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IES Grant

Title: The Relationship of the Expanded Core Curriculum toTransition Outcomes for Students with Visual Impairments
Center: NCSER Year: 2009
Principal Investigator: Ferrell, Kay Awardee: University of Northern Colorado
Program: Transition Outcomes for Secondary Students with Disabilities      [Program Details]
Award Period: 7/1/2009 through 6/30/2010 Award Amount: $232,661
Type: Exploration Award Number: R324A090288
Description:

Purpose: The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) is intended to improve the academic and post-school outcomes for students with visual impairments and has been widely adopted across the country. The ECC includes units that cover the following nine topics: compensatory and functional skills, orientation and mobility, social skills, independent living skills, leisure and recreation skills, career and vocational skills, technology, sensory efficiency, and self-determination. However, little research has examined the relation between providing the ECC and post-school outcomes. The purpose of this study is to use an existing dataset, the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) to examine the relationship of the ECC to transition outcomes for students with visual impairments.

Project Activities: The researchers will conduct regression analyses using the NLTS2 dataset to examine the relationship between the ECC and post-school outcomes for students with visual impairments in general education settings. Similar regression analyses will be conducted for visually impaired students in special education settings. The research team will then examine the differences between these relationships depending on the educational setting.

Products: The expected products from this study include publications and presentations on research activities and findings that may serve as a basis for developing programs, policies, and interventions for students with visual impairments.

Setting: NLTS2 includes students from across the United States.

Population: The researchers will use the NLTS2 dataset, which includes a nationally representative sample of secondary students with disabilities. For this project, the researchers will focus on NLTS2 data for the sample of over 800 visually impaired students collected between 2000 and 2009.

Intervention: The Expanded Core Curriculum is the intervention of interest for this study. The research team will investigate the relationship between the ECC and transition outcomes for students with visual impairments.

Research Design and Methods: This project involves regression analyses of the existing NLTS2 longitudinal dataset to answer three main research questions (1) What is the relationship of the ECC to post-school outcomes for students with visual impairments in general education settings? (2) What is the relationship of the ECC to post-school outcomes for students with visual impairments in special education settings? And (3) What are the differences in these relationships depending on the educational setting?

Control Condition: There is no control condition.

Key Measures: For data collection purposes, the NLTS2 study utilized parent telephone and mail surveys, school staff surveys, student transcripts, and direct and alternate assessment of student abilities in math, vocabulary, science, and social studies.

Data Analytic Strategy: The research team will identify NLTS2 variables that address components of the ECC. Next, factor analyses will be used to determine which variables are most closely related to each other and these factors will then be mapped onto the nine components of the ECC. A composite variable on outcome measures (e.g., employment, income, independence) will be created to represent a successful visually impaired young adult and then regression analyses will be conducted to determine relationships between factors of the ECC and the composite outcome variable.


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