Student Transitions: Part 1 of SRI Education’s 3-Part Summer Newsletter Series on Transitions

Graphic of diverse hands with palm in the heart of each one

Welcome to Part 1 of SRI Education’s 3-Part Summer Newsletter Series on Transitions

Graphic of diverse hands with palm in the heart of each one

During the summer, we look forward to students moving to the next stage in their journeys—from preschool to kindergarten, middle school to high school, or high school to college or careers. We think of these transitions as joyous moments of continuation and growth, as students progress toward success in school and life. But we know it’s not the experience for all students and families, for many reasons.

Summer should be a time to celebrate children’s transitions and graduations, yet recent tragedies remind us that we adults need to do better to ensure all students are safe and have bright futures.

Transitions are not always equitable or engaging for all students. Many students, especially those who have been historically marginalized or underserved, can be left behind or experience negative academic, social, psychological, or physiological outcomes.

SRI Education’s research continues to focus on ways to strengthen these critically important transitions so that all students feel supported and ready to move forward. In this newsletter, we highlight some of our ongoing projects and recent findings and resources about student transitions.

Since transitions are such a crucial part of students’ lives, we are delivering our summer newsletter as a three-part series. This way, we can bring you a wide range of resources you can use or share to promote equitable and inclusive transitions.

This June installment focuses on transitions for students with disabilities. Look for a second newsletter in July with highlights and resources for students transitioning to college or careers. Finally, in August, our third newsletter will address early learning transitions. Be sure to catch them all.

Transitions for Students With Disabilities

Students with disabilities experience a variety of transitions throughout their academic journeys. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act recognizes the importance of facilitating successful transitions for students with disabilities. That law has a clearly stated purpose: the provision of special education and services to prepare students with disabilities for further education, employment, and independent living.

SRI Education has a long history of innovation and excellence in conducting research on supporting successful transitions for students with disabilities across the age spectrum. We pioneered the first study to produce national information about the transition of students with disabilities from secondary school to young adulthood and disseminated several publications on the policy implications for supporting students with disabilities. We continue to be active leaders in the field.

Here are some of our current projects that facilitate and broaden successful transitions for students with disabilities.

  • SRI Education researchers are pinpointing the high school experiences linked to more successful postsecondary transition outcomes for multilingual learners with disabilities. Check out a recent publication about our study.
  • SRI Education researchers are also studying three aspects of self-determination—autonomy, empowerment, and self-realization—for multilingual learners with disabilities and the effects of self-determination on the postsecondary enrollment of those students.
  • SRI Education researchers are teaming with the University of Oklahoma to create a new assessment tool to help educators ensure students with significant cognitive disabilities graduate from high school with the skills they need to be successful. Through this tool, students will be directly involved in setting their own transition goals.
  • SRI researchers are also partnering with another research organization on the most recent iteration of the National Longitudinal Transition Study—NLTS 2012. This important study will provide policymakers, researchers, and practitioners with valuable information on the high school completion, college and career readiness, and postsecondary education and employment experiences of high school students with disabilities as they transition to young adulthood.

Also visit SRI Education’s Student Behavior Blog, where you can find a wealth of strategies and insights on supporting students’ mental health and well-being as they transition to new learning environments, grades, or developmental levels.

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