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IES Grant

Title: Factors Associated with the High School Preparation and Post-High School Outcomes of Youth with Disabilities: Secondary Analysis of Data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2
Center: NCSER Year: 2010
Principal Investigator: Newman, Lynn Awardee: SRI International
Program: Transition Outcomes for Secondary Students with Disabilities      [Program Details]
Award Period: 03/01/2010 – 02/28/2012 Award Amount: $779,962
Type: Exploration Award Number: R324A100025

Purpose: Identifying promising programs, policies, and interventions that can improve outcomes for students with disabilities during and after high school remains a challenge for researchers and practitioners. Practitioners, policymakers, and researchers would benefit from an improved understanding of the kinds of instructional programs and settings, learning supports, supplemental and related services, and accommodations can improve the high school and post-high school academic engagement and achievement of students with disabilities. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to use a national longitudinal dataset focusing on students with disabilities to identify school-based interventions that are associated with academic, social/behavioral, vocational, and functional outcomes experienced by students during and after high school.

Project Activities: The researchers will conduct secondary analyses of the NLTS2 dataset to explore relationships between school-based interventions (e.g., inclusion, course taking, modifications and accommodations, tutoring, technology aids) and outcomes (e.g., achievement, graduation, postsecondary enrollment, employment) for students with disabilities.

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

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. The researchers will focus on students served under three special education categories: learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, and mental retardation.

Intervention: The researchers will examine a variety of school-based, academic, behavioral, vocational, and functional interventions and their relationships with outcomes for students with disabilities. Some of these interventions include instructional modifications and accommodations, technology aids, related services, school wide programs, and vocational services.

Research Design and Methods: The project is examining an extant database for relations between school-based interventions and a variety of outcome variables while utilizing propensity scoring methods to adjust for baseline differences among students. After adjusting, the researchers will conduct analysis of covariance and regression to explore relationships between interventions and outcomes.

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. The data set provides numerous student level variables related to post school outcomes including postsecondary enrollment, employment, functional skills, and community participation.

Data Analytic Strategy: The researchers will conduct exploratory analyses and use data reduction techniques to decrease the number of variables used in the analyses. Exploratory analyses will be conducted to identify the covariates to be utilized in the propensity score analysis. After calculating propensity scores, the researchers will conduct analysis of covariance and regression to explore relationships between interventions and outcomes.

Publications from this project:

Wagner, M., & Newman, L. (2012). Longitudinal transition outcomes of youth with emotional disturbances. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 35 (3), 199–208.

Wagner, M. (2013). Longitudinal outcomes and post-high school status of students with emotional or behavioral disorders. In H.M. Walker & F.M. Gresham (Eds.) Handbook of Evidence-Based Practices for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. New York: Guilford Press.

Wagner, M., & Newman, L. (2015). Longitudinal post-high school outcomes of young adults with learning disabilities or emotional/behavioral disorders. In B. G. Cook, M. Tankersley & T. J. Landrum (Eds.), Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities (Vol. 28). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing.

Wagner, M., Newman, L., & Javitz, J. (2015). The benefits of high school career and technical education (CTE) for youth with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities. doi: 10.1177/00222194155747.