Special Education

15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA  92128
Phone: (858) 521-2800  Ext. 2216, Fax:  (858) 485-1501

Transition Partnership Program

​The Poway Unified School District’s (PUSD) Transition Partnership Program (TPP)

The Poway Unified School District’s (PUSD) Transition Partnership Program (TPP) is a uniquely designed contract providing three Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) Student Services to students with disabilities who are identified as potentially eligible (PE). The contract services will be provided to students ages 16-21, which may include grades 10th, 11th, 12th, and Transition. 

The PUSD Transition Partnership Program will focus on serving clients with varying disabilities from our five comprehensive high schools (Del Norte High School, Mt. Carmel High School, Poway High School, Rancho Bernardo High School, and Westview High School), one continuation high school (Abraxas High School), and one independent study program (New Directions). 

Referrals to TPP will be made by school district staff (i.e. teachers, counselors, administrators, etc.), parents and/or the students themselves. 

In collaboration with the DOR Counselor, the program will provide services to assist TPP student/DOR clients in:  

  • Job Exploration Counseling
  • Workplace Readiness Training and
  • Instruction in Self-Advocacy
  • Work-Based Learning Experiences
  • Counseling on Post-Secondary Education

TPP staff is available to provide instruction in the following areas:

Job Exploration Counseling

Job Exploration Counseling services provide an individualized, timely, and systematic process by which a student seeking employment gains knowledge of career paths and job opportunities and learns to identify strengths, barriers to employment, viable vocational options, and objectives necessary to achieve one or more employment goals.  Job exploration counseling will be provided in conjunction with the counseling provided by the DOR counselor.

Workplace Readiness Training

Workplace Readiness Training services consist of instruction with curricular supports which will be provided in a classroom setting. Workplace readiness skills are a set of skills and behaviors that are necessary for any job. This secondary school instruction is intended to support goals and objectives and will typically be provided until the student exits the secondary school system, in accordance with the needs and informed choice of the student. Workplace Readiness training can be provided through instruction or other activities where the student can learn and apply the knowledge learned.


Instruction in Self-Advocacy services will be provided in a classroom setting to assist participants to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate, or assert his/her own interests and/or desires.

Work-Based Learning Experiences

Work-based learning experiences use real work settings to provide students with an opportunity to explore work in a competitive integrated environment.  Work-based learning experiences provide participants with the knowledge and skills that will help them connect school experiences to real-life work activities and future career opportunities. Work-based learning experiences are intended to be temporary placements to gain experience in the workplace.  They may also result in the development of any of the following: vocational direction, appropriate work attitudes, ethics, interpersonal skills, speed, and accuracy, foundational employment skills.   

Work based learning experiences include work experience services consisting of short-term placements both on and off campus.

Counseling on Post-Secondary Education

Counseling on post-secondary education services include instruction with curricular supports which can be provided in a classroom, group, or individual setting. Students interested in careers requiring post-secondary education may receive guidance on how skill development and knowledge relate to future opportunities in post-secondary education settings and employment.  Counseling on post-secondary education may include instruction in the following subject matters:  

  • Explore career & post-secondary education options 
  • Learn about career pathways 
  • Discover post-secondary education resources and disability support services 
  • Assist with application/ enrollment process 
  • Identify financial aid options 
  • Identify technology needs
  • Attend college fairs & tours 

Transition Partnership Program

Tahira Zaki
Abraxas and Del Norte High School
Vocational Specialist
Phone: (858) 484-1180 ext. 3436
Email:  tzaki@powayusd.com

Felicia Velte
Rancho Bernardo and Westview High School
Vocational Specialist
Phone: (858) 484-1180 ext. 3437
Email:  fvelte@powayusd.com


Cindy Crawford
Mt. Carmel High School
Vocational Specialist
Phone: (858) 484-1180 ext. 3733
Email: ccrawford@powayusd.com

Laura Mueller
Program Specialist
Phone: (858) 748-5900 ext. 2203
Email: lmueller@powayusd.com

Michino Smith
Poway High School
Vocational Specialist
Phone: (858) 484-1180 ext. 3733
Email: mismith@powayusd.com


The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is an equal opportunity employer/program and is committed to an active Nondiscrimination Program. PUSD prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, immigration status, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. For more information, please contact: Title IX/Equity Compliance Officer, James Jimenez, Associate Superintendent of Personnel Support Services, Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128, 1-858-521-2800, extension 2121, jjimenez@powayusd.com. For students, you may contact Title IX Coordinator/ 504 Coordinator Jamie Dayhoff, Director of Attendance and Discipline, Poway Unified School District, 1-858-521-2840, jdayhoff@powayusd.com

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POWAY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT | 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128 | (858) 521-2800