National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)


Focuses on improved access and success for students with disabilities in secondary and postsecondary education, as well as employment, independent living, and community participation. Activities include training for educators and other professionals; technical assistance to organizations, schools, and agencies; twice monthly electronic newsletter; and distribution of over 80 NCSET publications through its Web site.

This project was archived on 2018-11-12T00:00:00-06:00

David R Johnson PhD
Past funder
Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education


Eileen A Klemm :: Check & Connect Program Manager

David R Johnson PhD :: Professor


NCSET Information Brief: Foster Youth Who Have Succeeded in Higher Education: Common Themes

A brief examining common themes among eight foster youth who have earned a college degree despite barriers. All young people, including foster youth and youth with disabilities, can succeed …

Published: April 2008

NCSET Information Brief: Models of Collaboration and Cost Sharing in Transition Programming

A brief describing two funding tools that are increasingly used in collaborative relationships. Both blended funding and braided funding pool financial resources to maximize outcomes. These tools …

Published: January 2007

NCSET Information Brief: Transition Services for Students Aged 18-21 with Intellectual Disabilities in College and Community Settings: Models and Implications of Success

A brief providing an overview of some successful models of transition services being implemented in postsecondary settings, describing one such model implemented by the Baltimore City Public …

Published: December 2006

NCSET Information Brief: Creating an E-Mentoring Community

A brief, written by Sheryl Burgstahler of the University of Washington's DO-IT program, providing an example of how to create and sustain an e-mentoring community to promote the success of youth …

Published: August 2006

NCSET Information Brief: Choices in Transition: A Model for Career Development

A brief describing the Choices in Transition program for low-income ethnic minority youth with disabilities in Chicago. The program supports these youth in the process of transition in order to …

Published: February 2006

NCSET Information Brief: The Voices of Youth: Perspectives and Recommendations from Young Adults Involved in Juvenile Corrections

A brief describing two exceptional programs for adjudicated youth with disabilities. It also includes commentary and recommendations from three young adults who live at the residential facilities …

Published: February 2006

NCSET Parent Brief: Person-Centered Planning: A Tool for Transition

A brief in English and Spanish providing a concise description of person-centered planning and an explanation of the benefits of this process. The brief also provides action steps for implementing …

Published: February 2004

NCSET Parent Brief: Supplemental Security Income (Part 3 of 3): Your Right to Appeal

Part 3 in a 3-part series on supplemental security income, guiding parents through the Supplemental Security Income appeals process, providing information about why many applications are denied, …

Published: September 2003

NCSET Information Brief: Enhancing Academic Achievement and Transition Outcomes Using Technology

A brief describing a standards-driven, computer-based curriculum for students with disabilities in grades 8 through 10, and the principles behind it. This curriculum was developed by the Nisonger …

Published: September 2005

NCSET Parent Brief: Supplemental Security Income: So You Have Decided to Apply (Part 2 of 3)

Part 2 in a 3-part series on supplemental security income, providing a detailed description of the process for applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), tailored for parents of youth with …

Published: April 2003

NCSET Parent Brief: Supplemental Security Income: A Bridge to Work (Part 1 of 3)

Part 1 in a 3-part series on supplemental security income, giving parents of youth with disabilities practical information about how youth can use Social Security work incentives to facilitate a …

Published: March 2003

NCSET Parent Brief: IDEA 1997 Transition Issues: The IEP for Transition-Aged Students

A brief explaining the requirements for transition under IDEA, the composition and functioning of the Individual Education Program (IEP) Transition Team, and special factors for the IEP Team to …

Published: July 2002

NCSET Parent Brief: Age of Majority: Preparing Your Child for Making Good Choices

A brief stressing the importance of involving young people in setting their own high school goals and planning for their transition to adulthood. It outlines significant considerations parents …

Published: May 2002

NCSET Parent Brief: Parenting Post-Secondary Students with Disabilities: Becoming the Mentor, Advocate, and Guide Your Young Adult Needs

A brief in English and Spanish focusing on the importance of involving parents in the transition from high school to the post-secondary environment, and providing concrete recommendations to help …

Published: March 2002

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: Programs and Practices for Special Education Students in Alternative Education Settings

A brief sharing some findings from the University of Oregon's descriptive study, "What do they do there? Examination of alternative education schools, programs, and practices for special education …

Published: January 2007

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: Creating Environments That Work for All Youth: Increasing the Use of Evidence-Based Strategies by Special Education Teachers

A brief reporting on a research demonstration project developed to increase the use of evidence-based practices in special education programs and improve student outcomes. This project was develope…

Published: December 2006

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: What Algebra and Biology Students Have to Say About Universal Design for Learning

A brief outlining the findings of a study of whether universal design for learning (UDL) improves how students with mild disabilities perform in general education. The study's findings illustrate …

Published: October 2005

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: Transition Planning: Community Mapping as a Tool for Teachers and Students

A brief describing the research base for community mapping - a process that can acquaint teachers and students with a community's culture, resources, transition needs, and assets - and providing …

Published: April 2005

NCSET Information Brief: Professional Development for Transition Personnel: Current Issues and Strategies for Success

A brief providing an overview of critical issues related to transition professional development, and highlighting current models of improving results for youth by supporting practitioners with in- …

Published: August 2005

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: Increasing School Completion: Learning from Research-Based Practices that Work

A brief identifying and describing five research-based practices proven effective in increasing rates of school completion. The practices utilized random samples or comparison groups and had …

Published: August 2004

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: Building Bridges Toward Science Careers for Youth with Disabilities

A brief outlining results of the Bridges Research Project, a project gathering information to promote a seamless transition for high school students with disabilities to math, science, engineering …

Published: April 2004

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: An Effective Model for College Students With Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders

A brief describing the Virginia Commonwealth University Supported Education Model where, according to a study, college students with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity …

Published: February 2004

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: Teaching for Understanding

A brief outlining research regarding an approach called "teaching for understanding," which strives to engender in students a depth of understanding on academic topics that enables them to apply …

Published: November 2003

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: DO-IT: Helping Students With Disabilities Transition to College and Careers

A brief summarizing research on outcomes for students with disabilities in postsecondary school and describing one program, DO-IT Scholars, that successfully applies research findings in a cohesive…

Published: September 2003

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: High Schools With Authentic and Inclusive Learning Practices: Selected Features and Findings

A brief outlining the major findings of a research study conducted by the Research Institute on Secondary Education Reform (RISER) on authentic and inclusive learning practices at four high …

Published: July 2003

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: Self-Determination: Supporting Successful Transition

A brief outlining research on self-determination suggesting that youth with disabilities who actively direct their own lives are more likely to successfully transition into adult life. In addition …

Published: April 2003

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: Improving Word Identification Skills Using Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) Strategies

A brief, written for general education teachers, special education teachers, and school administrators, focusing on the Word Identification Strategy component of the Strategic Instruction Model ( …

Published: December 2002

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: Tapping Employment Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities by Engaging Effectively with Employers

A brief addressing studies that explore employer perspectives on managing supports and accommodations for youth with disabilities, and the implications of these studies for transition practice and …

Published: December 2002

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR): Improving Secondary Students' Reading Comprehension Skills

A brief describing specifics of Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) implementation in the classroom, with references to further resources. CSR is a method of teaching reading comprehension that …

Published: July 2002

NCSET Information Brief: Communities of Practice: A Strategy for Program Improvement

A brief defining Communities of Practice, outlining seven principles essential for development of vibrant Communities of Practice, and offering examples. Further resources are also suggested.

Published: August 2005

NCSET Research to Practice Brief: Never Too Late: Approaches to Reading Instruction for Secondary Students with Disabilities

A brief addressing the problem of lack of reading proficiency in children, including students with disabilities, in the primary grades. Two approaches for improving the reading skills of secondary …

Published: March 2002

NCSET Information Brief: Youth Leadership Forums: Providing Leadership Development Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities

A brief outlining findings of youth development research, describing the components and benefits of Youth Leadership Forums (YLFs), and introducing the Iowa and Kansas YLFs.

Published: March 2006

NCSET Information Brief: High School Graduation Requirements and Students with Disabilities

A brief outlining issues and controversies surrounding the use of exit examinations - an increasingly common graduation requirement for secondary schools - including the reasons proponents support …

Published: February 2005

NCSET Information Brief: Diploma Options for Students with Disabilities

A brief outlining the different types of diploma options (alternative means of graduating from high school), discussing the benefits of systems with single diploma options and those with multiple …

Published: February 2005

NCSET Information Brief: Alternative Schools and Students with Disabilities: Identifying and Understanding the Issues

A brief outlining the responses of state directors of special education to a telephone survey about major issues regarding students with disabilities and alternative schools in their states. …

Published: October 2004

NCSET Essential Tools: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity - Implications for Transition Personnel

A handbook summarizing current research about transition and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) youth with disabilities. It offers information on how transition personnel can effectively …

Published: October 2005

NCSET Information Brief: Teaching Social Skills

A brief outlining the importance of social skills education for youth with disabilities, identifying specific skills needed by youth, providing guidance for choosing and implementing social skills …

Published: October 2004

NCSET Information Brief: Social Security and Undergraduates with Disabilities: An Analysis of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey

A brief providing a rich demographic profile of the utilization of postsecondary education by recipients of Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and summariz…

Published: October 2004

NCSET Essential Tools: Interagency Transition Team Development and Facilitation

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...

Published: January 2005

NCSET Essential Tools: Handbook for Implementing a Comprehensive Work-Based Learning Program According to the Fair Labor Standards Act

A manual with information and examples for school personnel to operate effective work-based learning programs consistent with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Sample forms, agreements, and …

Published: February 2005

NCSET Essential Tools: Community Resource Mapping

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 …

Published: May 2005

NCSET Essential Tools: In Their Own Words - Employer Perspectives on Youth with Disabilities in the Workplace

A resource guide designed to help educators, transition specialists, workforce development professionals, family members, and youth to understand employers' needs, circumstances, and perspectives …

Published: September 2004

NCSET Information Brief: Motivating Youth with Disabilities to Learn in the Science Classroom: A Guide for Educators

A brief providing teachers with strategies for motivating students with diverse learning styles, including students with disabilities, in science courses and programs. These strategies include use …

Published: April 2004

NCSET Essential Tools: Increasing Rates of School Completion - Moving From Policy and Research to Practice

A cutting-edge manual for educators, administrators and policymakers describing 11 proven interventions for increasing school completion among youth with disabilities. The interventions selected …

Published: May 2004

NCSET Information Brief: Supporting the Dynamic Development of Youth with Disabilities During Transition: A Guide for Families

A brief offering concrete, useful information about adolescent development to guide families in supporting youth with disabilities, providing the compassionate perspective of a parent of a youth …

Published: March 2004

NCSET Information Brief: Addressing the Needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students With Disabilities in Postsecondary Education

A brief identifying the major challenges of postsecondary education for persons with disabilities of culturally and linguistically diverse heritage and providing recommendations to postsecondary …

Published: February 2004

NCSET Information Brief: Work-Based Learning and Future Employment for Youth: A Guide for Parents and Guardians

A brief outlining how work-based learning helps youth identify interests, strengths, skills, and needs related to career development. This brief is intended for parents and guardians of youth with …

Published: October 2003

NCSET Information Brief: Community Resource Mapping: A Strategy for Promoting Successful Transition for Youth with Disabilities

A brief introducing a dynamic process for creating synergistic community collaboration among those concerned with youth development, and for maximizing the community's human and financial resources…

Published: April 2003

NCSET Information Brief: What is Quality Education? Perspectives from Two Students and a Parent

A brief presenting views on quality education from two individuals with disabilities and a parent of a youth with a disability. The authors offer rich and diverse views on how educational systems …

Published: December 2002

NCSET Issue Brief: Youth with Disabilities in the Juvenile Justice System: Prevention and Intervention Strategies

A brief providing proactive solutions to juvenile delinquency problems of all youth, including those with disabilities, involved in the juvenile justice system. In particular, the brief focuses on …

Published: February 2005

NCSET Information Brief: Bridging the Digital Divide in Postsecondary Education: Technology Access for Youth with Disabilities

A brief outlining the challenges youth with disabilities face in gaining access to technology, and providing specific recommendations for achieving greater technology access. Computer access has …

Published: December 2002

NCSET Issue Brief: Putting Interagency Agreements into Action

A brief describing the components of successful interagency agreements and how they can be implemented. Such agreements among educational and noneducational agencies can help maximize resources …

Published: September 2004

NCSET Issue Brief: The Emergence of Psychiatric Disabilities in Postsecondary Education

A brief describing the issue of the unprecedented and growing number of postsecondary students who report psychiatric disabilities. The publication provides an outline of the primary barriers such …

Published: September 2004

NCSET Issue Brief: Bullying and Teasing of Youth with Disabilities: Creating Positive School Environments for Effective Inclusion

A brief providing clear definitions of bullying, teasing, and disability harassment. Bullying has been proven by numerous studies to be a serious problem nationwide. Harassment of youth with …

Published: December 2003

NCSET Issue Brief: Quality Work-Based Learning and Postschool Employment Success

A brief highlighting the benefits of work-based learning for youth with disabilities and outlines the elements of quality work-based learning. In addition, the brief provides selected evidence- …

Published: September 2003

NCSET Issue Brief: Collaboration Between General and Special Education: Making it Work

A brief calling for greater collaboration between general and special education teachers as one strategy for facilitating access to the general curriculum for all students, including those with …

Published: July 2003

NCSET Issue Brief: Challenges in Coordinating and Managing Services and Supports in Secondary and Postsecondary Options

A brief, written for secondary and postsecondary educational administrators, state policymakers, rehabilitation counselors, and researchers, identifying the barriers to successfully managing …

Published: December 2002

NCSET Issue Brief: Supporting Youth with Disabilities to Access and Succeed in Postsecondary Education: Essentials for Educators in Secondary Schools

A brief outlining the differences in assistance determination and provision encountered by youth with disabilities as they transition into postsecondary environments. It offers related recommendati…

Published: December 2002

NCSET Issue Brief: Creating Mentoring Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities: Issues and Suggested Strategies

A brief addressing the need for expansion of mentoring opportunities for youth with disabilities. Specifically, the brief a) outlines some of the benefits of mentoring for youth, b) defines the …

Published: December 2002

NCSET Issue Brief: Connecting Employers, Schools, and Youth Through Intermediaries

A brief, written for secondary educators, employers, and disability service providers, addressing the primary issues in promoting the participation of employers in work-based learning experiences …

Published: December 2002

NCSET Issue Brief: Students with Disabilities who Drop Out of School: Implications for Policy and Practice

A brief that uses research-based information defining the problem of an unacceptably high dropout rate for students with disabilities and articulates proven intervention strategies. The brief …

Published: July 2002

NCSET Information Brief: Universal Design for Learning: A Strategy to Support Students' Access to the General Education Curriculum

A brief describing principles of Universal Design and provides information about Universal Design resources. Universal Design refers to the design of flexible classroom materials and activities, …

Published: December 2002

NCSET Issue Brief: Accommodations for Students with Disabilities in High School

A brief addressing the issue that fewer students with disabilities in middle schools and high schools use accommodations than students with disabilities in elementary schools. The brief reviews …

Published: January 2002

NCSET Information Brief: Integrating Service Systems at the Point of Transition for Youth with Significant Disabilities: A Model that Works

A brief focusing on coordination and integration of various services (e.g. education, vocational rehabilitation, developmental disabilities) so that youth with disabilities receive continued …

Published: December 2002

NCSET Information Brief: Addressing the Transition Needs of Youth with Disabilities through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) System

A brief discussing strategies for including work-based learning and youth development opportunities sponsored by the Workforce Investment Act in students' IEPs. The brief also addresses youth …

Published: December 2002

NCSET Information Brief: Providing a Quality Accommodated Experience in Preparation for and During Post-Secondary School

A brief clarifying the difference between meeting minimal standards for accommodation in postsecondary school, and providing a quality educational experience including accommodations. The brief …

Published: March 2002

National 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 …

Published: 2005

NLTS2 Data Brief: The Transition Planning Process

A brief providing a national view of the transition planning process undertaken during high school with and for youth with disabilities as they prepare for life after school. The information …

Published: April 2005

NLTS2 Data Brief: Family Expectations and Involvement for Youth with Disabilities

A brief describing family involvement at home and at school, including a comparison of levels of involvement for families of youth with disabilities with those for families in the general populatio…

Published: September 2005

NLTS2 Data Brief: The Characteristics, Experiences, and Outcomes of Youth with Emotional Disturbances

A brief presenting a fresh look at selected characteristics of youth with emotional disturbances and their households that distinguish them from other youth with disabilities and/or from youth in …

Published: August 2004

NLTS2 Data Brief: Social Activities of Youth with Disabilities

A brief highlighting the results of the National Longitudinal Study-2 in regard to social activities of youth with disabilities. Researchers asked parents how often youth interact with friends by …

Published: March 2004

NLTS2 Data Brief: Youth Employment

A brief describing in detail employment trends for youth with disabilities documented within the National Longitudinal Study-2. The NLTS2 gathered data on work-study employment and regular paid …

Published: December 2003

NLTS2 Data Brief: Who Are Secondary Students in Special Education Today?

A document reporting on the demographic characteristics of youth with disabilities participating in the National Longitudinal Study-2 providing important information about factors other than …

Published: June 2003

NLTS2 Data Brief: Introducing the NLTS2

A brief introducing a series highlighting the major findings of the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2), which tracked the characteristics, experiences, and achievements of a sample …

Published: January 2002

NCSET Parent Brief: The Role of Parents in Dropout Prevention: Strategies that Promote Graduation and School Achievement

A brief providing information and practical tips to help parents stay involved in their teen's life during middle school and high school to help make sure they graduate. Students who drop out of …

Published: July 2006

NCSET Parent Brief: What does Health Have to Do with Transition? Everything!

A brief providing information on the benefits of and strategies for including health in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. Produced by PACER Center and the Healthy and Ready to …

Published: May 2006

NCSET Parent Brief: Preparing for Employment: On the Home Front

A brief describing ways in which youth and families can help youth effectively explore work-based learning outside of school settings. Produced by PACER Center in collaboration with the Institute's…

Published: March 2006

NCSET Parent Brief: Universal Design for Learning and the Transition to a More Challenging Academic Curriculum: Making it in Middle School and Beyond

A brief describing universal design, a process for creating environments that support the learning of students with diverse abilities, styles, and needs. In universal design, versatility is built …

Published: April 2005

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) Website

A website presenting NCSET, a center that focuses on improved access and success for students with disabilities in secondary and postsecondary education, as well as employment, independent living,...

Published: 2001


  • Education practices (K12 and transition)
    • Dropout prevention and student engagement
    • Academic standards
    • Family engagement
    • Assistive/adaptive technology
    • Instructional strategies
    • Literacy
    • Mentoring of youth
    • Paraprofessional and teacher development
    • Student learning strategies
    • Transition planning
    • Youth development and leadership
    • IEP development
    • Accommodations and supports
    • Positive behavior support
  • Community life
    • Self-advocacy and self-determination
  • Specific life stage
    • Adolescents and young adults
  • Culture and diversity
    • Cultural competence
  • Employment and postsecondary education
    • Accommodations and supports
    • Career preparation
    • Employment and workforce development
    • Preparing for postsecondary education
    • Work-based learning
  • Health and safety
    • Judicial system
  • Educational accountability and assessment
    • Accommodations and supports
    • Diplomas and Graduation Requirements
    • IDEA


  • Technical assistance
  • Dissemination