Transition for high school special education students to post-secondary environments: Best practices, benefits, and barriers

Jennifer L. Koehler, Tanya L. Eckert, Adrea J. Truckenmiller, Jennifer L. Rymanowski, Elizabeth A. Koenig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


Within recent years, the number of students with learning disabilities attending college has increased (Madaus and Shaw, 2006), which may be partly due to improved transition planning that is now required through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004. Transition planning is a process that is meant to help students with disabilities cope with the immense changes that occur during the transition from high school to varied post-secondary environments. Positive outcomes from successful transition include a better understanding of one's disability, improved decisionmaking and self-advocacy skills, a greater high-school graduate rate, increased enrollment in post-secondary education, and increased employment wages (Kochhar-Bryant and Izzo, 2006; Malloy, Cheney, and Cormier, 1998). However, navigating the law regarding special education transition services and assessment can be challenging, given the multiple sources of legislation and frequent lack of guidance regarding implementation. Although the importance of facilitating a successful transition to postsecondary settings for students with disabilities has been documented, school-based professionals often have a weak understanding of effective and meaningful transition assessment (Leconte, 2006). As a result, a number of models of effective transition have been recommended to address potential difficulties. This article reviews the literature on transition planning for special education students in terms of current processes, practices, and programs. Implications and recommendations for future practice efforts are delineated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpecial Education in the 21st Century
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781607415565
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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