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Educational Leaders Preparing Students with Disabilities for Postsecondary Endeavors in the Coastal Region of a South Atlantic State: A Case Study Open Access

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Community integration and involvement is the overarching goal in planning for the transition from high school to adulthood for students with disabilities. The provision of a continuum of services, based on each student's individual needs is, the cornerstone of special education and transition services. The focus of this study was on how educational leaders in the coastal region of a South Atlantic state ensure that the transition requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) are implemented. The study included the identification of specific methods and practices used in that region. The researcher, driven by a desire to know more about the uniqueness of the case, interviewed educational leaders including school-based administrators, a division-based administrator, and a guidance counselor. Information was collected by surveying transition coordinators (N = 64) from the school divisions in the coastal region of a South Atlantic state with regard to career and vocational opportunities offered in the school divisions, transition planning practices within the school divisions, and the demographics of the participants. The researcher solicited the opinions of the participants concerning their knowledge base and their division transition practices. The researcher reviewed archival documents maintained at the state level pertaining to transition practices and transition outcomes for each school division included in the study. This was an intrinsic case study focusing on a specific group that is unique in geographic location, organization, and collaboration. The study was not intended to extend theory. The findings from the study identified (a) the proficiency of educational leaders in regard to their knowledge of transition practices and service delivery in their respective schools or school divisions, (b) the perceived education and training needs for educational leaders with regard to the transition practices and service delivery in their respective schools or school divisions, and (c) the specific transition practices and service delivery models utilized by the region's school divisions when reporting on the state indicators. Additionally, the findings added to the current research addressing a variety of approaches to transition planning for students with disabilities. 

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