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Title:The implementation of state-level policies designed to enhance the transition of individuals with disabilities from school to adult life
Author(s):Wermuth, Thomas R.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):DeStefano, Lizanne
Department / Program:Education
Discipline:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Education, Special
Political Science, Public Administration
Education, Vocational
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to explain processes and strategies utilized by states to implement transition policies designed to facilitate coordination of the state-level service delivery systems of special education, vocational education, and vocational rehabilitation. The analysis framework used in this study was developed by Elmore (1985, 1987) and refined by McDonnell and Elmore (1987). The policy problem presented by the transition initiative provides an ideal opportunity to not only explain the implementation instruments used across state-level agencies focusing on a single issue but also test the use of McDonnell and Elmore's (1987) typology as a viable research framework.
To complete this study, available policy documents were solicited from three states that received federal State Systems for Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities grants in 1991. Thematic content analysis of the policy documents obtained from the sample states was then conducted. Additionally, interviews with individuals managing the State Systems for Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities grants and other key stakeholders from the systems of special education, vocational education, and vocational rehabilitation were conducted using a snowball informant technique.
Six conclusions have been identified including: (a) system change appears to occur incrementally: (b) states use varying definitions of policy instruments; (c) states rely on past practice when implementing transition policies; (d) there is evidence of structural resistance within states to implement system change policies: (e) states implement symbolic policy instruments; and (f) capacity building appears linked to system change.
Five recommendations are made to assist policymakers, administrators, and program developers in implementing policy instruments to integrate the systems of special education, vocational education, and vocational rehabilitation. Recommendations include: (a) implement specific interagency policies; (b) link system change to capacity building actions; (c) conduct cross-discipline training; (d) provide state-level technical assistance; and (e) extend evaluation beyond student outcome data.
Issue Date:1995
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/20840
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Wermuth, Thomas R.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543767
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543767


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