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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examining students with disabilities in a linked learning pathway
by Polk, Renee L., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2015, 162; 3725395
Abstract (Summary)

In order to meet the demands of a 21st century global economy, all students, including those with disabilities must have a broader range of knowledge and skills. High school graduation rates and postsecondary education completion rates for students with disabilities is low, and individuals with disabilities also have lower employment rates, lower average hourly wages, and higher unemployment rates. Linked Learning is a secondary school reform targeted at preparing students for college and career. One of the main goals of Linked Learning is to provide students with an array of opportunities that will foster higher graduation rates as well as preparation for college and career.

This study focused on examining the test scores of students with disabilities in Linked Learning Pathways to see whether participating in an academic sequence combined with career technical education leads to better college preparedness. Quantitative research methods were employed to examine comparisons between students with disabilities participating in Linked Learning and students with disabilities not participating in Linked Learning. The scores from the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) and the Early Assessment Program (EAP) in English and math were used for comparison.

This research found limited but promising evidence that Linked Learning students with disabilities outperformed their peers with disabilities who are not enrolled in Linked Learning on the CAHSEE English exam. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups on the CAHSEE math exam. However, the research did reveal limited but promising evidence that students with disabilities participating in Linked Learning scored "unconditionally ready" on the English Early Assessment Program (EAP) examination at a higher rate than students with disabilities not participating in Linked Learning. This is significant because scoring "unconditionally ready" on the English EAP exempts students from the California State University (CSU) English Placement Test (EPT), and upon acceptance to a CSU allows placement in a CSU English composition class without remediation. Recommendations for policy, practice, and future research are also addressed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stallones, Jared
Commitee: Austin, Donald, Scott, James
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Special education, Vocational education
Keywords: Linked learning, Special education, Students with disabilities, Technical education
Publication Number: 3725395
ISBN: 978-1-339-09654-4
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