Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Baer, R. M., Flexer, R. M., Beck, S., Amstutz, N., Hoffman, L., Brothers, J., Stelzer, D., & Zechman, C. (2003). A collaborative followup study on transition service utilization and post-school outcomes. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 26 (1), 7-25.
Title:  A collaborative followup study on transition service utilization and post-school outcomes
Authors:  Baer, R. M., Flexer, R. M., Beck, S., Amstutz, N., Hoffman, L., Brothers, J., Stelzer, D., & Zechman, C.
Year:  2003
Journal/Publication:  Career Development for Exceptional Individuals
Publisher:  Sage
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Cross-sectional

Structured abstract:

Background:  In spite of nearly 20 years of research on postschool outcomes, local schools rarely use these data to drive their improvement efforts. A number of school-based activities have been shown to improve postschool employment, such as employment experiences and community-based learning; however, in many schools these activities have not been adopted.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to examine characteristics related to transition service utilization and postsecondary outcomes, and identify program- and student-related variables that best predicted full-time employment.
Setting:  Settings were multiple school systems in Ohio.
Study sample:  The study sample consisted of 140 randomly selected former special education students who had exited school in either 1997 or 2000. Dropouts were excluded because they could not be tracked. The sample was 59% male, with the majority having educational diagnoses of either learning disability (49%) or intellectual disability (28%); however, most disability diagnoses were in the sample.
Intervention:  The interventions that were assessed included those that have been found in prior research to be associated with postschool employment: Work experiences while in school, inclusion in the general academic program, and participation in vocational or work/study programs.
Control or comparison condition:  The comparison condition in the study was not having received the interventions.
Data collection and analysis:  Data for the study were collected through two main sources: School records and a postschool survey. The survey collected information regarding employment, postsecondary education, independence, and other areas of adult life. Bivariate correlations were run between student-related variables, program-related variables, and postschool outcomes. A logistic regression model was developed to predict work and postsecondary education outcomes from student characteristics and secondary participation.
Findings:  Related to employment, the logistic regression analysis showed that vocational education, work study participation, attending a rural school, and having a learning disability were the best predictors of full-time employment after school exit. Participation in work/study and vocational education each increased the likelihood of employment two-fold. However, other school-based vocational services, such as job shadowing, career fairs, in-school jobs, etc. were not predictive of post-school employment.
Conclusions:  Work/study and vocational education may be significantly correlated with postschool outcomes because they screen out students with more severe disabilities, but also may have been due to work/ study and vocational programs being more comprehensive and better integrated into the general curriculum than other school-based services. The finding that other work-related school programs were not correlated with positive postschool outcomes may have been because they were uncoordinated with the student’s area of study.

Disabilities served:  Cognitive / intellectual impairment
Learning disabilities
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Transition-age youth (14 - 24)
Interventions:  On-the-job training and support
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition
Full-time employment