available in your area. Specific services will vary based on your needs and the opportunities where you live.

Who qualifies for Pre-ETS?

Students who qualify for Pre-ETS:

  1. Are at least 14 years old and no more than 21,
  2. Are in school or other approved educational program,
  3. And have a documented disability (i.e., are on an Individualized Education Program [IEP] or 504 plan, or have medical documentation of a disability).

​​How can a student get started with Pre-ETS?​

Anyone may request Pre-ETS by completing the Request DORS Services form.

This form can be completed by anyone – student, parent, a medical provider, and others, etc. Often referrals are made by local school staff with parental consent at the time of a student’s IEP or 504 annual meeting. This is part of how DORS and the local school systems work together toward the best possible post-school outcomes for students.

After the Request DORS Services form is received, DORS will contact the student and family via email, text or letter, and assign the referral to the appropriate staff. Another contact will then be made by email or phone to schedule an intake meeting and give specific information regarding the needed materials for the meeting.

Pre-ETS Intake Meetings

Intake meetings may be conducted by a counselor from the local DORS office or by an Intake Specialist from the Center for Transition and Career Innovation (CTCI) Intake unit at the University of Maryland. Pre-ETS intake meetings may be virtual or in person.

Once qualification is determined, the student will receive a letter providing information about next steps.

Is There a Cost for Pre-ETS?

There is no cost to students or families for Pre-ETS.


Age 18 to 21, but not a Student?
Please see DORS services for Job Seekers with Disabilities.

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