About Moving Transition Forward

Moving Transition Forward

Moving Transition Forward: Exploration of College-based and Conventional Transition Practices for Students with Intellectual Disability and Autism (ID/A) project will examine the composition and impact of existing transition practices via secondary analysis of two national datasets. This three-phase study will define, explore, and compare critical aspects of two transition approaches:

  1. a college-based transition experience provided via partnership between a local education agencies (LEAs) and institutions of higher education (IHEs), and
  2. a conventional transition experience offered by a LEA in a high school or community setting.

This project allows us to explore the extent of implementation of research-based and promising transition services in each approach and identify if, in addition to these practices, other employment and college preparation experiences demonstrate promise for improving employment of students with ID/A while in high school or at exit from high school.

The composition of transition services provided in a college-based setting will be explored as well as if, when, and how employment and college preparation activities occur in these programs for students with ID/A along with their associated outcomes. The study culminates with analyses comparing the two transition service approaches; identifying shared or similar practices, as well as practices unique to each. This comparison presents an opportunity to more deeply examine how the provision of transition services in a college-based setting may have potential to inform the development of future transition interventions that can enhance education and employment outcomes for youth with ID/A.

Data that will be analyzed in this study were collected from students attending high schools and college-based transition programs across the US. The National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 (NLTS 2012) has a nationally representative sample of 13,000 youth (10,000 youth with disabilities; 2,500 youth without disabilities) that will be analyzed to explore conventional transition services. We will compare youth with ID/A to youth with autism but no ID, other youth with IEPs, youth with 504 plans, and youth without disabilities. The Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) Cohort 1 dataset will be analyzed to explore college-based transition services. These data were collected from federally-funded model demonstration projects between 2010 and 2015 and include 445 students with ID/A who attended 40 dual enrollment programs in 22 states that provided college-based transition services.



The grant funding period is September 1, 2019, through August 31, 2021.



Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), Special Education Research Grants competition (Award number: R324A190085).



Meg Grigal, Principal Investigator
Clare Papay, Co-Principal Investigator



  • Alberto Migliore, Lead Analyst
  • Jie Chen, Statistician
  • Zhushan Li, Methodological Consultant



Clare Papay



Coming soon