Navigating Transition Planning for Students with Individual Education Plans : Perspectives of Transition Coordinators Abshire, Levonne; Bondar, Benjamin; Brown, Gabrielle; Sy, Stephanie
Transitioning to adulthood can be challenging for students with disabilities, who experience poorer post-high school outcomes compared to their non-disabled counterparts; yet transition planning is not well studied in Canada. This qualitative study examined the perspectives of transition coordinators, or the educators responsible for coordinating transition- planning services for students with documented disabilities necessitating Individual Education Plans (IEPs). Our two main research questions were: (a) What do transition coordinators believe to be best practices regarding transition planning? and (b) What are the actual practices of transition coordinators in high schools? To answer these questions, we conducted semi- structured interviews with four transition coordinators in independent high schools in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), and systematically coded the interview transcripts using thematic analysis. The main themes that emerged were (a) transition coordinator training and experience, (b) favourable conditions created by the independent school, (c) transition-planning process that starts in early high school and proceeds logically, (d) a student-centred approach to transition planning, (e) effective curriculum and instruction for students with disabilities, and (f) effective collaboration within the school and with external parties. It was found that the four transition coordinators’ conceptions of best practices and actual practices were largely congruent with the practices recommended in the research literature; however, due to our small sample size these results are not generalizable to other contexts.
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