What is an Individualized Education Program?

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is two things:

  1. A document that defines the academic goals and supports needed for a student who has a disability that affects their learning
  2. The program itself

An IEP is required for every student with such a disability.

An IEP includes:

  • information about the student's current academic knowledge/abilities/skills
  • information about the student's current functional performance (skills/abilities unrelated to educational performance—i.e., skills concerning routine, everyday activities)
  • measurable goals for yearly progress
  • an explanation of how these goals will be reported on and measured
  • a list of resources that will be provided to the student, including special education services and aids
  • A schedule of services to be provided
  • If programs are to be modified or supports given, information about how this will work and how school personnel will be supported/affected
  • an explanation of the amount of time the student will spend in special education vs. general education classes
  • an explanation for any time the student will spend outside of general education classes
  • accommodations to be offered to the student during state and district assessments
  • a statement of the student's goals for life after high school and a plan to help her or him meet those goals

Individualized education program: A document explaining the academic goals for a student with disabilities and the resources needed to help her or him meet these goals; the program based on this document.