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Improving Post-High School Outcomes for Transition-Age Students with Disabilities: An Evidence Review

Authors: R. Brian Cobb, Stephen Lipscomb, Jennifer Wolgemuth & Theresa Schulte


This report provides a synthesis of research being done on transition programs serving youth with disabilities. From the Executive Summary of the Report:

"Nearly four decades have passed since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensured access to public education for students with disabilities in the United States. During the years following its adoption, there was growing recognition that to lead productive and fulfilling lives as adults, many students need support in the transition from secondary school to post-high school environments. As a result, several reauthorizations of IDEA have emphasized transition planning in helping students with disabilities to obtain employment, pursue postsecondary education and training, and live more independently.

Despite the efforts of policymakers and practitioners, a gap remains between post-high school outcomes of students with disabilities and outcomes for other students. To help close that gap, this report reviews the research literature on programs (strategies, interventions, or sets of services) designed to help students with disabilities make transitions.It deviates in the following ways from previous evidence reviews on this topic (for example, Cobb and Alwell 2009; Test et al. 2009):

• It updates earlier reviews by including studies publicly released between April 2008 and June 2011.
• It reviews studies using the standards and process developed by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) What Works Clearinghouse (WWC).
• Applying the WWC standards and procedures meant that we did not include some types of studies that were included in previous reviews.
• It focuses on direct measures of students’ post-high school outcomes as evidence of a program’s effectiveness."

-Taken from the Executive Summary of the report viewed online on 10/17/13 (http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20134011/pdf/20134011.pdf)

Contact Info:
Organization:Institute of Education Sciences
Address:555 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20208
Phone:(202) 219-1385
Cost:No cost

Web Links

Direct link to the report (PDF)

Home page of the authoring organization, Institute of Education Sciences

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