Thesis Title

Teacher Preparation and Confidence Regarding Post-Secondary Transition Plans

Graduation Date

Spring 2012

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

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Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD

Abstract

Post-secondary transition plans are a mandatory component of the individual education program (IEP) for all students aged 16 and over, that are eligible for special education services. This regulation has been in effect since the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990. IDEA has been reauthorized twice in the ensuing two decades, dropping the age for mandatory transition plans to 14 and then returning it to 16, where it remains. In this study four teachers were interviewed to determine the levels of training they have received, and their confidence levels in their abilities to develop and implement effective post-secondary transition plans. All four were resource specialists at medium sized high school in Northern California. One was an expert in the field of transition planning, having received training and licensing in a Midwestern state, where he also worked as a transition specialist. Another was the chairperson of the special education department. All of the participants were case managers for approximately 20-25 students and were responsible for the development of transition plans for half or more of the students on their case loads. Results of the study indicate that little progress has been made over the past twenty years in teacher training and in the confidence that teachers have in their ability to develop and implement effective post-secondary transition plans. The results further reflect that the community-based resources available greatly affect the development and implementation of those plans.

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