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Title:  Preparing for Life after High School: The Characteristics and Experiences of Youth in Special Education. A Summary of Key Findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012
Description: The National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 (NLTS 2012) is the third study conducted over several decades to examine the characteristics, experiences, and post-high school outcomes of a nationally representative sample of youth with disabilities and is part of the congressionally-mandated National Assessment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA 2004). The evaluation brief summarizes key findings from previously released report volumes describing youth with an individualized education program (IEP) and their activities in school in relation to other students without an IEP (Volume 1), across the federally defined disability groups (Volume 2), and over time (Volume 3).

The brief indicates that, although their engagement and use of school supports have increased over the past decade (2003-2012), high school youth with an IEP are more socioeconomically disadvantaged and less likely to have experiences and expectations associated with success after high school than were other students in 2012. Among the disability groups in 2012, youth with intellectual disability, autism, deaf-blindness, multiple disabilities, and orthopedic impairments were found to be most at-risk for not transitioning successfully beyond high school.

The report volumes are available at
Online Availability:
Cover Date: May 2018
Web Release: May 15, 2018
Print Release:
Publication #: NCEE 20184011
General Ordering Information
Center/Program: NCEE
Type of Product: Evaluation Brief
Questions: For questions about the content of this Evaluation Brief, please contact:
Yumiko Sekino.