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Expectations of Statewide Special Education and Vocational Rehabilitation Transition Leaders for their Staff's Collaboration Activities.

This Collaboration is a critical area of limited transition research, despite the mandates for collaboration among vocational rehabilitation (VR) and special educators (SPED) in serving transition-age individuals with disabilities and their families to prepare and plan for their postsecondary lives. In this investigation, the expectations of VR and SPED statewide transition supervisors regarding the collaboration activities of their staff were measured by: (a) importance, (b) frequency, and (c) preparedness. These transition supervisors consistently ranked activities as important, but reported that their staff were unprepared for and infrequently engaging in these collaborative activities. Recommendations are offered in areas identified as the greatest need.

The successful transition for students with disabilities as they exit secondary education and enter adulthood requires shared responsibilities among the individual, their family, and the professionals who serve them from the K-12 system and the agencies that support postsecondary education, employment, independent living, and access to the community as they become adults. The 1990 Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA P.L. 101-476) first introduced the provision of transition services to students; similarly, the 1998 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act mandated coordinated services to promote successful transition from employment to careers for youth with disabilities. Since then, both laws have been reauthorized (IDEA, 2004; Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, [WIOA], 2014) and continue to mandate shared accountability among these systems for youth achieving successful postsecondary and employment outcomes.

When the Institute on Rehabilitation Issues (IRI) published the results of their cross-systems transition study team in 2002, they relied on contributions from vocational rehabilitation (VR) professionals, special educators, parents, students, career and technical educators and workforce development staff. Their purpose was "to improve the successful outcomes of youth with disabilities by addressing systemic issues between the VR system, education system, and other systems mandated to provide transition services" (IRI, 2002, p. 2). They recognized that achieving this shared vision would "ultimately be the product of collaborative partnerships and long-term alliances among all parties having an interest" (IRI, 2002, p. 7). Yet, despite this clear vision and mandate for change, the majority of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most significant challenges, i.e., intellectual, multiple, and/or mental health disabilities, continue to face adult lives of exclusion from viable employment, education, community participation, and independent living (e.g., Newman et al., 2011).

Collaboration among professionals has long been touted as a strategy to improve the postsecondary transition trajectory of individuals with disabilities (e.g., Hasazi, Furney, & DeStefano, 1999; IRI, 2002; Kohler, 1990; Kohler, 1996; Sax & Noyes, 2008). In addition to legislative mandates, collaborative efforts have been demonstrated as effective within secondary transition projects (e.g., Guideposts for Success; Project SEARCH). Reports from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) (2009, 2012) have referred to the challenges that youth with disabilities face in accessing transition services, exacerbated by the limited coordination that exists among the programs and agencies providing the funding and services. While desired outcomes for transitioning students are typically consistent across both special education and rehabilitation professionals (i.e., meaningful employment, lifelong learning, satisfying social life, independent/supported living options, etc.), the differences in funding, categorical labels, system-related acronyms, and eligibility criteria for services, cause a disruption in what should be a seamless transition from school to adulthood (Sax & Thoma, 2002).

The need for preparation and training specific to transition services for special educators (Morgan, Callow-Heusser, Horrocks, Hoffmann, & Kupferman 2014; Morningstar & Clark, 2003; Morningstar, Kim, & Clark,2008) and VR counselors (Plotner & Fleming, 2014; Plotner, Trach, Oertle, & Fleming, 2014; Plotner, Trach, & Strauser, 2012) has not gone unnoticed. Recently, in an unprecedented effort, five national technical assistance centers (TACs) were funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), and Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). One of the shared missions of these TACs is to improve inclusion through the delivery of quality transition preparation, planning, and services to youth with disabilities by providing targeted training and technical assistance to states, agencies, workforce centers, educators, and providers. These training efforts are noteworthy because secondary transition personnel preparation appears to matter. Preparation has been linked to the frequency of professional involvement in transition activities (Benitez, Morningstar, & Frey, 2009; Plotner et al., 2014; Plotner, Trach, & Strauser, 2012) and professionals' ability to use evidence-based practices in transition services delivery (Mazzotti & Plotner, 2016).

Still, institutions of higher education responsible for the majority of training, "are, generally, not structured to support collaborative approaches to learning, research, and organizational functioning" (Kezar, 2005, p. 832). Designing collaborative strategies can be beneficial for all involved; however significant problems persist in that "imprecise, incoherent, and competing conceptions of collaboration plague practice, training, research, evaluation and policy (Lawson, 2004, p. 225). In other words, defining collaboration processes, requirements, and desired benefits must be a mutual effort undertaken by all stakeholders. For example, research into co-teaching between general and special educators indicates positive outcomes for students; however, using this collaborative model in teacher preparation programs is still not commonplace (Friend, Cook, Hurley-Chamberlain, & Shamberger, 2010). Likewise, collaboration across disciplines is expected in supporting transition services, yet rarely do graduate students in special education and rehabilitation programs have an opportunity to learn together in shared courses. Special education and rehabilitation counseling programs are often located in different academic departments (Oertle, Sax, & Chesley, in press) and, while programs may address similar transition competencies, they do so independently and according to the standards and competencies of their discipline-specific accrediting bodies, as discussed in the following section.

Secondary Transition Competencies

Professional transition competencies have been developed primarily from the perspective of special education. The foremost special educator association, the Council on Exceptional Children (CEC), Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) refined and disseminated the CEC Advanced Special Education Transition Specialists Standards (DCDT, 2013). The CEC DCDT standards were research-based and aligned with the five necessary secondary education program components for the successful transition of students with disabilities from the "Taxonomy for Transition Programming" (Kohler, 1996). Extending Kohler's Taxonomy (1996), Plotner, Trach, and Strauser (2012) developed the VR Transition Model with seven transition competency domains for VR counselors. The Taxonomy and VR transition model address transition comprehensively. Although both include collaboration, neither the taxonomy nor the VR transition model specifies measureable competencies for collaboration. Identifying collaboration competencies would not only advance general transition knowledge but could be used to strengthen construct validity for application in research, preparation, and development. Advancement of this type is especially important because collaboration knowledge and skill development are essential for transition professionals' understanding of and ability to apply core transition competencies (e.g., Noyes & Sax, 2004; Oertle & Trach, 2007).

Transition-Specific Collaboration Competencies

Despite the common use of the term collaboration, what it means to collaborate in the delivery of transition services is not clearly defined in the law or in the literature. Researchers have begun to address collaboration within the context of secondary transition by developing theory, generating operational definitions, and discussing professional competencies (e.g., Noyes & Sax, 2004; Oertle & Seader, 2015; Oertle & Trach, 2007; Sax & Noyes, 2008). In addition, transition research has been conducted to measure the impact of collaboration with mixed findings (e.g., Fabian & Luecking, 2015; Fabian, Simonsen, Deschamps, Dong, & Luecking, 2016; Mazzotti et al., 2015; Noonan, McCall, Zheng, & Erickson, 2012; Noonan, Morningstar, & Erickson, 2008; Povenmire-Kirk et al., 2015; Riesen, Schultz, Morgan, & Kupferman, 2014; Taylor, Morgan, & Callow-Heusser, 2016). Noting the need for more transition-specific collaboration research, Fabian and Luecking (2015) observed, "collaboration is obviously a complex construct, requiring significant additional research to define and develop measures to operationalize it" (p. 3).

Toward this end, the purpose of this article is to share the findings of an investigation of the expectations held by VR and special education statewide transition leaders regarding the collaboration activities of their staff (i.e., rehabilitation counselors and special educators, respectively) as measured by (a) importance, (b) frequency, and (c) preparedness. To our knowledge, the perspectives of statewide supervisors have not been a priority of transition research; yet, they are responsible for providing staff training and supporting transition services throughout the state. Therefore, their perspectives offer important insights to advance what is known in a critical area of limited transition research, i.e., collaboration across disciplines and systems. The overall objectives address: (a) the importance of competencies specific to transition collaboration activities to shape policies and encourage practices to improve outcomes; and (b) the interconnectedness between the frequency of performance and preparedness to inform pre- and in-service transition education and professional development. The research questions that guided this investigation were:

* Research Question 1: What do statewide transition supervisors expect from their staff in performing collaboration activities, that is, how important are these activities in supporting effective transition service delivery, how frequently are their staff performing these activities, and how prepared are their staff to perform these activities?

* Research Question 2: What are the variations in transition collaboration expectations when comparing the rankings for importance, frequency, and preparedness by statewide special education transition supervisors to those ranked by vocational rehabilitation transition supervisors?

Methods

Procedures

Information was collected on statewide transition supervisors' rankings of the importance, frequency, and expected level of preparedness of their staff for collaboration activities when special educators and rehabilitation counselors serve the transition-age population with disabilities. The survey instrument was disseminated by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) and the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) via their respective listservs targeting the statewide special education and VR counselor transition supervisors. An email was sent via the listservs that included a description of the purpose of the study and link to the on-line survey. Two reminders for participation over a six-week period were sent after the initial request.

Participants

One hundred twelve individuals completed the survey, with 72 identifying themselves as statewide transition supervisors. These 72 respondents were the study participants; 35 were special education supervisors and 37 were VR counseling supervisors (see Table 1). The majority of participants were female (80.6%) and between the ages of 46 and 65 years old (68.1%). The participants were highly educated with more than 85% having earned their master's degree or master's degree plus hours. They were highly experienced in serving the transition-age population, that is, 60% of special education supervisors and 43% of VR counseling supervisors reported more than 16 years of transition experience. Although they brought experience in transition, 45% had fewer than five years of experience in their current statewide transition supervisor role.

Transition-specific professional development. The amount of transition training provided by statewide transition supervisors to their staff varied widely. For example, over 40% of special educator transition supervisors reported providing eleven or more days of training per year, while the largest percent of VR counselor transition supervisors (over 30%) reported offering 5 to 7 days of training per year. Some supervisors had cross discipline transition training in both special education and rehabilitation counseling. The majority reported having had transition training as part of their own university degree program, during on-the-job training, and by attending conferences/workshops. Nearly 70% of special education transition supervisors noted reading professional journals as sources of transition education, while 35% of rehabilitation supervisors reported reading journals to enhance their transition knowledge and skills (see Table 2).

All of the statewide transition supervisors who participated in this study claimed to have attended state training specific to transition at least once per year. State transition training occurred most often with over 45% of statewide transitions supervisors reporting attending state transition-specific training four or more times per year. Yet more than 15% of supervisors attended state transition training only once per year. Despite reporting attending regional or national transition training less often than state trainings, the majority of supervisors reported attending regional or national transition training twice per year. In contrast, over 10% never attend regional or national transition training. When these data were disaggregated by discipline, nine percent of special educator transition supervisors and 14% of VR counselor transition supervisors reported never having attended regional or national training (see Figures 1 & 2).

Instrumentation

The Qualtrics on-line survey interface was used to construct and distribute the survey instrument to both special education and VR statewide transition supervisors. The Secondary Transition Collaboration Competencies (STCC) survey was developed for this study by synthesizing and expanding upon the research of: Oertle and Seader (2015); Oertle, Trach, and Plotner (2013); Plotner, Trach, and Shogren (2012); Plotner, Trach, and Strauser (2012); Spath, Werrbacri, and Pine (2008); and Thomson, Perry, and Miller (2007); and drawing from the collaboration instruments created by Cashman et al., (2014) and University of Ghent (n.d). The authors reviewed each of the instruments developed and administered in these research projects for use in this study. To be included, the items had to meet at least one of three criteria: (1) match one or more of the components in the operational definition for transition collaboration (Oertle & Seader, p. 8); (2) have established reliability and validity for use in transition research (e.g., Plotner, Trach, & Strauser, 2012); and/or (3) address one or more of the pre-employment transition services named in WIOA (2014).

The survey items were organized in three major sections: (1) demographics; (2) general collaboration activities; and (3) transition-specific collaboration activities. Draft versions of the STCC went through four rounds of revisions while being vetted in the field before data collection began. In the first round, the STCC was reviewed independently by the researchers and edits were made. These edits were then reviewed and discussed together, resulting in a draft version. In the second round, the STCC draft was reviewed by external transition researchers, who offered both written and verbal feedback. Revisions in this round included adding and removing items for comprehensiveness. In the third round, the instrument was piloted with two VR counselor transition supervisors and one special education transition specialist. Each had more than 5 years of transition supervision experience. The pilot testers received the STCC in a Word document version, the Qualtrics link to the STCC survey, and a list of ten specific feedback questions for their consideration. Questions addressed general access and clarity of what was being asked and measured, appropriateness of response options, time required for completion of survey, and ideas for adding or deleting specific items.

The feedback received in this round was used to make revisions including the inclusion/deletion of items for comprehensiveness as well as rewording, renaming, and/or restructuring of items and instructions for clarity and to eliminate redundancy. In the fourth and final round of revisions, the researchers reviewed the survey independently. No additional changes were made at this point. The organization of the survey sections remained the same throughout all reviews.

In the final version of the STCC, the survey had 10 demographic items (gender, age, highest educational level, degree discipline, years of transition experience, years in current position as supervisor, source of transition education, amount of state, regional, and/or national transition training, amount of transition provided to staff) and 74 collaboration items with 4-point Likert-type scale rating options (1 = not-at-all, 2 = little, 3 = moderately, and 4 = typically). Of the 74 collaboration items, 29 were designed to measure general collaborative activities where statewide special education and VR transition supervisors rated the importance, frequency, and preparedness of their staff for these collaboration activities in serving the transition-age population with disabilities. For these rankings, the statewide transition supervisors were to consider:

* How important is the activity for supporting the effectiveness of transition services?

* How frequently do you think the activity is being performed?

* How prepared do you think your staff is to perform the activity?

The remaining 45 items were designed to measure collaboration activities specific to secondary transition where statewide special education and VR transition supervisors rated the importance, frequency, and preparedness of their staff for collaborating on specific secondary transition activities in serving the same population. For these rankings, statewide transition supervisors were to consider:

* How important is collaborating on the activity?

* How frequently do you think collaborating on activity is being performed?

* How prepared do you think your staff is to collaborate in the activity?

Three open-ended sections concluded the survey for statewide transition supervisors to provide data on the transition collaboration policies and practices that motivate, incentivize, and support their staff along with those policies and practices that challenge and/or present barriers to their staff's transition collaboration. These data are being analyzed for future dissemination. Twelve participants who entered our raffle for completing the survey won professional development materials related to transition, i.e., books valued from $30.00-$50.00

Guiding Model

After the STCC survey was developed and disseminated, the SPED- VR Secondary Transition Collaboration Competencies Model (SPED-VR STCCM) (see Figure 3) was designed as the guiding model for this study, based on the literature that was used to craft the survey (see Instrumentation). In the SPED-VR STCCM, transition collaboration is linked to three major latent domains that are supported by 11 latent variables measured by 74 survey items. The authors developed the SPED-VR STCCM based on prior research by expanding the Transition Collaboration Model (TCM) (Oertle & Seader, 2015) to include hypothesized relationships among collaboration guiding principles that are general (e.g., Thomson et al., 2007) and collaboration guiding principles that are essential for effective secondary transition practices (e.g., Luecking & Wittenburg, 2009; Plotner, Trach, & Shogren, 2012; Plotner, Trach, Strauser, 2012; Rowe et al., 2014; Test, Fowler et al., 2009). Further, these collaborative activities were contextualized by performance expectations for the delivery of pre-employment transition services (WIOA, 2014) that must occur across systems for a seamless transition process (e.g., Will, 1984; Halpern, 1985; Halpern, 1992; Noyes & Sax, 2004; Oertle & Seader, 2015; Oertle & Trach, 2007). The SPED-VR STCCM was aligned with the STCC survey items used to guide the data analysis, and organize the study findings. See Table 3 for descriptions of the three major domains and 11 latent variables of the SPED-VR STCCM.

Analysis

The means, percentages, and standard deviations were computed for each of the major domains and latent variables of the SPED-VR STCCM. The reliability for each of these variables was also calculated. The Cronbach's Alpha Coefficients ranged from .69 to .97 indicating high internal consistency of the items that comprised each of the measures (see Tables 4, 5, & 6).

Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test for differences between the two independent statewide transition supervisor groups (special education and rehabilitation counseling) and three independent ranking types (preparedness, importance, frequency) across the three major latent domains for collaboration activities (general, transition, pre-employment transition). One-way ANOVA was used to further test the main effect and Tukey HSD was conducted to further analyze differences through post hoc comparisons. Effect sizes were calculated using eta squared. An eta square of 0.01 is considered a small effect, 0.06 = a medium effect, and 0.14 = a large effect (Cohen, 1988).

Results

Overview

These results are presented in response to Research Question 1 regarding the importance statewide transition supervisors place on collaboration activities for effectiveness in transition service delivery juxtaposed with their staff's performance frequency and their preparedness for these activities (see Tables 4, 5, & 6 and Figures 4 & 5). Generally, statewide transition supervisors rated all of the collaborative activities as important for their staff, yet the percentages and means for the frequency of and preparedness for performance were both consistently lower. For example, a pattern of high rankings of importance for all domains and variables was observed where the mean scores of the 11 latent variables ranged from 3.47 (Interest) to 3.70 (Job Exploration Counseling). As a whole, collaboration on pre-employment transition services (M = 3.66) rated the highest in importance of the three major domains.

For rankings of staff performance frequency and preparation, a parallel pattern of low rankings was observed for all domains and variables with the lowest means for collaboration for effective transition practices. At the latent variable level, the lowest frequency and preparedness rankings were observed for underlying assumptions (i.e., use of evidence-based practices), collaboration with expected partners and collaboration on work-based learning experiences and self-advocacy instruction. Furthermore, staff preparedness for four of the five latent variables for collaboration on pre-employment transition services had mean rankings of less than 3.00 (Moderately). Although the majority of supervisors rated their staff as "Moderately" (41.17%) or "Typically" (34.94%) prepared for general collaboration practices, in all major domains and for all latent variables regardless of domain, some supervisors rated their staff as "Not at all" and "Little " prepared for collaboration. In fact, ratings for "Not at all" prepared ranged from nearly 2% to 6% and "Little " prepared ranged from 18% to over 33%. These patterns indicate, from the statewide transition supervisors' perspective, the transition collaboration training and intervention priorities that go across disciplines and intersect the special education and rehabilitation systems.

Statewide Transition Supervisor Comparison

As previously noted, frequency and preparedness ranked lower than importance in all major domains and across all latent variables. This pattern remained the same when observing the data disaggregated by special education and VR counseling. However, between group differences were observable. The results presented next are in response to Research Question 2, which probed the variations in transition collaboration expectations when comparing the ratings for importance, frequency, and preparedness of statewide special education transition supervisors to those of vocational rehabilitation transition supervisors (see Tables 7, 8, & 9 and Figures 6 & 7).

Ratings for the three major domains comparisons by position title. Both statewide special education and rehabilitation counseling supervisors rated collaboration activities for each of the three major domains as high in importance. But, special education leaders rated all of these domains higher in importance than rehabilitation counseling leaders did. In contrast, and regardless of discipline, transition supervisors largely rated their staff's frequency of performance and preparedness as moderate or below. Highlighting the gaps between importance and preparedness, three quarters of special education transition supervisors and nearly 70% of VR counseling transition supervisors rated collaboration on pre-employment transition services as "Typically" important. However, only 25% of special education transition supervisors and 42% of VR counseling transition supervisors reported their staff as "Typically" prepared to collaborate on activities in this domain.

Rehabilitation counselors' frequency of and preparedness for collaboration were largely rated moderate and were higher than special educators in both the transition-specific and pre-employment transition services domains. Conversely, special educators were reportedly more frequently performing and were more prepared for general collaboration practices. Still, in all three major domains, more than 19% to as many as a third of supervisors rated their staff as "Little " prepared, and ranging from 2% to over 6% of supervisors rated their staff as "Not at all" prepared.

Ratings for the eleven latent variables comparisons by position title. All of the latent variables were rated high for importance by statewide transition supervisors regardless of discipline, although special education supervisors' ratings were higher than VR counseling supervisors' ratings. When observing these data further, transition supervisors' highest importance rankings were for collaboration on essential features for effective transition services and job exploration counseling as part of pre-employment transition services delivery.

The majority of statewide transition supervisors reported their staff's performance frequency and preparedness as moderate (M = 3.00) or below across all latent variables. Special education transition supervisors' staff were most frequently performing general collaboration practices that establish and maintain trust, which is what they were most prepared to do. In contrast, VR counselor transition supervisors rated their staff as most frequently collaborating on job exploration and postsecondary education counseling in the delivery of pre-employment transition services, collaboration activities for which they were most prepared.

Special education transition supervisors' rated their staff as least prepared for collaboration with expected partners and VR supervisors' rated their staff as least prepared for meeting the underlying assumptions of collaboration for effective transition services, i.e., use of evidence-based practices. In addition, more than a quarter of VR transition supervisors rated their staff as "Little" prepared for collaborating on pre-employment transition services such as work-based learning experiences and self-advocacy instruction. And, more than a third of special educator transition supervisors reported their staff as "Little" prepared for collaboration on postsecondary education counseling, social and independent living skills, and self-advocacy instruction. With a high of just over 4%, all of the latent variables had some special educators rated as "Not at all" prepared with the exceptions of collaboration on work-based learning experiences and self-advocacy instruction whereas VR counselors were rated "Not at all" prepared from 3% to more than 7% with no exceptions.

Two-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA): Position title and ranking type. Statewide transition supervisors' mean ratings (1 = not-at-all, 2 = little, 3 = moderately, and 4 = typically) for the collaboration activities of the three major domains (general practices, transition services, and pre-employment transition services) were subject to a 2 X 3 independent groups ANOVA, with position title (special education; rehabilitation counseling) and ranking type (importance; frequency; preparedness) as the two factors (see Table 10). The main effect of ranking type was statistically significant in all three major domains. The effects sizes for ranking type differences were moderate for general collaboration activities ([eta]=0.05) and large for both collaboration for effective transition services ([eta] = 0.19) and collaboration on pre-employment transition services ([eta] = 0.23).

Neither the main effect for position title nor the interaction between position title and ranking type was statistically significant. Although the differences were not statistically significant, small effect sizes were detected for the title/ranking interactions on collaboration for effective transition services ([eta] = 0.01) and pre-employment transition services ([eta] = 0.01). These data provide strong evidence that the ranking types for statewide transition supervisors in special education and rehabilitation counseling were not statistically different.

Supplemental analysis of the main effect of ranking type. To further interpret the main effect of the ranking type differences across major domains, one-way ANOVAs were computed. The main effect of ranking type was considered alone because no main effect or interaction with position title was found. The main effect of ranking type was statistically significant in all three major domains. The effects sizes for mean differences were large. In light of the strong main effect of ranking type and large effect sizes in all major domains, responses by position title should not be interpreted in isolation (see Table 11).

Post hoc comparisons. Tukey HSD was utilized for a post hoc comparison of the main effect of ranking type (importance, frequency, and preparedness) in each major domain. The results of the Tukey HSD test indicated that the mean rankings for importance were significantly higher than frequency or preparedness in all three domains. Yet, when comparing frequency and preparedness, the mean rankings were not significantly different but were found to be nearly identical (see Table 12).

Taken together, these results provide strong evidence of the main effect of ranking type. Specifically, importance rankings for collaboration activities in all three major domains surpassed levels of performance frequency and preparedness of both special educators and VR counselors based on their supervisors' perspectives. Similarly, frequency and preparedness followed a matching pattern of lower rankings. Despite observable discipline differences, position title was not found to have a statistically significant main effect or interaction. These results provide direction from the statewide transition leaders for prioritizing training and interventions for use within and across systems to improve performance preparedness to increase performance frequency.

Discussion

The purpose of this article is to share the perspectives of VR and special education statewide transition supervisors regarding the collaboration activities of their staff (i.e., rehabilitation counselors and special educators, respectively) for effective transition service delivery as measured by (a) importance, (b) frequency, and (c) preparedness. The SPED-VR STCCM, which consists of three major domains and eleven latent variables, was conceptualized based on the existing literature, aligned with the survey items, and guided the analysis (see Figure 3 and Table 3). These transition collaboration findings are offered to inform policy development to support VR counselors' and special educators' use of collaborative practices that improve transition outcomes and to promote the use of the interconnectedness between the frequency of performance and preparedness to inform pre- and in-service transition education and professional development.

The context in which collaboration activities occur appears to matter if the objective of the collaboration is to improve post-secondary outcomes (i.e., employment) (Fabian & Luecking, 2015; Fabian et al., 2016). Based on the results of the current study, personnel preparation with targeted and intentional instruction on collaboration for effective transition practices and on pre-employment transition services using general collaboration practices is critically needed. Building the transition collaboration knowledge and skills of special educators and VR counselors is especially important because of the observable relationship between performance frequency and preparedness.

Limitations

These results and interpretation should be considered within the limitations of the study. By using an on-line survey with a fixed timeframe, the collected data provided information for only a snapshot in time, but did not account for changes in statewide transition supervisors' perspectives over time. Regardless, with the continuation of IDEA (2004), amended Rehabilitation Act (WIOA, 2014), and the five federally funded national TACs, research focused on improving collaboration among special educators and VR counselors for effective transition services is timely. Therefore, the results of this study provide baseline data at a critical point in time from which to further our understandings of transition collaboration while administrators and practitioners in both disciplines adjust their practices to comply with the spirit and regulations of WIOA.

Using relevant professional listservs to invite participation from statewide special education and VR counseling transition supervisors made this research project feasible. Although 72 statewide transition leaders participated in our study, there were statewide transition supervisors who did not, and others who may not have received the invitation with the survey link. In using the listservs in our sampling approach, neither the response rate could be calculated nor were the non-responder data collectable so how similar or different these data were to respondents is unknown.

The length of the survey meant that respondents may have experienced fatigue, which could have impacted their responses as they progressed. Due to the number of variables, a wealth of data was collected. To strengthen validity, these data could be interpreted further to inform the modification of the instrument, and to direct further analysis and research into the construct of transition collaboration among special educators and VR counselors.

Difference in Rankings but Similar Across Disciplines

Despite observable differences, importance, frequency, and preparedness rankings for collaboration activities transcended disciplines. As a whole, statewide transition supervisors largely agreed that general and transition-specific collaboration activities are important but are performed infrequently by their staff who tend to be underprepared. Although there was no statistical difference between VR counseling and special education transition supervisors' responses, importance mean ratings were statistically significantly higher than both performance frequency and preparedness. In other words, transition supervisors consistently ranked these activities as important, but reported that their staff were unprepared and infrequently engaging in collaborative activities for effective transition services delivery. In fact, the majority of transition supervisors felt that their staff were unprepared to engage in activities such as general collaboration or collaboration on pre-employment transition services, but reported staff engagement in these activities anyway. As such, there appears to be a relationship between preparedness and the frequency with which transition professionals engage in collaborative activities that could prove useful for making improvements. Increasing and refining training with specific attention to preparation for collaborative activities may assist professionals to engage in these activities for the delivery of effective transition services. The perspectives of statewide transition supervisors in this study compliment previous research where practitioners reported being underprepared in general for effective transition services delivery (e.g., Benitez et al., 2009; Morgan et al., 2014; Plotner, Trach, & Strauser, 2012; Plotner, Mazzotti, Rose, & Carlson-Britting, 2015).

Areas of Greatest Need

As noted, the majority of statewide transition supervisors rated all three major domains and all eleven latent variables of the SPED-VR STCCM as typically important for effectiveness in secondary transition. However, more than a third of transition supervisors' reported that their staff was little or not at all prepared.

The largest effect sizes and mean differences were detected for importance and preparedness in two major domains: collaboration for effective transition services and collaboration on pre-employment transition services. These are the areas in which transition supervisors perceive their staff to be least prepared. More specifically, four of the 11 latent variables - underlying assumptions in using evidence-based practices; expected partners; work-based learning experiences; self-advocacy instruction - were rated the lowest, and therefore provide research-based targets for designing strategies to increase transition collaboration competencies.

Using evidence-based practices and collaborating with expected partners. In general, the use of evidence-based practices by special educators and VR counselors has been described as being in the early stages and has not yet been widespread (Fitzgerald, Leahy, Kang, Chan, & Bezyak, 2016; Fleming, Del Valle, Kim, & Leahy, 2013; Kensler, Reames, Murray, & Patrick, 2012). For secondary transition services in particular, the development and use of evidence-based practices has been discussed as important for providing seamless transition planning, preparation, and services delivery for some time (see Will, 1986; Halpren, 1992; Hasazi et al., 1999; Kohler, 1993; Rusch & Phelps, 1987). Similar to the results of the current study, previous researchers have found that despite being widely thought of as important, special educators and VR counselors continue to be underprepared to implement evidence-based practices for effective transition services (Mazzotti & Plotner, 2016; Morning-star, Bassett, Kochhar-Bryant, Cashman, & Wehmeyer, 2012; Plotner et al., 2015; Shaw & Dukes, 2013; Test & Cease-Cook, 2012; Test, Fowler et al., 2009).

Many stakeholders may be involved in the transition process, including the student, family, school personnel, adult service providers, social security experts, assistive technology professionals, employers, post-secondary education faculty/counselors, and more. Before effective collaboration with these stakeholders and mandated partners occurs, those leading the efforts must first be aware of the existence of these services and resources, and when and how to access them (e.g., Hasazi et al, 1999; Noyes & Sax, 2004; Oertle & Seader, 2015; Oertle & Trach, 2007; Sax & Noyes, 2008). In the past, special education transition teachers were primarily responsible for initiating these connections; however, with the passage of WIOA, rehabilitation counselors will be increasing their involvement with students who are still in high school. Learning how to reach across the disciplines and communicate effectively is not something that typically happens in our personnel preparation programs, especially related to specific transition collaboration skills and pre-employment transition services. "If interagency collaboration is going to be effective, then dialogue is necessary to gain mutual understanding of goals, outcomes, and assumptions that each of the stakeholders brings to the table" (Sax & Noyes, 2008, p. 163). It is challenging to learn about having a meaningful dialogue, let alone actually having one, when educational programs are designed by discipline, i.e., special education or rehabilitation, and present barriers to working across divisions and departments (Kezar, 2005).

Collaborating on work-based learning experiences and self-advocacy instruction. Under the WIOA legislative mandates (2014), VR counselors are to provide pre-employment transition services that include work-based learning experiences and self-advocacy instruction among other services. These pre-employment transition services have been identified as predictors of positive transition outcomes and considered evidence-based transition practices (e.g., Test, Mazzotti et al., 2009). Despite the demonstrated impact on outcomes, secondary students with disabilities generally do not participate in career development activities including work-based learning experiences (Carter, Trainor, Cakiroglu, Swedeen, & Owens, 2010; Wagner, Newman, Cameto, Levine, & Marder, 2003). Professionals lack preparation to facilitate these experiences for students (Papay & Bambara, 2014) and have limited professional development opportunities to learn how to develop and maintain work-based learning, even in preparation programs specialized in transition (Morgan et al., 2014; Morningstar & Clark, 2003; Morningstar et al, 2008). This noted gap in the knowledge, skills, and abilities of professionals to facilitate work-based learning experiences appears to have far reaching implications. Early work experiences create evidence to reinforce the presumptions of employability. Yet, these presumptions of employability must be held by those involved in transition services along with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop opportunities for work-based learning. The intersection of these beliefs and actions are vital to launch transition-age youth with disabilities on a postsecondary trajectory that includes employment (Luecking, 2009; Oertle & O'Leary, in press). Unfortunately, employment rates provide evidence that the employment of individuals with disabilities is neither widespread nor equitable. In fact, less than 25% of individuals with disabilities, ages 16 to 19, were employed compared to nearly 35% of the same age group without disabilities (United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015). These employment gaps are observed from the start of work and appear to progress with age (e.g., Mann & Wittenburg, 2015) with the largest gaps in employment rates observed among individuals, ages 45 to 54 (Bureau of Labor, 2015).

The importance of promoting the development of self-determination has been discussed in the special education literature since the 1990s (Shogren, 2013). Self-advocacy skills are associated with self-determined behaviors in which individuals with disabilities act with intent and purpose, as causal agents in their lives, and have lives deeply rooted in well-being and inclusion (Shogren, 2013; Wehmeyer,1997; Wehmeyer, 2005). The research of Test, Mazzotti et al., (2009), Test, Fowler et al., (2009), and Test & Cease-Cook (2012) suggests a greater likelihood of postsecondary employment and education for individuals who have stronger self-determination skills and have been supported in making decisions, having self-efficacy, and being a self-advocate. Other researchers have found similar results such as increased self-advocacy skills linked with greater sense of belonging and higher rates of persistence in postsecondary education (Belch, 2004; Braxton, Hirschy, & McClendon, 2011; Fleming, Oertle, Plotner, & Hakun, 2017; Fleming, Oertle, & Plotner, in press; Fleming, Plotner, & Oertle, in press). Likewise, increased self-advocacy skills have been linked with career development and improved rates of postsecondary employment (Izzo & Lamb, 2003; Kilsby & Beyer, 2002; McGlashing-Johnson, Agran, Sitlington, Cavin, & Wehmeyer, 2003; Wehmeyer & Palmer, 2003). The lack of preparation and infrequency of collaboration activities on self-advocacy instruction reported by statewide special education supervisors in the current study are particularly alarming findings given the decades of attention to self-determination and self-advocacy in special education.

This finding is especially troubling because special education literature and practices have been the basis for VR transition practices (Thoma & Sax, 2003).

Recommendations

Mandated by law and identified in the literature as essential, collaboration among VR counselors and special educators has been demonstrated as a necessary activity to improve transition outcomes (e.g., Luecking & Wittenburg, 2009). Core transition competencies and standards have been identified and have been considered essential by experts and practitioners (e.g., Anderson et al., 2003; Plotner, Trach, & Strauser, 2012). Yet until now, no cross-systems competencies specific to transition collaboration have been developed despite repeated mention of the need for training and the numerous attempts to measure the impact of collaboration on transition outcomes (e.g., Fabian & Luecking, 2015; Fabian et al., 2016; Noonan et al., 2012). These findings advance previous contributions by describing the statewide transition supervisors' perspectives on collaboration in the formation of competencies that can be used in training, supervision, and measurement.

Recommendations for Future Research

Collaboration is defined in a variety of ways across many disciplines and offers a vast range of theoretical perspectives; and yet, scholars lack consensus on its meaning and how to measure it accurately (Thomson et al., 2007). It is not surprising that practitioners face frustration in implementing collaborative practices and evaluating them for their effectiveness. Approaching collaboration that has been defined in the context of transition services is a starting point. As the special education and rehabilitation statewide leaders indicated, the knowledge and skills are important and the need for better preparation is clear. Ongoing research and training for rehabilitation counselors and special educators on the importance of collaboration, work-based learning experiences, and self-advocacy skill development to successful transition outcomes for students with disabilities is essential. Although there is evidence supporting the connection between these skills and postsecondary success, more research is needed to solidify our understanding of these relationships to maximize the effects on outcomes (Haber et al., 2016). Furthermore, research into integrating transition competencies training into existing undergraduate special education programs would better prepare special education teachers who often become the transition specialists for their school. They need to develop competencies in areas such as collaboration with parents, other family members, and professionals from other agencies who are essential to a seamless transition.

Research is needed to strengthen specific competencies of VR counselors who are serving transition-age consumers because providing these services is different from offering rehabilitation support to adults. For example, VR services related to the planning and preparation of youth and young adults with disabilities and working with parents/families for secondary transition are often outside the scope of many VR counselor preparation programs. Addressing competencies and including experience for collaborating with educators on postsecondary education, employment, and independent living (Plotner et al., 2014) will better serve transition age consumers as they pursue successful outcomes.

Recommendations for Education and Practice

Despite needing further research, secondary transition competencies for special educators and rehabilitation counselors have been identified (Morgan et al.,2014; Morningstar et al., 2008; Plotner, Trach, & Strauser, 2012). Using the secondary transition competencies that are identified, personnel preparation programs can develop instruction and coursework that assists transition professionals in special education and rehabilitation counseling in developing the competencies necessary to further develop and implement evidence-based practices in secondary transition, especially practices related to collaboration.

Morningstar et al., (2008) found preparation to be associated with greater levels of perceived competence in special educators who finished core transition coursework as part of the graduate studies. Graduate and personnel preparation programs should integrate transition competencies training into existing rehabilitation counseling and special education courses. Special educators and rehabilitation counselors need training in transition competencies such as collaboration, job exploration counseling, and work-based learning experiences to better assist students in transitioning into the adult world. Furthermore, graduate and personnel preparation programs need to address the skills required to effectively collaborate, i.e., facilitating meetings where stakeholders may have different perspectives on what it means to collaborate; identifying shared values; recognizing the differences between the guiding legislation, funding sources, acronyms, etc. and helping to bridge the knowledge and language gaps across the disciplines (Martin, 2005).

Strategies and practices that promote successful interagency collaboration include forming an interagency team or taskforce (Noyes & Sax, 2004), sharing information and leadership responsibilities (Oertle & Seader, 2015), and utilizing a comprehensive and multi-tiered systems of support (Morningstar, 2015; Shogren, 2013). Personnel preparation programs are the primary method for pre-service instruction in best practices for transition service delivery. In order to better prepare special educators and rehabilitation counselors to fulfill their respective roles in successful interagency collaboration, personnel preparation programs should, at the very least, implement core transition coursework in their curricula.

The professional development of statewide transition supervisors in the area of transition services delivery and collaboration needs attention too. The supervisors who participated in this study were highly educated and experienced in transition. However, the majority of supervisors reported on-the-job transition training (85%). In addition, their access to broader perspectives through professional development was limited for some as evidenced by the 15% of statewide transition supervisors who reported attending state transition training only once a year, and the 10% of supervisors who never attended regional or national transition training. Supervisors must stay current on emerging and evidence-based practices because they are not only establishing policies and procedures that impact practices, but, these supervisors are evaluating the impact of these services and delivering transition training to their staff.

Conclusion

As demonstrated through the current findings, and in past research (e.g., Plotner, Trach, & Strauser, 2012), preparedness in secondary transition practices is associated with how often professionals engage in these practices. Based on the research presented here, personnel preparation programs should continue to provide and improve on current discipline-specific and transdisciplinary instruction in effective collaboration practices. The federal mandates related to secondary transition (IDEA, 2004; WIOA, 2014) provide a framework within which agencies can develop and implement effective interagency collaboration practices with expected transition partners (Hasazi et al., 1999; Oertle & Trach, 2007). Interagency collaboration has been determined to be a bedrock principle of the transition planning process (Kohler, 1996) and as such, transition professionals need to have intentional instruction and training on evidence-based practices associated with collaboration. Although more research is needed, an immediate method for improving personnel preparation for transition professionals can be an increase in core transition coursework in special education and rehabilitation counseling programs, and arranged opportunities for aspiring and practicing professionals in these disciplines to interact with each other during their education and training. Leveraging the importance that statewide transition supervisors place on collaboration, cross-systems instruction can be intentionally targeted as an immediate strategy to improve the preparation of special educators and vocational rehabilitation counselors for engaging in transition collaboration activities for effective secondary transition services delivery.

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Kathleen Marie Oertle

Utah State University

Elizabeth Chesley

Utah State University

Caren L. Sax

San Diego State University

Kathleen Marie Oertle, Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322.

Email: kathleen.oertle@usu.edu
Table 1. Sample Demographics

       Variable               Special Education
                                   (n=35)
                                  N   %

Gender
  Mate                            9  25.7
  Female                         26  74.3
Age
  26-35                           3   8.6
  36-45                           6  17.1
  46-55                           9  25.7
  55-65                          15  42.9
  Over 65                         2   5.7
Education
  Bachelor's Degree               0   0.0
  Master's Degree                14  40.0
  Master's Degree plus hours     16  45.7
  Doctoral Degree                 5  14.3
Years of Experience with Transition-Age Population
  Less than 1                     0   0.0
   1 to 4                         1   2.9
   5 to 8                         3   8.6
   9 to 12                        5  14.3
  13 to 16                        5  14.3
  More than 16                   21  60.0
Years in Current Position
  Less than 1                     3   8.6
   1 to 4                        14  40.0
   5 to 8                         9  25.7
   9 to 12                        4  11.4
  13 to 16                        3   8.6
  More than 16                    2   5.7

       Variable               Vocational Rehabilitation   Total
                                    Counseling            (N=72)
                                      (n=37)
                                     N    %               N    %

Gender
  Mate                               5  13.5             14  19.4
  Female                            32  86.5             58  80.6
Age
  26-35                              4  10.8              7   9.7
  36-45                              7  18.9             13  18.0
  46-55                             11  29.7             20  27.8
  55-65                             14  37.8             29  40.3
  Over 65                            1   2.7              3   4.2
Education
  Bachelor's Degree                  5  13.5              5   6.9
  Master's Degree                   12  32.4             26  36.1
  Master's Degree plus hours        20  54.0             36  50.0
  Doctoral Degree                    0   0.0              5   6.9
Years of Experience with Transition-Age Population
  Less than 1                        1   2.7              1   1.4
  1 to 4                             7  18.9              8  11.1
  5 to 8                             1   2.7              4   5.6
  9 to 12                            8  21.6             13  18.1
  13 to 16                           4  10.8              0  12.5
  More than 16                      16  43.2             37  51.2
Years in Current Position
  Less than 1                        4  10.8              7   9.7
  1 to 4                            12  32.4             26  36.1
  5 to 8                             5  13.5             14  19.4
  9 to 12                           10  27.0             14  19.4
  13 to 16                           2   5.4              5   6.9
  More than 16                       4  10.8              6   8.3

Table 2. Statewide Transition Supervisors and Transition-Specific
Professional Development

           Variable                    Special
                                      Education
                                       (n=35)
                                       n     %

Supervisor Provided Staff Transition Training
  Less than 1 day                      1   2.9
  2 to 4 days                         11  31.4
  5 to 7 days                          4  11.4
  8 to 10 days                         4  11.4
  11 or more days                     15  42.9
Sources for Supervisor Transition Knowledge and Skills Development
During university/college training
for degree in:
    Rehabilitation                     7  20
    Special Education                 18  51.4
Attending conferences, workshops,
and local trainings                   31  88.6
Reading professional journals         24  68.6
Training on-the-job                   33  94.3
Written-in by participants:            5  14.2
  * Asking questions of those in the
    field
  * Developing skills through
    professional experiences
  * Conducting research
  * Searching the Internet and
    websites

           Variable                 Vocational Rehabilitation   Total
                                           Counseling          (N=72)
                                             (n=37)
                                            n    %              N    %

Supervisor Provided Staff Transition Training
  Less than 1 day                           9  24.3            10  13.8
   2 to 4 days                              5  13.5            16  22.2
   5 to 7 days                             12  32.4            16  22.2
   8 to 10 days                             5  13.5             9  12.5
  11 or more days                           6  16.2            21  29.2

Sources for Supervisor Transition Knowledge and Skills Development
During university/college training
for degree in:
    Rehabilitation                         16  43.2            23  31.9
    Special Education                       3   8.1            21  29.2
Attending conferences, workshops,
and local trainings                        28  75.7            59  81.9
Reading professional journals              13  35.1            37  51.4
Training on-the-job                        28  75.7            61  84.7
Written-in by participants:                 4  10.8             9  12.5
  * Asking questions of those
    in the field
  * Developing skills through
    professional experiences
  * Conducting research
  * Searching the Internet and
    websites

Table 3. SPED-VR Secondary Transition Collaboration Competencies
Model: Major Domains and Latent Variables Descriptions

Major Domain Latent                      Description
Variables
Guiding Principles of   Essential components and activities pertaining
General Collaboration   to relationships, communication, and procedural
Practices               frameworks that are generally applied when
                        effectively working together within and/or
Leadership              across disciplines Structures for shared
                        mission/vision including
                        roles/responsibilities, communications and
                        information sharing, and meeting format
                        Processes for joint decision-making including
                        brainstorming, listening, dialogue, and
                        consensus building Mechanism for
                        accountability including quality assessment.
                        performance improvement, evidence-based actions
Trust                   Truth-telling through information sharing,
                        clarifying, and questioning
                        Follow-through that is consistent and
                        on-going, timely, and meet the common goals
                        and shared vision Consequences due to
                        difficulties and challenges, identified
                        gaps, and areas of need are addressed
                        collectively with appreciation and respectful
                        actions
Interest                Collective interest is contributed with a
                        shared vision, established framework and
                        common goals in formal agreements
                        Organizational self-interest is balanced with
                        collective interest and strategies are used to
                        address hindrances Benefit/challenge payoff is
                        documented within agreements
                        emphasizing combined/shared incentives,
                        resources, and professional development
Guiding Principles of   Essential components and activities that are
Effective Transition    applied within and/or across disciplines in
Practices               the delivery of postsecondary outcomes-based
                        secondary transition services
Underlying              Using/evaluating evidence-based practices
Assumptions             generated through research along with
                        evaluating the impact on outcomes
Expected Partners       Involving students, their parents/families,
                        employers, school guidance counselors,
                        community rehabilitation providers.
                        and centers for independent living
Essential Features      Organizing to share transition resources and
                        services and fund and staff transition
                        services under established responsibilities
                        for planning and services provided through
                        participation in state, local, and individual
                        transition planning activities
                        Planning that includes assisting students with
                        career goal setting, linking secondary
                        academics with transition goals
                        and outcomes, and various planning tools with
                        legislatively mandated planning processes,
                        e.g., ILP, ICAP, ICP, IEP, IPE. ITP
Job Exploration         Assessing students' employment interests,
Counseling              matching students' preferences and skills with
                        job requirements Assessing career and
                        employment trends and understanding
                        employers' needs
                        Assessing students bv conducting
                        non-standardized career counseling and ensuring
                        participation in career and technical education
Work-Based Learning     Supporting students by coordinating work study
Experiences             programs, other work-based learning, and paid
Postsecondary           work experiences Preparing students by sharing
Education Counseling    postsecondary resources and coordinating with
                        admissions and disability services personnel
Social Skills and       Assessing students' strengths and needs in
Independent Living      postsecondary settings and analyzing secondary
Related to Workplace    support services for beneficial carry over
Readiness               Preparing students by providing social skills
                        training Supporting students by identifying
                        and developing natural supports,
                        accommodations, and assistive technology
                        resources along with counseling
Self-Advocacy           Preparing students and their families for
Instruction             postsecondary life with culturally appropriate
                        opportunities to development and use of
                        self-determination and self-advocacy skills

Table 4. Aggregate Data for Importance Ratings

Major Domain and Latent Variables                  M    SD   [alpha]

General Collaboration Practices                  3.50  0.71    0.97
  Trust                                          3.55  0.70    0.95
  Leadership                                     3.48  0.73    0.94
  Interest                                       3.47  0.70    0.90
Collaboration for Effective Transition Services  3.60  0.66    0.95
  Essential Features                             3.65  0.64    0.92
  Underlying Assumptions                         3.56  0.65    0.78
  Expected Partners                              3.51  0.69    0.85
Collaboration on Pre-Employment Transition
Services                                         3.66  0.58    0.95
  Job Exploration Counseling                     3.70  0.56    0.88
  Work-Based Learning Experiences                3.64  0.60    0.95
  Social and Independent Living Skills           3.64  0.59    0.87
  Self-Advocacy Instruction                      3.64  0.57    0.90
  Postsecondary Education Counseling             3.60  0.61    0.74

Major Domain and Latent Variables                Not At All %  Little %

General Collaboration Practices                       1.72       7.37
  Trust                                               1.79       6.17
  Leadership                                          2.04       7.73
  Interest                                            1.20       8.37
Collaboration for Effective Transition Services       1.30       5.64
  Essential Features                                  1.35       4.78
  Underlying Assumptions                              0.98       5.88
  Expected Partners                                   1.29       7.42
Collaboration on Pre-Employment Transition
Services                                              0.16       5.12
  Job Exploration Counseling                          0.23       4.32
  Work-Based Learning Experiences                     0.00       6.54
  Social and Independent Living Skills                0.23       5.31
  Self-Advocacy Instruction                           0.00       4.49
  Postsecondary Education Counseling                  0.00       6.58

Major Domain and Latent Variables                Moderately %

General Collaboration Practices                      30.10
  Trust                                              26.95
  Leadership                                         30.76
  Interest                                           33.07
Collaboration for Effective Transition Services      24.61
  Essential Features                                 21.08
  Underlying Assumptions                             29.41
  Expected Partners                                  30.65
Collaboration on Pre-Employment Transition
Services                                             23.60
  Job Exploration Counseling                         20.45
  Work-Based Learning Experiences                    23.36
  Social and Independent Living Skills               24.48
  Self-Advocacy Instruction                          26.92
  Postsecondary Education Counseling                 26.97

Major Domain and Latent Variables                Typically %

General Collaboration Practices                      60.81
  Trust                                              65.10
  Leadership                                         59.48
  Interest                                           57.37
Collaboration for Effective Transition Services      68.46
  Essential Features                                 72.80
  Underlying Assumptions                             63.73
  Expected Partners                                  60.65
Collaboration on Pre-Employment Transition
Services                                             71.12
  Job Exploration Counseling                         75.00
  Work-Based Learning Experiences                    70.09
  Social and Independent Living Skills               69.98
  Self-Advocacy Instruction                          68.59
  Postsecondary Education Counseling                 66.45

Note. The latent variables under each major domain are displayed from
highest to lowest mean.

Table 5 Aggregate Data for Frequency Ratings

Major Domain and Latent Variables                 M     SD   [alpha]

General Collaboration Practices                  3.06  0.83   0.96
  Trust                                          3.11  0.81   0.92
  Interest                                       3.06  0.82   0.88
  Leadership                                     3.01  0.86   0.91
Collaboration for Effective Transition Services  2.94  0.90   0.91
  Essential Features                             3.07  0.90   0.86
  Underlying Assumptions                         2.79  0.85   0.82
  Expected Partners                              2.71  0.86   0.78
Collaboration on Pre-Employment Transition
Services                                         2.99  0.82   0.93
  Job Exploration Counseling                     3.12  0.82   0.82
  Postsecondary Education Counseling             2.95  0.83   0.72
  Social and Independent Living Skills           2.94  0.81   0.85
  Self-Advocacy Instruction                      2.88  0.79   0 69
  Work-Based Learning Experiences                2.86  0.81   0.79

Major Domain and Latent Variables                Not At All %  Little %

General Collaboration Practices                      3.44        21.59
  Trust                                              2.93        18.86
  Interest                                           2.99        21.96
  Leadership                                         4.23        23.76
Collaboration for Effective Transition Services      4.97        28.27
  Essential Features                                 4.91        22.02
  Underlying Assumptions                             3.92        36.27
  Expected Partners                                  5.45        39.10
Collaboration on Pre-Employment Transition
Services                                             1.47        29.46
  Job Exploration Counseling                         1 59        23.18
  Postsecondary Education Counseling                 1.96        31.37
  Social and Independent Living Skills               0.92        33.18
  Self-Advocacy Instruction                          2.56        29.49
  Work-Based Learning Experiences                    0.93        37.38

Major Domain and Latent Variables                Moderately %

General Collaboration Practices                      40.62
  Trust                                              42.28
  Interest                                           40.92
  Leadership                                         38.92
Collaboration for Effective Transition Services      34.35
  Essential Features                                 34.23
  Underlying Assumptions                             36.27
  Expected Partners                                  33.97
Collaboration on Pre-Employment Transition
Services                                             37.60
  Job Exploration Counseling                         36.59
  Postsecondary Education Counseling                 36.60
  Social and Independent Living Skills               36.64
  Self-Advocacy Instruction                          44.87
  Work-Based Learning Experiences                    36.45

Major Domain and Latent Variables                Typically %

General Collaboration Practices                     34.35
  Trust                                             35.93
  Interest                                          34.13
  Leadership                                        33.09
Collaboration for Effective Transition Services     32.41
  Essential Features                                38.84
  Underlying Assumptions                            23.53
  Expected Partners                                 21.47
Collaboration on Pre-Employment Transition
Services                                            31.47
  Job Exploration Counseling                        38.64
  Postsecondary Education Counseling                30.07
  Social and Independent Living Skills              29.26
  Self-Advocacy Instruction                         23.08
  Work-Based Learning Experiences                   25.23

Note. The latent variables under each major domain arc displayed from
highest in lowest mean.

Table 6 Aggregate Data for Preparedness Ratings

Major Domain and Latent Variables                 M     SD   [alpha]

General Collaboration Practices                  3.08  0.83    0.97
  Trust                                          3.13  0.81    0.93
  Interest                                       3.04  0.84    0.89
  Leadership                                     3.05  0.83    0.91
Collaboration for Effective Transition Services  2.96  0.90    0.92
  Essential Features                             3.06  0.89    0.88
  Expected Partners                              2.81  0.89    0.80
  Underlying Assumptions                         2.76  0.85    0.86
Collaboration on Pre-Employment Transition
Services                                         3.01  0.85    0.94
  Job Exploration Counseling                     3.14  0.83    0.84
  Postsecondary Education Counseling             2.99  0.88    0.81
  Social and Independent Living Skills           2.97  0.87    0.86
  Work-Based Learning Experiences                2.92  0.83    0.97
  Self-Advocacy Instruction                      2.88  0.79    0.73

Major Domain and Latent Variables                Not At All %  Little %

General Collaboration Practices                      3.39       20.50
  Trust                                              2.93       18.08
  Interest                                           3.59       22.36
  Leadership                                         3.65       21.31
Collaboration for Effective Transition Services      5.54       25.74
  Essential Features                                 5.37       21.16
  Expected Partners                                  5.79       33.44
  Underlying Assumptions                             5.88       32.35
Collaboration on Pre-Employment Transition
Services                                             2.64       27.39
  Job Exploration Counseling                         2.27       21.82
  Postsecondary Education Counseling                 3.92       26.80
  Social and Independent Living Skills               2.77       31.18
  Work-Based Learning Experiences                    2.80       29.91
  Self-Advocacy Instruction                          1.92       31.41

Major Domain and Latent Variables                Moderately %

General Collaboration Practices                      41.17
  Trust                                              42.02
  Interest                                           40.12
  Leadership                                         41.17
Collaboration for Effective Transition Services      35.98
  Essential Features                                 35.92
  Expected Partners                                  34.41
  Underlying Assumptions                             41.18
Collaboration on Pre-Employment Transition
Services                                             36.00
  Job Exploration Counseling                         35.91
  Postsecondary Education Counseling                 35.29
  Social and Independent Living Skills               32.79
  Work-Based Learning Experiences                    40.19
  Self-Advocacy Instruction                          42.95

Major Domain and Latent Variables                Typically %

General Collaboration Practices                     34.94
  Trust                                             36.97
  Interest                                          33.93
  Leadership                                        33.87
Collaboration for Effective Transition Services     32.75
  Essential Features                                37.56
  Expected Partners                                 26.37
  Underlying Assumptions                            20.59
Collaboration on Pre-Employment Transition
Services                                            33.98
  Job Exploration Counseling                        40.00
  Postsecondary Education Counseling                33.99
  Social and Independent Living Skills              33.26
  Work-Based Learning Experiences                   27.10
  Self-Advocacy Instruction                         23.72

Note. The latent variables under each major domain are displayed from
highest to lowest mean.

Table 7. Statewide Transition Supervisors' Importance Ratings

Major Domain and Latent                     Special Education
                                             NAA   Little   Mod.   Typ.
Variables                         M     SD    %      %       %      %

General Collaboration
Practices                        3.54  0.53  1.78   5.81   25.15  67.26
  Leadership                     3.57  0.71  2.49   5.30   24.61  67.60
  Trust                          3.62  0.68  2.10   5.24   21.33  71.33
  Interest                       3.54  0.65  0.42   7.20   30.51  61.86
Collaboration for Effective
Transition Services              3.70  0.39  1.36   4.29   20.27  74.07
  Underlying Assumptions         3 69  0.62  2.08   2.08   20.83  75.00
  Expected Partners              3.51  0.73  2.70   6.08   28.38  62.84
  Essential Features             3.74  0.55  0.63   3.79   16.40  79.18
                                 3.71  0.31  0.33   3.59   21.04  75.04
Collaboration on Pre-Employment
Transition
Services
  Job Exploration Counseling     3.76  0.52  0.48   2.87   16.75  79.90
  Work-Based Learning
  Experiences                    3.73  0.53  0.00   3.85   19.23  76.92
  Postsecondary Education
  Counseling                     3.65  0.61  0.00   7.04   21.13  71.83
  Social and Independent
  Living Skills                  3.66  0.59  0.49   4.37   24.27  70.87
  Self-Advocacy Instruction      3.75  0.44  0.00   0.00   25.33  74.67

Major Domain and Latent           Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling
                                             NAA   Little   Mod.  Typ.
Variables                         M     SD     %     %       %      %

General Collaboration
Practices                        3.38  0.56  1.66   8.74   34.44  55.15
  Leadership                     3.39  0.73  1.64   9.86   36.16  52.33
  Trust                          3.50  0.69  1.52   6.97   31.82  59.70
  Interest                       3.40  0.74  1.88   9.40   35.34  53.38
Collaboration for Effective
Transition Services              3.55  0.37  1.23   6.87   28.52  63.38
  Underlying Assumptions         3.44  0.66  0.00   9.26   37.04  53.70
  Expected Partners              3.50  0.65  0.00   8.64   32.72  58.64
  Essential Features             3.57  0.69  1.99   5.68   25.28  67.05
                                 3.60  0.36  0.00   6.52   25.93  67.56
Collaboration on Pre-Employment
Transition
Services
  Job Exploration Counseling     3.65  0.58  0.00   5.63   23.81  70.56
  Work-Based Learning
  Experiences                    3.55  0.66  0.00   9.09   27.27  63.64
  Postsecondary Education
  Counseling                     3.56  0.61  0.00   6.17   32.10  61.73
  Social and Independent
  Living Skills                  3.63  0.60  0.00   6.17   24.67  69.16
  Self-Advocacy Instruction      3.54  0.65  0.00   8.64   28.40  62.96

Note. M = Mean; SD = Standard Deviation;
NAA = Not At All. Mod. = Moderately, Typ. = Typically

Table 8. Statewide Transition Supervisors' Frequency Ratings

                                            Special Education
Major Domain and Latent                      NAA   Little   Mod.  Typ.
Variables                         M     SD    %      %       %      %

General Collaboration
Practices                        3.13  0.55  2.61   18.65  41.33  37.41
  Leadership                     3.06  0.83  3.12   22.12  40.19  34.58
  Trust                          3.21  0.78  2.46   14.74  41.75  41.05
  Interest                       3.14  0.79  2.12   18.64  42.37  36.86
Collaboration for Effective
Transition Services              2.89  0.52  4.83   28.76  34.36  32.05
  Underlying Assumptions         2.88  0.87  4.17   31.25  37.50  27.08
  Expected Partners              2.63  0.81  5.33   42.00  36.67  16.00
  Essential Features             3.09  0.90  4.69   22.19  32.81  40.31
Collaboration on Pre-Employment
Transition
Services                         2.91  0.44  0.81   31.43  42.67  25.08
  Job Exploration Counseling     3.06  0.80  1.91   22.97  42.11  33.01
  Work-Based Learning
  Experiences                    2.87  0.74  0.00   34.62  44.23  21.15
  Postsecondary Education
  Counseling                     2.81  0.78  0.00   41.67  36.11  22.22
  Social and Independent
  Living Skills                  2.84  0.75  0.49   35.92  42.72  20.87
  Self-Advocacy Instruction      2.89  0.71  0.00   30.67  49.33  20.00

                                   Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling
Major Domain and Latent                      NAA   Little  Mod.   Typ.
Variables                         M     SD    %      %      %      %

General Collaboration
Practices                        2.96  0.59  4.17   24.17  40.00  31.67
  Leadership                     2.96  0.88  5.21   25.21  37.81  31.78
  Trust                          3.02  0.82  3.33   22.42  42.73  31.52
  Interest                       2.99  0.85  3.77   24.91  39.62  31.70
Collaboration for Effective
Transition Services              2.98  0.57  5.11   27.82  34.33  32.75
  Underlying Assumptions         2.72  0.83  3.70   40.74  35.19  20.37
  Expected Partners              2.79  0.90  5.56   36.42  31.48  26.54
  Essential Features             3.05  0.89  5.11   21.88  35.51  37.50
Collaboration on Pre-Employment
Transition
Services                         3.07  0.51  2.07   27.66  32.99  37.28
  Job Exploration Counseling     3.18  0.83  1.30   23.38  31.60  43.72
  Work-Based Learning
  Experiences                    2.85  0.87  1.82   40.00  29.09  29.09
  Postsecondary Education
  Counseling                     3.07  0.86  3.70   22.22  37.04  37.04
  Social and Independent
  Living Skills                  3.04  0.85  1.32   30.70  31.14  36.84
  Self-Advocacy Instruction      2.88  0.86  4.94   28.40  40.74  25.93

Note. M =- Mean; SD = Standard Deviation;
NAA = Not At All, Mod. = Moderately, Typ. = Typically

Table 9. Statewide Transition Supervisors' Preparedness Ratings

                                        Special Education
Major Domain and Latent                   NAA   Little  Mod.   Typ.
Variables                      M     SD    %      %       %      %

General Collaboration
Practices                     3.10  0.64  2.61   21.26  37.41  38.72
  Leadership                  3.10  0.84  3.12   21.50  38.01  37.38
  Trust                       3.18  0.82  2.46   18.95  37.19  41.40
  Interest                    3.09  0.83  2.12   23.73  36.86  37.29
Collaboration for Effective
Transition Services           2.89  0.54  4.25   29.34  36.10  30.31
  Underlying Assumptions      2.90  0.83  4.17   27.08  43.75  25.00
  Expected Partners           2.69  0.86  4.67   42.67  31.33  21.33
  Essential Features          3.04  0.87  4.06   23.44  37.19  35.31
Collaboration on Pre-
Employment Transition
Services                      2.87  0.50  1.79   33.39  39.58  25.24
  Job Exploration Counseling  3.01  0.82  1.44   28.23  37.80  32.54
  Work-Based Learning
  Experiences                 2.90  0.72  0.00   30.77  48.08  21.15
  Postsecondary Education
  Counseling                  2.76  0.85  4.17   37.50  36.11  22.22
  Social and Independent
  Living Skills               2.80  0.81  2.43   37.38  37.86  22.33
  Self-Advocacy Instruction   2.84  0.87  0.00   34.67  46.67  18.67

                               Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling
Major Domain and Latent                   NAA   Little   Mod.  Typ.
Variables                      M     SD    %      %       %      %

General Collaboration
Practices                     2.99  0.57  4.07   19.83  44.47  31.63
  Leadership                  3.01  0.83  4.12   21.15  43.96  30.77
  Trust                       3.25  0.83  3.34   17.33  46.20  33.13
  Interest                    3.00  0.85  4.91   21.13  43.02  30.94
Collaboration for Effective
Transition Services           3.05  0.59  6.71   22.44  35.87  34.98
  Underlying Assumptions      2.93  0.92  7.41   37.04  38.89  16.67
  Expected Partners           2.93  0.92  6.83   24.84  37.27  31.06
  Essential Features          3.07  0.92  6.55   19.09  34.76  39.60
Collaboration on Pre-
Employment Transition
Services                      3.14  0.56  3.41   21.93  32.74  41.93
  Job Exploration Counseling  3.25  0.83  3.03   16.02  34.20  46.75
  Work-Based Learning
  Experiences                 2.93  0.92  5.45   29.09  32.73  32.73
  Postsecondary Education
  Counseling                  3.20  0.86  3.70   17.28  34.57  44.44
  Social and Independent
  Living Skills               3.11  0.89  3.08   25.55  28.19  43.17
  Self-Advocacy Instruction   2.93  0.85  3.70   28.40  39.51  28.40

Note. M = Mean; SD = Standard Deviation;
NAA = Not At All, Mod. = Moderately. Typ. = Typically

Table 10. Comparisons of Major Domains by Position title and Ranking
Type

Major Domain           Source                   Df   SS     MS    F
General Collaboration  Position title (PT)        1   0.41  0.41   1.23

Practices
                       Ranking Type (RT)          2   4.09  2.04   6.12
                       Interaction (PT (*) RT)    2   0.04  0.02   0.05
                       Residual                 204  68.13  0.33
                       Total                    209  72.67
Collaboration for      Position title (PT)        1   0.29  0.29   1.12
Effective Transition
Services
                       Ranking Type (RT)          2  11.65  5.83  22.63
                       Interaction (PT (*) RT)    2   0.73  0.37   1.43
                       Residual                 166  42.46  0.26
                       Total                    171  54.47
Collaboration on Pre-
Employment
Transition Services    Position title (PT)        1   0.15  0.15   0.73
                       Ranking Type (RT)          2  12.04  6.02  28.97
                       Interaction (PT (*) RT)    2   1.05  0.52   2.53
                       Residual                 166  34.29  0.21
                       Total                    171  47.53

Major Domain           Source                   p         [eta]
General Collaboration  Position title (PT)      0.27      0.00

Practices
                       Ranking Type (RT)        0.00 (*)  0.05
                       Interaction (PT (*) RT)  0.95      0.00
                       Residual
                       Total
Collaboration for      Position title (PT)      0.29      0.00
Effective Transition
Services
                       Ranking Type (RT)        0.00 (*)  0.19
                       Interaction (PT (*) RT)  0.24      0.01
                       Residual
                       Total
Collaboration on Pre-
Employment
Transition Services    Position title (PT)      0.39      0.00
                       Ranking Type (RT)        0.00 (*)  0.23
                       Interaction (PT (*) RT)  2.52      0.01
                       Residual
                       Total

Note. (*) p < 0.01; Position title (PT) = Statewide transition
supervisors of special educators or VR counselors;
Ranking Type (RT) = Importance, Frequency, or Preparedness

Table 11. Comparisons of Major Domains Ranking Types

Major Domain                     Ranking Type  Mean  SD    F

General Collaboration Practices  Importance    3.50  0.71  12.04
                                 Frequency     3.06  0.83
                                 Preparedness  3.08  0.83
                                 Total         3.21  0.79
Collaboration for Effective
Transition Services              Importance    3.60  0.66  32.41
                                 Frequency     2.94  0.90
                                 Preparedness  2.96  0.90
                                 Total         3.16  0.82
Collaboration on Pre-Employment
Transition Services              Importance    3.66  0.58  37.43
                                 Frequency     2.99  0.82
                                 Preparedness  3.01  0.85
                                 Total         3.22  0 75

Major Domain                     Ranking Type  p         [eta]

General Collaboration Practices  Importance    .000 (*)  0.10
                                 Frequency
                                 Preparedness
                                 Total
Collaboration for Effective
Transition Services              Importance    .000 (*)  0.28
                                 Frequency
                                 Preparedness
                                 Total
Collaboration on Pre-Employment
Transition Services              Importance    .000 (*)  0.31
                                 Frequency
                                 Preparedness
                                 Total

Note: df = (2, 207; 2, 168; 2, 168, respectively); (*) p < 0.01

Table 12. Post hoc Comparisons of Ranking Types for Major
Collaboration Activities Domains

            Major Domain      Ranking Comparisons     Mean Difference

General Collaboration
Practices                    Frequency-Importance         -0.417 (*)
                             Preparedness-Importance      -0.414 (*)
                             Preparedness-Frequency        0.002
Collaboration for Effective
Transition Services          Frequency-Importance         -0.679 (*)
                             Preparedness-Importance      -0.645 (*)
                             Preparedness-Frequency        0.034
Collaboration on
Pre-Employment
Transition Services          Frequency-Importance         -0.656 (*)
                             Preparedness-Importance      -0.641 (*)
                             Preparedness-Frequency        0.015

            Major Domain          Ranking Comparisons       p

General Collaboration Practices  Frequency-Importance     0.000
                                 Preparedness-Importance  0.000
                                 Preparedness-Frequency   1.000
Collaboration for Effective
Transition Services              Frequency-Importance     0.000
                                 Preparedness-Importance  0.000
                                 Preparedness-Frequency   0.933
Collaboration on Pre-Employment
Transition Services              Frequency-Importance     0.000
                                 Preparedness-Importance  0.000
                                 Preparedness-Frequency   0.983

Note: (*) The mean difference is significant at the .001 level
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Article Details
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Author:Oertle, Kathleen Marie; Chesley, Elizabeth; Sax, Caren L.
Publication:The Journal of Rehabilitation
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2017
Words:14249
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