Type of Document Dissertation Author Halliday, Kimberli L. D. Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-11152010-111935 Title The Effects of a Transition Planning Intervention on Career Choices of High School Students with Disabilities Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Teacher Education, School of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Bruce M. Menchetti Committee Chair Amy R. McKenzie Committee Member Mary Frances Hanline Committee Member Chris Schatschneider University Representative Keywords
- Career Choices
- Students with Disabilities
Date of Defense 2010-10-28 Availability unrestricted AbstractFederal and state mandates require all high school students to select a high school major area of interest. This includes students with disabilities, regardless of the type of diploma they are seeking or what is being taught in the Exceptional Student Education programs in which they are participating. These mandates present a challenge to educational programs that do not include transition planning in the students with disabilities coursework. To assist students with disabilities being served in special diploma settings in determining a high school major area of interest along with implementing self-determination strategies, a career counseling intervention was warranted in “Eastcoast,” Florida.
This study investigated the implementation of a transition portfolio intervention on students with disabilities making informed choices of high school majors and career choices. The study utilized a nonequivalent group’s pretest and posttest design to assess between-group and within-group changes in career choices. The study used the Holland Self-Directed Search to determine students’ areas of career interest and whether these scores compared to the students’ high school major choice. Participants in both the intervention and comparison groups completed activities. In addition, as a social validation measure, students in both groups were asked about their perceptions in their self-determination skills at the end of the study by completing the American Institutes for Research Self-Determination Assessment.
To determine if any change occurred in high school major choices for students with disabilities, how aligned their career choices were as compared to their chosen major, and their perceived level of self determination; data were collected from a sample of 43 students. All selected students were 18 years or older, working toward a Special Option One diploma, and receiving instruction in high school settings that offered similar Exceptional Student Education programs. The treatment group, 26 participants, was served at High School I, and the control group, 17 participants, received services from High School C. The intervention lasted one semester.
The findings from the ANOVA related to congruence measures for students with disabilities choosing a high school major, congruence measures on the Self-Directed Search, consistency levels on the Self-Directed Search, differentiation scores on the Self-Directed Search, and self-reported feelings of empowerment were insignificant. Upon looking further within the separate groups, there were several trends that showed the treatment group’s mean scores on the research questions were moving in the expected way. Also, many students reported high levels of self determination, meaning they knew what they liked and what they were good at.
Limitations of the study were reviewed, including the low number of participating students and short period of time the intervention took place. Recommendations were made for consideration in encouraging students with disabilities to be included actively in decision making related to their education. Further research considerations were reviewed.
Although the overall findings of this research were not statistically significant, schools, teachers, and administrative teams should respect the career choices of students and use these choices to plan transition services that match the preferences and interests of these students. This study demonstrated that students know themselves better than anyone else and should be actively included in selecting educational programs that will enhance their education.
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