The What Works Transition Research Synthesis Project (Grant # H324W010005) was funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to review and synthesize the past 20 years of research and advancements in the area of transition for youth with disabilities. The project office was located at the School of Education at Colorado State University. As the research synthesis papers are completed they will be published on our website.
Social/Communication Interventions and Transition Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities: A Systematic Review (Alwell & Cobb, 2007). This is a meta-analysis of 30 studies intervening with 316 youth with disabilities. Little support was found for alternative communication interventions, modest support was found for interventions designed to increase conversation skills and social skills training interventions.
Transition Planning/Coordinating Interventions for Youth with disabilities: A Systematic Review (Cobb& Alwell, 2007). The relationship between transition planning/coordinating interventions and transition outcomes for secondary aged youth with disabilities was explored in this systematic review. A total of 31 studies intervening with 859 youth with a wide variety of disabilities were reviewed. Using the transition intervention framework of Kohler and Field (2003) findings support the efficacy of student focused planning and student development interventions in improving the transition-related outcomes for youth with disabilities. There were not an adequate number of studies meeting minimal standards of methodological adequacy to assess the efficacy of family involvement, collaborative service delivery, and program structure interventions. Implications for practice are suggested as well as directions to the reader to locate more detailed descriptions of how several interventions associated with student focused planning and some areas of student development might be acquired and implemented in secondary educational environments.
Self-Determination for Students with Disabilities: A Narrative Meta-Synthesis (Cobb, Lehmann, Newman-Gonchar, & Alwell, 2008). Seven narrative and systematic reviews published since 2000 and focusing on self-determination for individuals with disabilities are reviewed in this narrative meta-synthesis. We distinguish our work from other meta-synthesis work by calling it a narrative meta-synthesis because we include both narrative reviews and meta-analyses in this meta-synthesis. These seven reviews focused on different disability groups, different intervention curricular and instructional techniques, and different outcomes. Findings were relatively consistent with multi-component self-determination interventions demonstrating greater positive effects than single-component interventions, and self-determination and academic productivity outcomes showing greater positive effects than academic quality outcomes. Theoretical, empirical, and methodological findings and implications are discussed.
Completed "Academic" Syntheses
Completed "Dropout Prevention" Synthesis
- List of References Used in the Transition Literature Map.This is a list of 164 research studies conducted over the past 20 years in the field of secondary transition. A description of the Transition Literature Map was published in Alwell, M., & Cobb, B. (2006) Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 29, 3-26.
- Completed Secondary Transition Syntheses
- A Systematic Review of the Effects of Curricular Interventions on the Acquisition of Functional Life Skills by Youth with Disabilities (Alwell & Cobb, 2006). This is a literature review of 50 studies intervening with 482 youth with disability labels of moderate to severe mental retardation. Findings provide tentative support for the efficacy of the use of functional/life skills curricular interventions across educational environments, disabilities, ages, and gender in promoting positive transition-related outcomes. A series of detailed implications for practice are suggested, as well as directions to the reader to locate more detailed descriptions of how these interventions might be implemented in their secondary educational environments.