Pre-Employment Transition Services


The Tennessee Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation Services has a strong history of working collaboratively with local education agencies (LEA) to provide transition services to students in secondary school. In 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) reauthorized the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and placed a strong emphasis on expanding the LEA and VR collaboration by requiring VR programs to set aside 15 percent of their federal funds for the provision of Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) to students with disabilities, including potentially eligible students. 

There are five required Pre-Employment Transition Services as described under WIOA:

  • Job exploration counseling
  • Work-based learning experiences
  • Postsecondary counseling
  • Workplace readiness
  • Self-advocacy

Tennessee VR is currently providing Pre-ETS through several different entities:

  • VR Staff: Pre-Employment Transition Specialists and VR Counselors
  • Transition School to Work (Third Party Contract Agreements)
  • Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs)

Who is eligible for Pre-ETS?

A Student with a disability is an individual with a disability in a secondary, postsecondary, or other recognized education program who

  • is not younger than the earliest age for the provision of transition services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act unless the state elects a lower minimum age for receipt of pre-employment services and is not younger than that minimum age (i.e., age 14); and
  • is not older than 21; unless the individual state law provides for a higher maximum age for receipt of services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and is not older than that maximum age (i.e., age 22); and
  • is eligible for, and receiving, special education or related services under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or
  • is an individual with a disability, for purposes of section 504.

It is believed through these partnerships that together we are better, and we can have a collective impact on improving the postsecondary outcomes for the students we serve. For more information about Pre-ETS within your region of the state, please contact the following Pre-ETS Supervisors:

Shelby County:

West TN:

Middle TN:

East TN:

Blake Shearer
Transition Director
James K. Polk Building, 15th Floor
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN, 37243
(615) 350-4064