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IES Grant

Title: Transition Success Assessment
Center: NCSER Year: 2010
Principal Investigator: Martin, James Awardee: University of Oklahoma
Program: Transition to Postsecondary Education, Career, and/or Independent Living      [Program Details]
Award Period: 07/01/2010 06/30/2014 Award Amount: $ 2,018,249
Type: Measurement Award Number: R324A100246

Purpose: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 requires that schools use transition assessments to develop postschool and annual transition IEP goals for each student with an individualized education program (IEP) who is of transition age. Practitioners have been developing transition goals for students in the absence of empirically based transition assessments which could help to identify the knowledge and skills that students need to increase their likelihood of attaining postschool goals. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to develop and validate the Transition Success Assessment, an instrument with multiple versions to be used by students, parents, and teachers to facilitate the development of annual IEP goals.

Project Activities: The researchers will use an iterative instrument development process to collect data from the three cohorts of students, teachers, and parents using the different versions of the Transition Success Assessment. Using an initial set of pilot data from target users, the Transition Success Assessment will be revised and piloted with a second set of users. In the third and fourth years, the instrument will be piloted with a much larger sample of users (4,250 students, parents, and teachers) to provide sufficient data to establish the internal consistency of scores, the agreement of scores across the three versions, and the utility of the measures for predicting school and postschool outcomes.

Products: Products from this study include fully developed student, teacher, and parent versions of the Transition Success Assessment, data for reliability and validity, and publications and presentations.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The research will be conducted in secondary schools in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Population: Participants include transition age secondary students with disabilities, their parents, and teachers. Approximately 9,000 participants will be involved across the three phases of the research project.

Intervention: There is no specific intervention under development in this project.

Research Design and Methods: The project has three distinct phases of assessment development and validation activities. During the first phase, 840 participants will complete the Transition Success Assessment and item response theory will be used to analyze data. Also, confirmatory factor analytic techniques will be used to establish construct validity of the three forms of the Transition Success Assessment. During the second phase, another 840 participants will complete revised versions of the Transition Success Assessment with data being analyzed using item response theory and confirmatory factor analysis. During the final phase, approximately 4,250 participants will complete the three Transition Success Assessment versions to establish the internal consistency and reliability of scores, establish inter-rater agreement of scores using similar items on the three forms, and assess the extent to which the factors of the Transition Success Assessment predict school and postschool outcomes and eliminate factors that do not contribute to predictive validity.

Control Condition: There is no control condition.

Key Measures: The researchers will use the student, parent, and teacher versions of the AIR Self-Determination Assessment to explore construct validity of the Transition Success Assessment. The researchers will also collect data on attendance, disciplinary records, graduation, grade point average, employment, and postsecondary education outcomes as part of development and validation activities for the Transition Success Assessment.

Data Analytic Strategy: The researchers will employ graded response IRT modeling for item development and data analysis. Correlations will be calculated between the factors of the Transition Success Assessment and the AIR Self-Determination Scale. Correlation coefficients will also be investigated to determine the degree of test-retest reliability and inter-rater agreement. Multivariate regression analyses will be used to assess predictive validity. Hierarchical linear modeling will be used to conduct cluster evaluations.

Publications from this project:

Pham, Y. K. (2012). An exploratory survey of transition teaching practices: Results from a national sample. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 36, 163–173. doi: 10.1177/2165143412464516

McConnell, A. E., Martin, J. E., Juan, C. Y., Hennessey, M. N., Terry, R., El-Kazimi, N., Pannells, T., & Willis, D. (2013). Identifying non-academic behaviors associated with post-school employment and education. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 36, 174–187.

McConnell, A. E., Martin, J. E., & Hennessey, M. N. (in press). Indicators of postsecondary employment and education for youth with disabilities in relation to GPA and general education. Remedial and Special Education. doi:10.1177/0741932515583497