Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Special Education

First Advisor

Colleen Thoma

Second Advisor

LaRon Scott


The purpose of this study was to determine how transition specific professional development influenced secondary special educators’ knowledge and perceived self-efficacy regarding the use of evidence-based transition practices. Past research has suggested that secondary special educators enter the profession with limited knowledge and skills to provide effective evidence-based transition practices to students with disabilities. Based on Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory, and Desimone’s framework for effective professional development, this study identified how different variables related to professional development can influence teacher self-efficacy in terms of delivering evidence-based transition practices. Specifically, a correlational research design was used to investigate teacher self-efficacy to deliver evidence-based transition practices when (a) the amount of professional development (b) type of professional development, and (c) location of the professional development are factors. Descriptive statistics, an analysis of variance (ANOVA), and a multiple linear regression analysis were performed. Results indicated the amount of professional development received had a significant effect on teachers perceived efficacy, compared to location, and type of professional development received. Further, results of teachers perceived effectiveness, changes made as a result of the professional development, and other factors related to professional development are reported. Limitations and implications for teacher professional development research, practice, and policy are discussed.


© Lauren Puglia Bruno

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Date of Submission