In the past, IEPs were designed to cover services for a year. Now that transition services are required, planning looks at life after high school, and may even involve coordinated planning with adult service and community agencies.
The IDEA formally defines transition services as "...a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation." If necessary, the schools must provide a functional vocational evaluation in preparation for transition to work.
Providing these services takes time and the commitment of a school system. But remember, it's not a choice -- it's the law.
For a comprehensive explanation of transition planning, visit the website of the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) at http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/newsdig/nd21txt.htm#17.