Monday, August 19, 2013
Improving Post-High School Outcomes for Transition-Age Students with Disabilities
A new report reviews the research literature on strategies designed to help students with disabilities transition from high school to employment, postsecondary education and training, or independent living. The review deviates from previous evidence reviews on this topic by using the What Works Clearinghouse (WWW) systematic review procedures, focusing on direct measures of students' post-high school outcomes, and including more recent studies released between April 2008 and June 2011.
A total of 43 eligible studies were reviewed and assigned a WWC standards rating, of which 16 met the WWC standards. Community-based work programs were found to have mixed effects on students’ employment outcomes and potentially positive effects on postsecondary education outcomes. Functional life skills development programs were found to have potentially positive effects on independent living outcomes although the extent of evidence was small.
Taking this evidence as a whole, the review highlights the limited support currently available from high quality intervention research to identify a wide range of programs and strategies that help students with disabilities transition to employment, postsecondary education and training, or independent living. The report offers hypotheses about program characteristics, program development, and research design considerations gleaned from studies that met WWC standards as well as those considered as "exploratory."