Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Tom Pierce

Number of Pages



The purpose of this study was to focus on best practice components in transition programs for students with mental retardation. This was accomplished by determining: (a) post school outcomes; (b) the extent to which the transition plan reflected current best practices; (c) which predictor variables were the most important in predicting positive outcomes; and (d) the extent of student, parent, and agency involvement in the transition process; The participants in this study (n = 16) were parents of students with mental retardation who graduated, dropped out, or aged out in the 1999--2000 and 2000--2001 school years in a southwestern state. The study included three data collection systems; a demographic survey, the student's individualized education program (IEP), and a family interview; The results from the demographic survey indicated that: (a) employment options continue to be sheltered employment or unemployment, (b) students continue to live at home or with relatives, and (c) most adolescents continue to access community facilities; The results from the individualized education program (IEP) rating form indicated that: (a) vocational training was documented in almost all of the IEPs, (b) social skills was documented in about half of the IEPs, (c) none of the IEPs referred to paid work experience, (d) almost all the students and parents attended the IEPs, (e) only two IEP meetings had agencies in attendance the student's final year, and (f) student, parent, and school personnel were listed as the persons responsible for delivering supports in the majority of the transition plans; The results from the family interview indicated that: (a) student involvement in transition planning was minimal, (b) parents went to the IEP meetings, but were not an integral part of the team, (c) there was a lack of agency support, and (d) although almost all of the students expressed their vision for the future, goals were not written addressing these desires, and visions never materialized after the student exited high school.


Best Practices; Linking; Mental; Mental Retardation; Outcomes; Practices; Retardation; Students; Transition

Controlled Subject

Special education

File Format


File Size

5601.28 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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