Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Patricia R. Whitfield, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Terry L. Overton, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Ruth L. Meese, Ph.D.


The need for a transition plan to ease the progression of students with learning disabilities from the elementary and middle school grades to the secondary environment was examined in this study. Surveys were distributed and completed by 30 special education teachers in grades 5-8, 10 special education-learning disabilities teachers in grades 9-10, and 42 regular education-content area teachers in one school system. In addition to demographic data on respondents, information was gathered on instruction and student ability in the areas of academic skills, academic support skills, and social/behavioral skills. The characteristics of current modes and levels of planning were also examined. The results of analyses of various dimensions suggest that low levels of planning and communication pertaining to student competencies and teacher expectations exist between regular education teachers at the secondary level and elementary/middle school special education teachers. A need for greater emphasis on academic support skills in the elementary and middle school special education classroom is indicated. In addition, the need and desire for increased levels of communication in the form of a structured plan is demonstrated.



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