WHY IS OHIO CONDUCTING A LONGITUDINAL TRANSITION STUDY?
The Individuals with Disabilities
Education Improvement Act of 2004 requires that states
report the post school engagement of students with disabilities
in postsecondary education and employment. Anticipating this
requirement, Ohio developed a survey designed to collect this
information beginning with "Project Life" in the mid 1990s. This
survey was piloted with the support of the Cuyahoga and Miami
Valley Special Education Regional Resources Centers (now State
Support Teams #3 and #10). The final version of the survey
was designed to collect information on students' expectations at
the end of their final year in high school and to follow up with
these same students one year after they exit to see how
well these expectations were met..
The Office for Exceptional Children has
contracted with Kent State University's Center for Innovation in
Transition and Employment (CITE) to collect, manage, and analyze
the results of these "longitudinal surveys." Every year,
one-sixth of Ohio high schools have been randomly selected to
collect information on their students exiting with an Individual
Education Program (IEP). The CITE then analyzes the
results of these surveys to meet Ohio's reporting requirements
under the IDEA of 2004. In addition, the CITE conducts
studies of student, school, and program factors that contribute
to student success and reports these back to schools to help
them in program improvement and IEP planning.
WHAT CAN BE LEARNED FROM THE OLTS?
The OLTS is designed to do more than simply meet
federal reporting requirements. The information from this study
is designed to help schools and IEP planners improve postschool
outcomes for students with disabilities. Any participating
school, its students, and their families may request information
1. What are the postschool outcomes of students
2. What transition services and programs did students use?
3. What transition services and programs predicted positive
4. Over what time period did these outcomes occur (1, 3, and 5
5. What postschool programs and services did different types of
6. What do students identify as important factors in their
7. How did postschool services contribute to postschool
8. What postschool and adult services did students use?
9. How do Ohio's postschool outcomes compare with national data?
10. What policies support transition programs identified as
11. What practices and procedures maximize the use of these
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TRACKING
The OLTS provides additional benefits to
participating schools. Teachers conducting the survey
report that students are often thrilled to hear from them and
discuss their experiences after high school. Some teachers
have taken the opportunity to use the follow up interview to
help students reconnect with adult services. Other
- Good public relations with graduates
- Good feedback and validation for teachers
- Good data for IEP/transition planning
- Good data for school's program improvement efforts
- Opportunities to reconnect students with postschool
HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO CONDUCT THIS
STUDY AT YOUR SCHOOL?
The estimated time to conduct an exit
in-school interview as part of the IEP is approximately 15-30
minutes per student (or about 25 hours for 100 students) if it
is conducted as part of the IEP process. Phone follow up
surveys take about 20 minutes per
student, but generally require additional time to locate the
student after graduation.
WHERE ARE WE NOW (2009)?
The OLTS is scheduled to complete its final report for all Ohio
schools in 2012. By this time, every school with special
education graduates will have interviewed a sample of their
special education graduates. The OLTS findings have been
distributed through a yearly technical report to the Office for
Exceptional Children, a newsletter, and in articles published in