Category Archives: Transition

More Students With Disabilities Heading to College

Education Week – December 13, 2011

Postsecondary options expanding

When Andrew Van Cleave thought about what he wanted to do after high school, this son of two university graduates came up with the same answer many his age come up with: go to college.

Until the past decade, though, college wasn’t much of an option for students, including Mr. Van Cleave, who have significant intellectual impairments. This month, the 24-year-old, who has an intellectual disability and ADHD, became one of the first graduates of a two-year program at Vanderbilt University designed for students with severe cognitive disabilities. He starts a job next month.

Vanderbilt’s Next Steps program is one of many created for this group of students in the last 10 years. The programs have grown in number from about 15 in 2002 to almost 170 now, as tracked by Think College, a Boston organization that does research about this new breed of programs and offers guidance about them for professionals, families, and students.

The growth is due in part to changes in federal law that have increased the expectations of such students in elementary and secondary school.

“We’ve had now 30 years of access for students with disabilities to go to school, and they’re coming out of that system with a different expectation: Their education should continue,” said Eric Latham, the executive director of Pathway, a college program for students with intellectual disabilities at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, a national study found that six years after high school, students with disabilities were less likely than peers to have attended any college—55 percent compared with 62 percent, though that includes students with all types of disabilities. Among people with intellectual disabilities, the rate of employment is just 9 percent.

The push for creating college opportunities for students with disabilities has also come from parents and advocacy groups, said Stephanie Lee, a senior policy adviser for the National Down Syndrome Society, based in New York.

She is one of those parents: About 10 years ago, Ms. Lee’s daughter, Laura, who has Down syndrome, asked her mother if she would attend college at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania like her brother. When Ms. Lee researched what options her daughter had, she found “there was very little out there.”

The only real choices were for Laura to stay in high school until she was 21, which federal law allows some students with disabilities to do, or work in a sheltered environment for less than minimum wage, mostly with other people with disabilities.

Ms. Lee, who previously worked for the U.S. Department of Education’s office of special education programs, approached administrators at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va., about creating a program for Laura and similar students. They said yes.

“I was very nervous about dropping my daughter off at this big university campus. It turned out better than I ever could have expected,” Ms. Lee said. The program, called Mason LIFE, or Learning Into Future Environments, now serves more than 40 students and has a vocational-internship option

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High School Completion and Transitions

High School Completion and Transitions

Please join EPE Research Center director Christopher Swanson as he moderates a lively discussion examining the challenges facing students with disabilities in completing high school and preparing for the transition to adult life.

Finishing high school and transitioning into adulthood represents a critical stage of life for all young people. Students with disabilities, like their peers, aspire to take part in a wide range of activities as they leave high school and enter adult life, including earning a diploma, going on to college, finding and holding down a job, engaging in civic life, living independently and starting a family. Yet, research shows that students with disabilities graduate from high school at lower rates than their peers and may face particular challenges when moving into adult roles.

This is the third in our month long series of online chats in which leading experts in the field will engage in a lively, in-depth dialogue on critical issues facing special education today. More information on EPE Research Center’s new report “Special Education in America” and on the month long chat series is available here.

About the Guest(s)

* David R. Johnson is a professor and associate dean at the University of Minnesota, where he serves as director of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition.

* Mary Wagner is director of Center for Education and Human Services at SRI International, a non-profit research organization, where she is principal investigator of the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2).

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ADHD and College Foreign Language Requirement

College Students Classified with ADHD and the Foreign Language Requirement

Richard L. Sparks

Education Department at the College of Mt. St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio

James Javorsky

Human Studies and Child Development Department at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan

Lois Philips

College of Arts and Sciences at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

The conventional assumption of most disability service providers is that students classified as having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will experience difficulties in foreign language (FL) courses. However, the evidence in support of this assumption is anecdotal. In this empirical investigation, the demographic profiles, overall academic performance, college entrance scores, and FL classroom performance of 68 college students classified as having ADHD were examined. All students had graduated from the same university over a 5-year period.

The findings showed that all 68 students had completed the university’s FL requirement by passing FL courses. The students’ college entrance scores were similar to the middle 50% of freshmen at this university, and their graduating grade point average was similar to the typical graduating senior at the university. The students had participated in both lower (100) and upper (200, 300, 400) level FL courses and had achieved mostly average and above-average grades (A, B, C) in these courses. One student had majored and eight students had minored in an FL. Two thirds of the students passed all of their FL courses without the use of instructional accommodations. In this study, the classification of ADHD did not appear to interfere with participants’ performance in FL courses. The findings suggest that students classified as having ADHD should enroll in and fulfill the FL requirement by passing FL courses.

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State of Utah – Age Appropriate Transition Planning

Some of us have been through transitioning planning for our children.  Or, maybe we were the young adult who had transition planning done on our behalf.

Do you know what goes into the planning?

If you are a parent of a child who needs transition planning, do you know what is being looked at?

Is there information that you can give your school to assist them in the planning?

The following is an excerpt out of the State Of Utah draft for transition planning.   It may help you understand what transition planning is and how you can assist. We refer you to the link at the end of this post for the source.

“…beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is 16, and updated annually thereafter, appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and the transition services (including courses of study) needed to assist the child in reaching those goals.” Sec. 614 (d)(1)(A)(VIII)


Formal and/or informal assessments may provide information, indicate strategies,
provide present levels of functional performance, suggest accommodations, and
provide a basis for measurable postsecondary goals and measurable annual goals.
In other words, what skills does the student possess and what skills must the
student acquire?

Without an assessment, the IEP team may not have data needed to document the
student’s current level of functioning, set appropriate IEP goals, and monitor
progress toward the student’s post secondary goals.


The major questions to ask when planning an assessment are:
• What do we need to know about the student?
• Where can we get the information?
• Who should be doing the assessment?
• How will we use the information?
• How should the information be organized?
• When do we begin and what do we do?

Click here for the source

Click here for another source – check out 13. Transition from School to Post School     MS PowerPoint 2003 pdf (revised 7/2/2008)

Click here for the State of Utah Special Education Services Web page