Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Judy Shoemaker


In the local state special education transition aged postoutcome survey measurements, high school students with disabilities (HS-SWDs) continue to demonstrate problems with unemployment, independent living, and postsecondary education as they transition to adult life. HS-SWDs receive instruction from transition planning teams (TPTs) to address educational attendance, independent living, agency collaboration, and employment skills. When these knowledge and skills are not acquired, HS-SWDs cannot gain employment or attend postsecondary institutions. The purpose of this qualitative, bounded case study was to explore the TPT members' perspectives of the transition planning process. Kohler's transition taxonomy guided this study. The research questions were used to identify TPT members' perspectives of the transition planning process. A purposeful sample of 3 special education teachers, 2 general education teachers, 3 district administrators, 3 agency representatives, 2 graduated HS-SWDs, and 3 parents volunteered and participated in semistructured interviews. An inductive approach was used to analyze the interview and data were coded using open and thematic coding strategies. Participants identified challenges in student-centered planning related to family involvement, student development, support and resources, and TPT team collaboration. Based upon the findings, an electronic meeting preplanning tool was created to increase team member participation and input in the transition planning process. These endeavors may lead to positive social change when TPT members increase participation in student-centered meetings to provide quality transition planning that results in HS-SWDs' success in attaining employment or postsecondary education as well as adult independence.