The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

Special Education: M.S.


Special Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Brian J Valentini

Second Advisor

Marcy J Young Illies

Third Advisor

Bradely J Kaffar

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Special Education, Transition, Administrator


Special Education in the United States of America exists because of parent and societal advocacy groups, litigation, and legislation. Because parents and other advocacy groups began to demand better treatment and educational opportunities for children with disabilities, lawsuits have brought about court decisions that have become the fabric of special education law today. Special education law has evolved over the last 100 years with the most poignant gains and progressions in special education appearing over the last half century. A subsection of special education law requires the inclusion of transition services for students with disabilities. There is a wealth of research on the historical development of transition services and its inclusion in special education law since the onset of special education services in the United States. There is also a large body of research that has explored evidence-based best practices for providing transition services to children with disabilities. Transition services in this context can be understood as a results-oriented process based on student interests and needs that establishes a plan with goals for greater success with post-secondary outcomes such as employment or education. However, research is limited in the implementation of transition services, the quality of those services, or how the perspectives of school leaders and administrators affect the use of transition services in the classroom. Exploring barriers for planning and providing transition services would provide special educators and administrators with knowledge that they could use to counteract the lack of transition services in their own education programs.


This thesis would not have been possible without the tireless support of my dear wife, Nancy. Thank you for sacrificing so much so that I could have the opportunity to learn, grow, and progress. Secondly, I thank Father in Heaven for the increased capacity to manage my time and resources to conduct this study. To Dr. Valentini, Young Illies, and Kaffar, this research would not have concluded without your area expertise, mentorship, and guidance. Thank you for your patience, instruction, and leadership.



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