Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Ingle, W. Kyle

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Powers, Debbie

Committee Member

Powers, Debbie

Committee Member

Yarbrough, Rachel

Committee Member

Stevens, Douglas

Author's Keywords

Disabilities; employment outcomes; post-secondary transition; special education intellectual disabilities


Since 1990, and with subsequent amendments in 1997 and 2004, the secondary transition provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) have required special educators to plan, coordinate, and deliver transition services for secondary-aged students with disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 2011). The experiences, social impacts and economic opportunities for employment continue to be monitored at both a federal and state level as part of expected outcomes for public secondary schools. The purpose of this instrumental case study was to examine the alignment of current research with current practice of transition planning for students with intellectual disabilities. The study surveys teachers and interviews parents of student with intellectual disabilities to identify activities and experiences that occurred during their transition phase of exiting high school. The data sources are then compared and aligned with the research on the evidence-based predictors for improving post school outcomes for students with disabilities. The findings show that while most of the evidence-based predictors are part of the transition process, some predictors are not vi implemented or timely for educators and parents to have consistent experiences. This study discussed the triangulation of the data from multiple resources to examine what predictors are implemented, training for teacher and experiences of families as they move toward post school outcomes for employment. The study discusses the implications of school policies, practice and future implications for improving post school outcomes for students with disabilities.