Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Special Education

First Advisor

Colleen Thoma

Second Advisor

LaRon Scott

Third Advisor

Michael Broda

Fourth Advisor

Paul Wehman


Despite efforts through legislation to increase the engagement of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in competitive integrated employment (CIE) and post-secondary education, outcomes remain poor. However, recent policy has emphasized CIE as a preferred outcome and created new opportunities to engage individuals with IDD in post-secondary education. Likewise, research into the transition of youth with disabilities has revealed several predictors of post-school success including inclusive education and a variety of vocationally-oriented experiences. Previous research had not determined whether students with IDD received both inclusive academic education and vocational transition experiences or how these predictors might interact. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of inclusive academic education and vocational transition experiences (e.g., work experience, internships, career and technical education) on post-secondary outcomes in employment and education, whether any interaction occurred between the two sets of predictors, and whether these relationships differed for students from historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups. Multiple logistic and linear regression was used on data collected from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009. Findings showed complex relationships between these sets of variables. Most prominently, inclusively academic education consistently predicted enrollment in post-secondary education. This study provides evidence that both inclusive academic education and vocational transition experience lead to pathways toward post-secondary success for some students. Implications for future research, policy, and practice based on these findings are discussed.


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