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IES Grant

Title: Modeling Short-Term and Longitudinal Work and Educational Transition Outcomes for Adolescents with High Incidence Disabilities
Center: NCSER Year: 2010
Principal Investigator: Rojewski, Jay Awardee: University of Georgia
Program: Transition to Postsecondary Education, Career, and/or Independent Living      [Program Details]
Award Period: 07/01/2010 – 06/30/2012 Award Amount: $445,977
Type: Exploration Award Number: R324A100232

Purpose: The career needs and postsecondary outcomes of youth with high incidence disabilities have received little attention in prior research. Additionally, promising programs and interventions that can improve career and postsecondary outcomes for students with high incidence disabilities remain difficult to identify. The purpose of this project is to use three national longitudinal datasets to examine the career and postsecondary aspirations of students with high incidence disabilities and 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 National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88), Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002), and National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) datasets to explore issues related to employment and postsecondary education for students with high incidence disabilities. The research team will investigate the longitudinal development of career and educational aspirations and expectations of students before and after high school using a curvilinear modeling approach. These results will be compared to students without disabilities. The researchers will then examine postsecondary outcomes for students with high incidence disabilities relative to a sample of non-disabled peers. The researchers will also examine the relationships between inclusion and career-technical education and postsecondary outcomes for students with high incidence disabilities.

Products: The products from this study include publications and presentations on research activities and findings related to career and postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities. These findings may inform programs, policies, and interventions for students with high incidence disabilities.

Setting: The NELS:88, ELS:2002, and NLTS2 datasets include data from students across the United States.

Population: The researchers will use the NELS:88, ELS:2002, and the NLTS2 datasets which include nationally representative samples of secondary students. The researchers will focus on students with high incidence disabilities but will also compare results to students without disabilities that are included in ELS:2002 and NELS:88.

Intervention: There is no specific intervention under investigation but the researchers will examine inclusion and career and technical education and their relationship to employment and education-related postsecondary outcomes.

Research Design and Methods: The project is examining three extant databases to address questions regarding the transition from school to work and postsecondary education for adolescents with high incidence disabilities. To address the first question, the researchers will use a stratified sample of the NELS:88 dataset from over 1,000 schools with oversampling of school types to ensure adequate samples of policy-relevant subgroups. Next, the first three waves of data from the ELS:2002 will be used to explore the transition experiences of students with high incidence disabilities compared to a non-disabled peer group. Finally, propensity score matching will be used with NLTS2 data to determine outcome differences between groups of students experiencing inclusion practices and career-technical education and other students not experiencing these programs.

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 assessments of student abilities in math, vocabulary, science, and social studies. Additionally, the study used numerous student level variables related to post school outcomes, including postsecondary enrollment, employment, functional skills, and community participation. The ELS:2002 variables of most interest are related to family and school characteristics, secondary course-taking, student plans and aspirations, student behavior, and measures of postsecondary outcomes. The NELS:88 dataset includes hundreds of variables but the data that will be used in this study include student demographics, family socioeconomic data, and student education and career plans and expectations.

Data Analytic Strategy: The researchers will use a variety of data analysis strategies to answer the research questions including: (1) latent growth modeling to examine trends in career aspirations over time; (2) multinomial logistic regression to model odds of postsecondary outcomes for different groups of students; and (3) propensity score matching to determine the potential effects of inclusion and career-technical education on postschool outcomes. Missing data strategies will include both multiple imputation using expectation maximization and a maximum likelihood approach.

Publications from this project:

Rojewski, J. W., Lee, I. H., Gregg, N., & Gemici, S. (2012). Development patterns of occupational aspirations in adolescents with high-incidence disabilities. Exceptional Children, 78 (2), 157–178.

Lee, I. H., & Rojewski, J. W. (2013). Brief report: A growth mixture model of occupational aspirations of individuals with high-incidence disabilities. Journal of Adolescence, 36, 233–239. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.11.003

Rojewski, J. W., Lee, I. H., & Gregg, N. (2014). Intermediate work-related transition outcomes for adolescents with high-incidence disabilities. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 37 (2), 106–118. doi:10.1177/2165143412473352

Lee, I. H., Rojewski, J. W., Gregg, N., & Jeong, S.–O. (2015). Postsecondary education engagement of adolescents with specific learning disabilities or emotional/behavioral disorders. The Journal of Special Education, 49 (2), 77–88. doi:10.1177/0022466914524826

Rojewski, J. W., Lee, I. H., & Gregg, N. (2015). Causal effects of inclusion on postsecondary education outcomes of individuals with high-incidence disabilities. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 25 (4), 210–219. doi:10.1177/1044207313505648

Lee, I. H., Rojewski, J. W., & Gregg, N. (in press). Causal effects of career-technical education on postsecondary work outcomes of individuals with high-incidence disabilities. Exceptionality.