Resource Guides

Publication prices current through September 30, 2013


Dropout Prevention

Cover of Check & Connect manualCheck & Connect: A Comprehensive Student Engagement Intervention: Implementing with Fidelity
By S. Christenson, K. Stout, and A. Pohl
An updated and expanded implementation manual for the Check & Connect student engagement intervention. Since 1990 the Check & Connect student engagement intervention has been used in K-12 schools with students who are showing early warning signs of disengagement from school and learning, or who are at risk of dropping out. The 2012 edition of the Check & Connect implementation manual builds on the experience and continuing research of the past 21 years to offer users an expanded guide that incorporates new findings about the model. It walks users through the implementation process for this comprehensive, targeted intervention designed to enhance students’ engagement at school and with learning through relationship building and problem solving. It outlines the key components, describes the steps to implementation, and presents the underlying theory and research. Among the new elements in the 2012 edition is an expanded focus on four types of student engagement (academic, behavioral, cognitive, and affective), the theory underlying their emphasis in Check & Connect, and the importance of intervening both directly with students and indirectly through enhancement of students’ home and school contexts. The 2012 manual also provides guidance on options for implementing Check & Connect with fidelity to its principles and strategies, while also responding to local school and community contexts. (3rd edition, 2012). • Cost: $50 each (1-19 copies per order), $45 each (20+ copies per order). To learn more about training and consultation services for implementing Check & Connect visit

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Educational Outcomes

Moving Your Numbers coverMoving Your Numbers
A series of resources examining how school districts can increase the performance of students with disabilities and other at-risk learners as part of whole-district reform efforts. Case studies of featured districts in the full Moving Your Numbers report provide evidence that students with disabilities, like all other students, can learn at higher levels when adults focus their collective efforts on improving instructional practice, consistently implement core work across the district, and use assessment and accountability as a lever for ongoing system and student learning and improvement. The resources in the series also identify six essential practices that must be in place to improve the performance of students with disabilities. Evidence suggests that these six practices, when used in an aligned and coherent manner, are associated with higher student achievement. Published by the National Center on Educational Outcomes in collaboration with the University of Dayton’s School of Education and Allied Professions Grant Center. (2012) • Cost: Free. Available on the Web in 3D eReader and PDF formats

Moving Your Numbers: Five Districts Share How They Used Assessment and Accountability to Increase Performance for Students With Disabilities as Part of District-wide Improvement (2011)

Key Practices Guide (2012)

State Education Agencies Guide (2012)

District Self-Assessment Guide (2012)

Parent/Family Companion Guide (2012)

Administrator Preparation Guide (2012)

Teacher Preparation Guide (2012)

Regional/Intermediate Unit Provider Guide (2012)


Cover of Educational Acronyms guideA Guide to Educational Acronyms: What's in the Alphabet Soup?
By J. Krentz
A pocket guide providing a glossary of the "alphabet soup" of educational acronyms. NCEO developed this "acronym handbook" as a resource to define, clarify, or remind anyone involved legislative and policy discussions of definitions of routine educational acronyms. This pocket guide will be a useful tool for participants, whether they are state legislators, teachers, parents, or others. (2012)


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Transition and Career Preparation

Essential ToolsEssential Tools: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Implications for Transition Personnel
By D. Leake and R. Black
A handbook summarizing current research about transition and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse youth with disabilities. It offers information on how transition personnel can effectively support these youth by building on their strengths and enhancing supports available within their families and communities. Published by the Institute’s National Center on Secondary Education and Transition. (2005) • Cost: Free, available only on the Web

Essential Tools: Interagency Transition Team Development and Facilitation
By R. Stodden, S. Brown, L. Galloway, S. Mrazek, and L. Noy
A resource guide designed to help state-level transition coordinators and others who form, conduct, and evaluate interagency teams that address the school and postschool needs of youth with disabilities. Relevant at national, state, and local levels, this guide offers instruction on how to build an effective interagency transition team; determine initial roles, responsibilities, and the team vision; conduct team meetings; and determine whether the team is making progress and meeting its goals. It also profiles several successful state interagency transition teams. Published by the Institute’s National Center on Secondary Education and Transition. (2005) • Cost: $7.00. Also available on the Web

Essential Tools: Community Resource Mapping
By K. Crane and M. Mooney, TransCen, Inc.
A practical handbook providing step-by-step instructions on understanding, planning, and engaging in the coordination of community resources that support the transition of youth with disabilities into adult life. Designed for use at the federal, state, and local levels. Published by the Institute’s National Center on Secondary Education and Transition. (2005) • Cost: Free, available only on the Web

Essential Tools: In Their Own Words: Employer Perspectives on Youth with Disabilities in the Workplace
Edited by R. Luecking, TransCen, Inc.
A resource guide designed to help educators, transition specialists, workforce development professionals, family members, and youth to understand employers' needs, circumstances, and perspectives as they establish work-based learning experiences. This publication, part of the "Essential Tools" series, features the experiences of employers in their own words. Eleven employers from various fields write about how they became involved in providing work experiences for youth with disabilities, what made it work, and what they recommend to individuals and organizations representing youth. (2004) • Cost: Free, available only on the Web

Essential Tools: Increasing Rates of School Completion –Moving From Policy and Research to Practice
By C. Lehr, D. R. Johnson, C. Bremer, A. Cosio, and M. Thompson
A cutting-edge manual for educators, administrators and policymakers describing 11 proven interventions for increasing school completion among youth with disabilities. The interventions selected are only those that include research or evaluation designs and were published between 1988 and 2003. Also included are reproducible handouts containing current statistics and information on dropout, a concise literature review, and information on related Web sites, journal articles, publications, and organizations. Published by the Institute’s National Center on Secondary Education and Transition. (2004) • Cost: Free, available only on the Web

Archived Issues of Essential Tools

These older issues of Essential Tools have been archived because some of the information they contain may be out of date. They may still be useful for some types of research, teaching, or information gathering.

Charting the Course: Supporting the Career Development of Youth with Learning Disabilities
By J. Timmons (ICI staff member), J. Wills, J. Kemp, R. Basha, and M. Mooney
This guide is intended to help practitioners, administrators, and policymakers in secondary and postsecondary education programs, transition programs, One-Stop Career Centers, youth employment programs, and community rehabilitation programs improve services and outcomes for youth, ages 14 to 25, with diagnosed and undiagnosed learning disabilities. It includes numerous quick reference charts, tables, and tools for counselors, career advisors, and other professionals who work directly with youth. In-depth information is provided on a variety of topics, including the types and impact of learning disabilities, needed supports, and research-based interventions. The guide is intended to increase awareness of the fact that the workforce development system serves many youth with learning disabilities that have not been identified and others who know they have a learning disability but choose not to disclose. Many of the strategies and approaches advocated in this guide are based on universal design, making them useful to all youth, whether with or without disabilities. Published by the Institute for Educational Leadership, National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, based in Washington, DC. (2010) • Cost: Free, available on the Web

Cover imageCareer Planning Begins with Assessment: A Guide for Professionals Serving Youth with Educational and Career Development Challenges
By J. Timmons, M. Podmostko, C. Bremer, D. Lavin, and J. Wills
A guide providing adults who work with youth with disabilities a solid understanding of the purpose, benefits, and limitations of assessment in relation to those youth and the workforce development system. Designed for policymakers, administrators, and youth service practitioners (including teachers, transition coordinators, work experience coordinators, job coaches, and others), it can be used in secondary and postsecondary education programs, school to work transition programs, One-Stop workforce centers, youth employment programs, community rehabilitation programs, and community organizations serving youth and young adults ages 14-25. It includes information on types of assessment tools and testing instruments, selecting and using appropriate assessment tools, and ethical and legal considerations in assessments. Developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, a partnership of the Institute for Educational Leadership, the Institute on Community Integration’s National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, the National Youth Employment Coalition, and PACER Center. (rev. ed., 2005) • Cost: Free, available only on the Web

Paving the Way to Work: A Guide to Career-Focused Mentoring for Youth with Disabilities
By J. Timmons, M. Mack, A. Sims, R. Hare, and J. Wills
A guide providing specific disability-related and career preparation information relevant to mentoring youth with disabilities during their transition from secondary school to postsecondary work. Designed primarily for those developing and implementing mentoring programs at the secondary school level, it provides a menu of choices for structuring mentoring services in an array of settings and provides a range of possible activities to be pursued by mentors and mentees. Developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, a partnership of the Institute for Educational Leadership, the Institute on Community Integration’s National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, the National Youth Employment Coalition, and PACER Center. (2006) • Cost: Free, available only on the Web

NASET manual coverNational Standards & Quality Indicators: Transition Toolkit for Systems Improvement
A toolkit providing a common and shared framework to help school systems and communities identify what youth need in order to achieve successful participation in postsecondary education and training, civic engagement, meaningful employment, and adult life. It contains a set of national standards and quality indicators, and strategic planning tools for use by states and school districts. The national standards and quality indicators are research-based and reflect the needs of all youth, and are organized by the following five content areas: schooling, career preparatory experiences, youth development and youth leadership, family involvement, and connecting activities. Developed by the Institute’s National Center on Secondary Education and Transition in collaboration with the National Alliance for Secondary Education and Transition. (2005) • Cost: $15.00. Also available on the Web

Cover imageConnecting to Success: Mentoring Through Technology to Promote Student Achievement
An e-mentoring manual facilitating meaningful mentoring experiences by combining the well-developed concept of mentoring with e-mail to connect caring adults in the business community with students with disabilities. E-mentoring can be an effective tool to connect busy adults with busy youth when it is implemented with care. The manual guides community organizations, schools, businesses, and state agencies in forming e-mentoring partnerships. For further information on the program, contact Joe Timmons at Published by the Institute's National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET). (2003) • Cost: $20.00

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Residential Services

Through Asking the Right Questions… You Can Reach Your Destination
A pocket guide containing questions for families and persons with disabilities to ask as they interview residential service providers and decide which are best suited to meet their support needs. (1999) • Cost: Free, available only on the Web

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