Transition Programming for Students with Learning Disabilities From High School to College

Christine H. Georgallis, Walden University


Researchers have shown the importance of effective transition services for students with learning disabilities entering college. Few studies, however, have explored the perceptions of students with learning disabilities going through the transition process while pursuing postsecondary options. To address that gap, this study analyzed how students with learning disabilities perceive the effectiveness of their secondary transition services and preparedness for college. The conceptual framework was based on Rogers's theories of learning, which suggest learning includes feelings and emotions as well as cognitive development. Education should promote the type of learning that leads to this personal growth and development. A phenomenological approach was chosen, and a research protocol was developed for the participants. Nine students with learning disabilities who completed at least 1 year of college were interviewed about their perceptions of the effectiveness of their secondary transition services and their perceptions of their preparedness for college. These interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. The data was hand coded, analyzed, and organized to discover emerging themes. The data revealed the majority of the participants had not perceived their transition plans and services to have prepared them for college. The participants' role was minimal in their individualized education program meetings and in the development of their transition plans. The implication for positive social change is to develop the resources required for school districts, administrators, and teachers to better prepare postsecondary students with learning disabilities for the rigors of higher education.