Comprehensive Transition Programs

Comprehensive Transition Programs

Annotated Bibliography

 

Prepared for NSTTAC by Audrey Bartholomew

The School to Work Opportunities Act of 1994 was passed to address the deficits in skills students needed to be competitive in the global economy and provided students with school-based learning within the context of work.  As a result of this act, comprehensive school-to-work transition programs were developed to help facilitate a transition from school to work for students with disabilities (Benz, Yovanoff, & Doren, 1997).  While many of these school-to-work programs focused solely on improving employment outcomes, an expansion in services began to occur and included a wide range of transition services for vocational preparation.  For example, programs were developed to improve interagency collaboration (Aspel, Bettis, Quinn, Test, & Wood, 1999), compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Finn & Kohler, 2009), and transition outcomes for specific populations including students with emotional and behavior disorders (Malloy, Cheney, Cormier, 1998).  Many of these programs involve multiple components including (a) instruction in a variety of topics, (b) services taking place in a range of environments, and (c) a team including both professionals and family all within an outcome oriented process (Wehmeyer, Garner, Yeager, Lawrence, & Davis, 2006).  NSTTAC identified a comprehensive transition program as one of 16 predictors of post-school outcomes for students with disabilities in its review of correlational research (Test et al., 2009) Although providing students with a multi-component model of services can be difficult to coordinate and manage, there are a number of models described in the literature that provide an overview of services.  The purpose of this annotated bibliography is to provide educators, policy makers, families, and other stakeholders resources on comprehensive transition programs.  The entries are organized by program type (i.e., employment programs and multi-component programs) along with additional resources.

References:

Aspel, N, Bettis, G., Quinn, P., Test, D. W., & Wood, W. M. (1999). A collaborative process for planning transition services for all students with disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 22, 21-42.

Finn, J. E., & Kohler, P. D. (2009). A compliance evaluation of the transition outcomes project.  Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32, 17-29.

Malloy, J. M., Cheney, D., & Cormier, G. M. (1998). Interagency collaboration and the transition to adulthood for students with emotional or behavior disabilities. Education and Treatment of Children, 21, 303-320.

School to Work Opportunities Act of 1994, P. L. No. 103-239, 20 U.S.C.

Test, D. W., Mazzotti, V. L., Mustian, A. L., Fowler, C. H., Kortering, L., & Kohler, P. (2009). Evidence-based secondary transition predictors for improving postschool outcomes or students with disabilities.  Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32, 160-181.

 

Employment Programs

Tilson, G. P., Luecking, R. G., & Donovan, M. R. (1994). Involving employers in transition: The bridges model. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 17, 77-89.

Program: Bridges…From School to Work

Purpose of program: Employment

  • Provides an overview and outcome data from the Marriot Foundation for People with Disabilities’ transition program, Bridges…From School to Work.
  • The Bridges model partners with local employers to provide employment opportunities to youth with disabilities in their final year of high school. 
  • The internships are typically two to six months long and students and employers are matched based on needs, interests, and skills.
  • Outcome data indicate the majority of positions were in retail, 74% of youth were offered the option of staying on the job after completion of the program while another 5% were offered competitive employment elsewhere.

Luecking, R. G., & Fabian, E. S. (2000) Paid internships and employment success for youth in transition.  Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 23, 205-221.

Program: Bridges…From School to Work

Purpose of program: Employment

  • Provides an overview of Bridges along with outcome and post-program correlational data.
  • Results indicated program completion and job offers were the strongest predictors of employment, six and 12 months post-program.  
  • Additionally, disability status was significant at six and 12 months while minority status was also significant at 12 months.
  • Results at 18 months follow-up indicated disability status and ethnicity as the only significant predictor of employment.

Lehman, C. (1992) Job Designs: A community based program for students with emotional behavioral disorder. Teaching Research Newsletter, 1-8.

Program: Job Designs

Purpose of program: Employment for students with emotional behavior disorders

  • Provides data from Job Designs including 36 paid job placements and 16 unsuccessful job placements (student was fired).
  • Employer satisfaction ratings indicated 36.7% of hiring employers rated the participants positive and an additional 47.5% rated the participants somewhat positively.

Bullis, M., Fredericks, B. D. H., Lehman, C., Paris, K., Corbett, J., & Johnson, B. (1994). Description and evaluation of the Job Designs Project for adolescents and young adults with emotional or behavioral disorders. Behavioral Disorders, 19, 254-268.

Program: Job Designs

Purpose of program: Employment for students with emotional behavior disorders

  • Describes Job Designs, a 3-year model demonstration vocational transition program for students with emotional behavior disorders.
  • Program employment status was collected including 79% competitive job placement.
  • Additional correlational analyses were conducted and identified variables associated with success in the program including (a) history of alcohol/substance abuse, (b) history of running away from residential placements, (c)use of alcohol/substances while in the program, and (c) social problems with work supervisors and/or co-workers.
  • Consumer satisfaction was taken from employer and participants.

Rutkowski, S., Daston, M., Van Kuiken, D., & Riehle, E. (2006).  Project SEARCH: A demand-side model of high school transition.  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 25, 85-96.

Program: Project SEARCH

Purpose of program: Employment for students with severe disabilities

  • Provides an overview of Project SEARCH, an employer-based transition program designed for students with severe disabilities. 
  • The goal of Project SEARCH is competitive employment and helps facilitate this through a collaborative approach with a local business that can accommodate up to 12 students and support staff. 
  • Students participate in classroom-based instruction in independent living and employability skills along with full immersion at their job site. 
  • An evaluation of the project based on best practices and benefits to employers is included.

Sabbatino, E. D., & Macrine, S. L. (2007).  Start on Success: A model transition program for high school students with disabilities. Preventing School Failure, 52, 33-39.

Program: Start on Success

Purpose of program: Employment

  • Provides an overview of Start on Success, a transition program designed to provide students with community-based services in supported environment.
  • Start on Success provides job placements, social skills opportunities with same aged peers, mentoring services, and academic instruction.

Benz, M. R., Lindstrom, L., & Yovanoff, P. (2000). Improving graduation and employment outcomes of students with disabilities: Predictive factors and student perspectives. Exceptional Children, 66, 509-529.

Program: Youth Transition Program

Purpose of program: Employment

  • Provides an overview of the Youth Transition Program (YTP), a transition program operated by the University of Oregon, Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Division, and local schools. 
  • The goal of YTP is to improve post-school outcomes for students with disabilities including obtaining competitive employment and is designed to serve students in their last two years of high school with (a) coordinated transition planning, (b) instruction in both academic and functional skills, (c) paid job training, and (d) follow-up services for two years after leaving the program.
  • Correlational analyses indicated students who participated in the program and had two or more paid jobs were more likely to be engaged in post-school employment or education.  Additionally, students who participated in the program and had four or more transition goals met were more likely to be engaged in post-school employment or education.

Multicomponent Transition Programs

Bullis, M., Moran, T., Benz, M. R., Todis, B, & Johnson, M. D. (2002) Description and evaluation of the ARIES Project: Achieving rehabilitation, individualized education, and employment success for adolescent with emotional disturbance. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 25, 41-58.

Program: ARIES Project

Purpose of program: Transition services for students with emotional behavior disorders

  • Describes the ARIES Project, a public school-based transition program for youth with emotional behavior disorders providing services in both the school and community.
  • Components of the ARIES Project include (a) functional skill assessment, (b) person centered planning, (c) individualized educational placement and support, (d) competitive job placement, (e) service coordination, (f) multiple opportunities for success, and (g) further disability determination in order to access services.
  • Outcome results indicate a 61%  (n=36) completion rate including 13 high school diplomas and 10 GEDs, a 36% employment rate with 55% of participants working while enrolled in the program.  Additional results indicate factors influencing success of the program including a personal connection between the case manager and student, and  effectiveness of case manager.

Wehmeyer, M. L., Garner, N., Yeager, D., Lawrence, M., & Davis, A. K. (2006). Infusing self-determination into 18-21 services for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities: A multi-stage, multiple component model. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 41, 3-13.

Program: Beyond High School

Purpose of program: Promoting self-determination and student involvement in transition planning for students with severe disabilities

  • Provides an overview of Beyond High School, a transition program designed to enhance student self-determination skills and involvement in the transition planning process through instruction and person-centered planning.
  • Reports the results of a study examining the effects of Beyond High School on 15 students enrolled in the program.
  • Results indicated students were able to achieve more goals (based on the Goal Attainment Scale) and there were significant differences between the pre- and post-intervention scores on the Autonomous Functioning Checklist.

Malloy, J. M., Cheney, D., & Cormier, G. M. (1998). Interagency collaboration and the transition to adulthood for students with emotional or behavior disabilities. Education and Treatment of Children, 21, 303-320.

Program: Project RENEW

Purpose of program: Transition services for students with emotional behavior disorders and/or mental illness

  • Provides an overview of Project RENEW which provided services for 17 youth with emotional behavior disorders or mental illness.
  • The main components of Project RENEW include (a) interagency coordination on two levels (service and management), (b) consensus on a common set of beliefs including a focus on self-determination and natural supports, (c) using personal futures planning to help develop positive relationships, and (d) providing flexible services and resources to help support high school completion.
  • Results indicated a 58% graduation (with a diploma or GED) and of these graduates, half enrolled in postsecondary education programs.  Additionally, 94% of participants had secured competitive employment and the average wage grew from $5.80 to $7.06 an hour.

Malloy, J. M., Drake, J., Cloutier, H., & Couture, D. (2011). RENEW facilitator’s manual: A secondary transition model for youth and young adults. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Institute on Disability.

Program: Project RENEW

Purpose of program: Transition services for students with emotional behavior disorders and/or mental illness

  • Provides directions on how a Project RENEW facilitator should facilitate and coordinate services.
  • Includes, scripts, examples, and large number of reproducible documents (i.e, data collection materials, youth assessment and agreement tools, team facilitation and planning tools, and education and career planning tools) to help the facilitator provide services within the Project RENEW model.

Smale, K. P. (2010). Helping students toward independence: The STEPS program at USDB. Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education, 11, 47-49.

Program: STEPS

Purpose of program: Transition services for students who have deaf/blind and mild disabilities

  • Provides a brief overview of STEPS, a transition program designed to provide instruction in and opportunities to practice real-life skills for students aged 16-21 with deaf blindness.
  • Program components include job coaching, job placements, and independent living instruction.
  • Students are provided with the opportunity to live on campus in a dormitory with 24 hour staff during their final year of the program.

Karpur, A., Clark, H. B., Carpioni, P., & Sterner, H. (2005). Transition to adult roles for students with emotional/behavioral disturbances: A follow-up study of student exiters from Steps-to-Success. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 28, 36-46.

Program: Steps-to-Success

Purpose of program: Transition services for students with emotional behavior disorders

  • An evaluation of Steps-to-Success, a transition program for students with emotional  behavior disorders in Florida, based on the Transition to Independence Process model (TIP).
  • Steps-to-Success provides education, psychosocial, and vocational training along with follow-up services to students in grades 9-12.
  • The model for Steps-to-Success, TIP, is based on seven guidelines including engaging young people, tailoring services and supports, encouraging personal choice, and helping develop a safety net of support.
  • Results indicate students in Steps-to-Success were more likely to be employed, enrolled in postsecondary education, and productively engaged when compared to students who dropped out of high school. 

 

Aspel, N., Bettis, G., Test, D. W., & Wood, W. M. (1998). An evaluation of a comprehensive system of transition services. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 21, 203-223.

Program: TASSEL

Purpose of program: comprehensive transition programming

  • Provides an overview of the Teaching All Students Skills for Employment and Life (TASSEL) model of multilevel interagency transition planning. 
  • TASSEL is designed to promote successful transitions for youth with disabilities through programmatic planning such as different diploma options, various levels of work experience, interagency collaboration, and family involvement. 
  • Program evaluation results indicate high levels of satisfaction for students, parents, employers, adult service providers while outcome data indicate 70% employment rate, about 1/3 attendance at postsecondary education institutions, and the majority of students living at home.

Aspel, N, Bettis, G., Quinn, P., Test, D. W., & Wood, W. M. (1999). A collaborative process for planning transition services for all students with disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 22, 21-42.

Program: TASSEL

Purpose of program: comprehensive transition programming

  • Follow-up study of TASSEL and explanation on the interagency collaboration component: (a) community-level (e.g., Special Education director, business representative, parent representative, and directors of adult service agencies), (b) school-level (e.g., student, transition coordinator, and case managers from the community team), (c) individual-level (e.g., student, parent, and special educator). 
  • Illustrates the process through an in-depth explanation of the teams and three student case studies.  Consumer satisfaction scores are reported as positive.

Haber, M. G., Karpur, A., Deschenes, & Clark, H. B. (2008). Predicting improvement of transitioning young people in the partnerships for youth transition initiative: Findings from a multisite demonstration.  The Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 35, 488-513.

Program: Transition to Independence Process (TIP)

Purpose of program: Transition services for students with emotional behavior disorders

  • Provides an overview of the TIP model as a multi-side program, including an emphasis on coordination and developing a one-on-one relationship between the facilitator and youth.
  • Correlational analyses indicate students showed progress on all or most of the domains including productivity, employment, and education.

Finn, J. E., & Kohler, P. D. (2009). A compliance evaluation of the Transition Outcomes Project.  Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32, 17-29.

Program: Transition Outcomes Project

Purpose of program: IDEA compliance

  • Provides the results of an investigation of the level of compliance for the Transition Outcomes Project.  The Transition Outcomes Project is a transition program designed to help schools improve compliance with IDEA requirements. 
  • Implemented in several states however only results from one mid-western state were examined. 
  • Results indicated a significant improvement overall in compliance with the greatest increase for students’ post-school vision regarding employment and parent notice. 

Additional Resources

The National Collaborative on Workforce Disability - Youth (NCWD-Youth) has compiled a list of transition programs that serve youth, including those with disabilities, at either the local or state level.  While the primary purpose of these programs is to improve employment outcomes for youth, some programs have a secondary purpose such as drop-out prevention or transition to postsecondary education. 

These practices have been designated as either exemplary or promising.  To be considered exemplary, the program must include the following components (a)  provide workforce preparatory experiences, (b) provide youth development and leadership opportunities, (c) tailor services to individuals, (d) demonstrate awareness and attention to serving youth with disabilities, and (e) have quantitative or qualitative outcome data.  Additionally the effectiveness of these programs must be validated by an outside source within the past five years.  The following programs were considered exemplary by the NCWD-Youth and additional information can be obtained from clicking on the link provided. 

 

Annie E. Casey Foundation
Program: First Jobs Academy
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1363

Baltimore County Public Schools - Department of Student Support Services - Alternative Education, Dropout Prevention and Summer School
Program: Maryland's Tomorrow
Purpose of program: Drop-out prevention
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1297

Children's Aid Society of New York
Program: Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1339

Columbia River Mental Health Services (CRMHS)
Program: Options
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1353

Bay Cove Academy
Program: Career Development Program
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1298

Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District
Program Name: Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1299

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development
Program: Project SEARCH
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1301

Home Builders Institute
Program: Project CRAFT
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1331

Improved Solutions for Urban Systems, Inc.
Program: ISUS Institute of Construction Technology; ISUS Institute of Manufacturing; ISUS Institute of Health Care
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1304

Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG)
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1337

Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential (LEAP)
Program: Job Link
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1309

Linking Learning to Life, Inc.
Program: Linking Learning to Life
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1310

Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities
Program: Bridges . . . from school to work
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1332

Mid-Michigan Industries, Inc. (MMI)
Program: WAVE and PAVE Services for Youth
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1312

My Turn
Program: My Turn
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1333

Open Meadow Alternative School
Program: Open Meadow Alternative School
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1316

Oxford Public Schools
Program: Project COFFEE (Co-Operative Federation for Educational Experiences)
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1317

Pennsville School District
Program: Salem County School-to-Careers Initiative
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1320

Sacramento Job Corps Center
Program: Sacramento Job Corps Center
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1334

Southwest Conservation Corps and The Training Advantage
Program: Fire Careers Training Program
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1323

Tucson Job Corps Center
Program: Fred G. Acosta Job Corps Center
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1326

Workforce Partnership (Local Workforce Investment Board III) -Kansas
Program: Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1342

University of Washington
Program: DO-IT (Disabilities Opportunities Internetworking Technology) Scholars Program
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1335

YouthBuild McLean County
Program: YouthBuild McLean County
http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/1330

 

This document was produced under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No.  H326J110001.  Marlene Simon-Burroughs served as the project officer.  The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or polices of the Department of Education.  No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this publication is intended or should be inferred.  This product is public domain.  Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted.  While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be: National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (2012). Comprehensive Transition Programs Annotated Bibliography, Charlotte, NC, NSTTAC.

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