School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Deanna Keith


Adults with Disabilities, Intellectual Disability, Post-secondary Education, Program Development, Transition Services


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this multiple case study was to examine the successes, challenges, and factors identified to mitigate or overcome the identified challenges, as experienced by program directors, faculty, and staff, in the development and implementation of transition and post-secondary education programs, for students identified with intellectual disability at 4-year post-secondary educational institutions. Theories guiding this study were program implementation theory (Weiss, 1997) and disability theory (Mertens, 2009). Sites included three transition and post-secondary education programs for students with intellectual disability, utilizing similarly designed program models at a four-year post-secondary institution. Multiple forms of data collected from each site included participant surveys, interviews, observations, focus group, program related documents, and public information retrieved from social media and institutional web sites were analyzed through in-case and across-case analyses. The study revealed the need for strategic planning to identify the most appropriate program model to ensure sustainability of the program, including planning for funding, staffing, development of policies and procedures, and student admission, prior to student admission in the program. In addition, this study revealed the need for commitment, flexibility, and collaboration among program directors, faculty, and staff to meet the ever changing and fluid environment in serving students within a transition and post-secondary education program for students with ID. Further study is needed to identify best practices in student selection processes, programmatic policies, curriculum, and sustainable funding sources.