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Monday, March 15, 2010

Education Professor Examines Project Effectiveness





Professor Jane Finn has published a study that evaluates the perceived effectiveness of a populat special education program (Finn, J.E. & Kohler, P.D. (2010). Transitions Outcomes Project: Perceptions of School Personnel Explored Through a Multiple Case Study. Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research, vol. 4, pp. 95-107).

This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews to investigate the perceptions of eight Local Education Agency (LEA) personnel who implemented the Transition Outcomes Project (TOP) in a midwestern state. These personnel represented 100% of the state LEAs who instigated the pilot of TOP in the participating state. Findings showed that TOP had three major positive effects: greater understanding of IDEA’s transition requirements, enhancement of student participation in the planning process, and improved interagency and interdisciplinary collaboration. Outcomes consisted of better focused transition meetings, improved perceptions concerning the ability of students with disabilities, more parent participation at meetings, and improved compliance. Results also showed that “best practices” in transition were implemented, including formal and informal assessments, life skills instruction, and staff training on transition components.

Jane Finn is an Associate Professor of Education who specializes in isues related to special needs learners. Included among the courses she teaches are Introduction to Assessment, Secondary Special Education: Transition from School to Life, Instructional Design: Learning Disabilities/Emotional Impairments, and The Exceptional Child.

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