|Title:||Exploring relationships between college and career readiness, self-determination, and transition planning among adolescents with and without disabilities|
|Principal Investigator:||Lombardi, Allison||Awardee:||University of Connecticut|
|Program:||Transition to Postsecondary Education, Career, and/or Independent Living [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||2 years (7/1/2021 – 6/30/2023)||Award Amount:||$817,548|
Co-Principal Investigators: Shogren, Karrie; Rifenbark, Graham; Loken, Eric
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to establish measurable constructs of college and career readiness (CCR) using extant data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 (NLTS2012). Although CCR is identified as a necessary outcome of secondary special education and transition, is not well defined for adolescents with disabilities. The research team will explore the interrelationships with previously established constructs of self-determination and transition planning, as well as school counselor supports, to confirm a proposed conceptual framework of CCR for students. The project will also help determine how these relationships differ by disability status and category, race/ethnicity, and economic hardship. The ultimate goal is for the CCR framework to promote successful transition from adult life for diverse secondary students with disabilities and have meaningful implications for practitioners, researchers, district and state administrators, and students and their families.
Project Activities: The research team will conduct three studies using extant data from NLTS2012. The first study will explore student and parent perceptions of CCR areas based on a previously established organizing framework. The second study will focus on the interrelationships between the CCR constructs and transition planning. The third study will focus on the relationship of these constructs with typically used CCR outcomes (such as college admissions exam scores, and related coursework). Across the three studies, the team will examine how these relationships differ by school counselor supports, disability status and category, race/ethnicity, and economic hardship.
Products: This project will result in evidence of associations among CCR-related constructs and typical student outcomes, as well as variables that moderate these relationships. Findings aim to inform the future development and innovation projects in CCR interventions for adolescents with disabilities that involve secondary transition educators and school counselors. Products include research and practitioner-friendly manuscripts, research and policy briefs, conference presentations, webinars, infographics, social media promotions, and professional development to reach policymaker, researcher, and practitioner audiences.
Setting: Secondary data will be obtained from NLTS2012, a nationally representative study conducted in 2012–2013 involving secondary students and their parents/caregivers. NLTS2012 data captures the experiences of American youth as they transition from high school and provides direct comparisons of the in-school experiences and outcomes of youth with and without an individualized education program (IEP).
Population/Sample: The sample will include a dataset of 12,000 secondary students (ages 13–21) with and without disabilities and their parents or caretakers.
Factors: The hypothesized factors underlying the proposed investigation includes students' college and career readiness, as well as school counselor supports, self-determination, and transition planning.
Research Design and Methods: The first study will provide a foundation for the other two studies by exploring student and parent perceptions of CCR areas based on a previously established organizing framework that consists of five domains: academic engagement, process-oriented skills, interpersonal engagement, ownership of learning, and transition competencies. The first study will explore whether these five domains can be modeled with the data and determine the relationship with self-determination, as well as examine the moderating effects of school counselor supports, using the full sample of NLTS2012 students with and without disabilities. The second study will examine relationships between the CCR constructs and transition planning using the NLTS2012 sample of only students with IEPs. The third study will use the results of the first two studies to develop and test a comprehensive model of factors that influence students' CCR, self-determination, and transition planning using the full and IEP-only samples of the NLTS2012 data. Across Studies 1–3, group differences will be examined based on disability category, race/ethnicity, and economic hardship.
Control condition: Due to the nature of the research design, there is no control condition.
Key Measures: The research team will use key variables from the NLTS 2012 Youth Baseline Questionnaire and the NLTS 2012 Parent Baseline Questionnaire. Some variables will be directly analyzed, and others will be used to create latent constructs not directly assessed in NLTS2012 based on five domains: academic engagement, process-oriented skills, interpersonal engagement, ownership of learning, and transition competencies.
Data Analytic Strategy: The research team will conduct descriptive statistics, correlation, regression analyses, confirmatory factor analyses, and Bayesian multilevel modeling to explore the interrelationship among the constructs and further analyze group differences according to disability status and category, race, and economic hardship.
Related IES Projects: College and Career Readiness for Transition (CCR4T): Development and Validation of a Student Measure(R324A190170)