Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Carole Warshaw

Second Advisor

Karen Casey-Acevedo

Third Advisor

Richard B. Cohen


This qualitative study examined the effects of Transition Services on the quality of life of special needs students. Selected parents, students, and district school employees were interviewed, observed, and presented with questionnaires in an investigation into the effects of Transition Services on the quality of life for post-high school special needs students. Data was transcribed, coded, triangulated, and analyzed to understand what effect Transition Services actually had on quality of life of these students. The study resulted in fifteen major findings: a) district personnel distill Transition Services down to positive adult outcomes for success, b) selection criteria for district level Transition Services personnel varied between districts, c) past perception of Transition Services by district personnel shaped the current program(s), d) current vision of Transition Services by district level personnel varies by district, e) accomplishments of Transition Services at the district level shared concurrency, f) needed areas of improvement in Transition Services at the district level varied by district(s), g) the effect of Transition Services in all three districts was perceived as positive, h) the reason(s) for the positive effect of Transition Services varied by district(s), i) the perceived qualifications of a district level Transition Services person varied by district, j) parents had little or no understanding of what Transition Services constitutes, k) the majority of the parent participants felt Transition Services was a failure, 1) all parent participants wanted categorizingllabeling of students at this level, m) unemployment of student participants was a major issue, n) all student participants lived with their families, o) the majority of student participants perceived their overall quality of life as good, regardless of employment status.

The study concludes that Transition Services had little or no effect on the quality of life of these students, and that there are a variety of major issues that arose in regard to district level employees' perception, parents not understanding their rights under IDEA, and to the perceived quality of life expressed by the student participants.



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