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IES Grant

Title: ASPIREPlus: A Researcher-Practitioner Partnership to Promote Self-Determination and More Positive Student Outcomes
Center: NCER Year: 2019
Principal Investigator: Wehmeyer, Michael Awardee: University of Kansas
Program: Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (07/01/19 – 06/30/21) Award Amount: $399,926
Type: Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Award Number: R305H190017

Co-Principal Investigators: Shogren, Karrie; Low, Wina; Elise, James

Partner Institutions: The University of Kansas and the Georgia Department of Education

Purpose:The partnership team will examine whether two programs, the Active Student Participation Inspires Real Engagement (ASPIRE) program and the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI) are associated, on their own and in combination, with increased student involvement in transition planning (planning for post-high school) in middle and high school and improved transition outcomes (post-secondary education/training, employment, and community inclusion) for students with disabilities.

Partnership Activities: The partnership team will jointly interpret the findings from the studies of the two programs. They will put in place mechanisms to allow the Georgia (GA) Department of Education to independently analyze and interpret extant data that is available now and track student self-determination outcomes.

Setting: This project will take place in public middle and high schools across the state of Georgia.

Population/Sample:Participants include students with disabilities and their teachers at middle and high schools in 50 school districts participating in the GA State Systematic Improvement Plan initiative, 7 districts working with the GA Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, and schools from one additional school district.

Data Analytic Strategy: The partnership team will conduct three studies. First, they will use secondary data to compare student and school outcomes for schools implementing or not implementing ASPIRE. They will also examine moderating factors associated with outcomes, and perceptions about ASPIRE. Second, the team will implement a wait-list control randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the impact of SDLMI on students' self-determination and goal attainment outcomes. Third, they will complete a pilot study of the combined ASPIRE plus SDLMI programs within a district that already implements ASPIRE. They will use a small wait-list control RCT to examine impacts on students' self-determination and goal attainment outcomes.

Outcomes: The partnership team will disseminate its findings through multiple outlets for different audiences. Local dissemination will occur through annual meetings for teachers and parents. Researchers will distribute a report for all stakeholders in Georgia through the GA Learning Resource System. National dissemination will take place through the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition along with publications in research and practitioner peer-reviewed journals. The longer-term goal is to continue the partnership focusing research on how to promote self-determination, what factors are linked its promotion, and how self-determination is linked to student education outcomes.