Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science
Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders
When individuals with disabilities reach their senior year of high school, they undergo a transition period. Speech-language pathologists are often tasked with working on an interdisciplinary team to assist individuals undergoing transition. While research has been done on how professionals as a group can help with transition, there has been little to no research done on how SLPs can be better prepared to assist during this process. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the preparedness of SLPs in high schools to assist individuals undergoing the transition period. The requirements for the participants include being a practicing or past SLP in a high school setting where there are individuals with disabilities being provided transition services. Participants for the study were emailed a link to the survey to complete it online. The survey consisted of sixteen open and closed ended questions. These questions evaluated the schooling and curriculum the participants have undergone along with how prepared the participants feel working with individuals in transition services. The results showed that 93.13% of the participants did not take a course specific to transition in graduate school. In addition, of the 217 participants who have not taken a specific transition course, only 13.76% of this group had a graduate level course that discussed transition. This shows a significant lack of education on the transition period in graduate level SLP programs. 35.06% of the participants have had professional development concerning transition planning, and that 91.30% of the individuals that attended the professional development found it beneficial. The results stated that 47.53% of the participants have been a part of a team tasked with developing a transition plan, but only 2.70% stated that they felt “completely prepared” to complete this task. Additionally, multiple trends were found in the qualitative data. Over half of the participants who took a graduate course that discussed transition could not remember what course it was. Of the participants who received professional development on transition, the majority was offered by their school district or department of education. A significant number of suggestions were received from the participants to graduate programs to better prepare their students to assist in transition. The significant trends were to provide graduate courses and clinical placements for the transition process. The results gathered from the survey allow clinicians to recognize that more SLPs will develop a transition plan during their career than SLPs that have been educated on transition or feel confident with transition. More clinicians are receiving education from professional development than graduate programs, but opportunities for learning about transition should be provided through both avenues to equip all clinicians to assist with transition.
disabilities, high school, graduate, curriculum, isolation, collaborate
Bridgforth, K. (2022). Speech-Language Pathologists' Academic Preparation for Transition Services. Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders Undergraduate Honors Theses Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/rhrcuht/75