|Title:||Moving Transition Forward: Exploration of College-Based and Conventional Transition Practices for Students with Intellectual Disability and Autism|
|Principal Investigator:||Grigal, Meg||Awardee:||University of Massachusetts, Boston|
|Program:||Transition to Postsecondary Education, Career, and/or Independent Living [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||2 years (09/01/2019–08/31/2021)||Award Amount:||$600,000|
Co-Principal Investigator: Papay, Clare
Purpose: The goal of this project is to explore and compare critical aspects of two transition approaches—a college-based transition experience and a conventional high school or community-based transition experience—and examine the associations between involvement in those programs and student employment outcomes for students with intellectual disability and/or autism (ID/A). Historically students with ID/A have had one of the poorest college access and employment outcomes of all disability groups. The lack of opportunity to prepare or plan for higher education or paid work leads to long-term inequality in education and employment outcomes, as most students with ID/A exit high school and enter a lifetime of sheltered employment (earning subminimum wage) or therapeutic day habilitation programs. Research is needed to better understand the transition services that are used in each approach and identify experiences that demonstrate promise for improving employment while in the program or at exit from the program. The current project will address this need by analyzing two datasets to explore the composition of various transition services for students with ID/A and their associated employment outcomes.
Project Activities: Researchers will conduct secondary data analyses on two datasets: (1) the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 (NLTS 2012), and (2) the Transition and Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with ID (TPSID). In Phase I, the researchers will use NLTS 2012 to explore data on transition services received by youth with ID/A and preparedness for college and career. In Phase II, they will use TPSID to explore the transition experiences of youth with ID/A who attend college-based transition programs and preparation for employment. In Phase III, they will use both datasets to compare the transition experiences of youth in college-based transition programs to those receiving conventional transition services.
Products: The products of the project will include a description and comparison of transition services offered through two transition approaches and evidence of associations between involvement in those programs and student employment outcomes for students with ID/A. The project will result in peer-reviewed publications and presentations as well as additional dissemination products that reach education stakeholders such as practitioners and policymakers.
Setting: The project will use data from two datasets: (1) the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 (NLTS 2012), a nationally representative longitudinal dataset of students with disabilities, and (2) the Transition and Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with ID (TPSID), a dataset of federally funded model demonstrations of transition and postsecondary programs.
Sample: NLTS 2012 data were collected through surveys of parents and youth from February through October 2012 and from January through August 2013. NLTS 2012 has a nationally representative sample of 13,000 youth in grades 7-12 (10,000 youth with disabilities; 2,500 youth without disabilities). Data from 2,092 students with ID and their parents, as well as data from students whose primary disability is autism but whose parent responded that a professional identifies the youth as having intellectual disability as well, will be used for the current study. The TPSID data were collected from federally funded model demonstration projects between 2010 and 2015 and include 445 students (372 students with ID and 73 students with ID and autism) who attended 40 dual-enrollment programs in 22 states that provided college-based transition services.
Malleable Factors: The malleable factors under investigation are transition programming and services.
Research Design and Methods: Researchers will conduct secondary data analyses to address three primary research aims. First, they will explore current data on transition services received by youth with ID/A in traditional transition programs provided in school and community settings while students are in high school, including employment and college preparation activities. Second, they will investigate the composition of college-based transition services, including employment preparation experiences and the relationship between services received and employment while in school. Across these analyses, the researchers will examine a variety of student-level moderators such as disability type, gender, and race/ethnicity as well as school-level moderators such as length of program (2- or 4-year program). Third, the researchers will compare the transition experiences of students in college-based transition programs to those receiving conventional transition services to examine whether there are particular experiences that youth with ID/A are more likely to experience in college-based settings that are associated with achieving successful employment while in the program or at exit from the program.
Control Condition: Due to the nature of the research design, there is no control condition.
Key Measures: The transition experiences from these datasets are aligned with the promising predictors for post-school success identified by prior research,including career awareness, inclusion in general education, interagency collaboration, paid employment and work experience, parental involvement, parental expectations, self-determination, goal setting, youth autonomy/decision making, self-care/independent living skills, transition program participation, vocational education, work study, occupational courses, and program of study. To compare the experiences across the two types of transition programs, researchers will examine comparable variables including course(s) taken for college credit, paid employment, internship/unpaid work, academic accommodations received, course(s) taken towards career goal, volunteer/community service, extracurricular activities, and living situation. Researchers will also include student- and school-level demographic variables such as potential moderators.
Data Analytic Strategy: The research team will use a variety of descriptive statistics for analyses of transition experiences. Chi-square analysis will be conducted to identify associations between receipt of research-based transition services/activities and various youth and program factors. Logistic regression will be used to determine the relationships between preparation for employment services and supports and paid employment while in the program or at exit from the program, as well as to identify the impact of the moderating variables on paid employment.