Pathway to Success
Over the past fourteen years, the education gap has narrowed considerably between people with and without disabilities from 24 percentage points in 1986 to 13 percentage points today. In 1986, almost 4 out of 10 people with disabilities (39%) failed to complete high school, whereas today approximately 2 out of 10 people with disabilities (22%) have not completed high school. The opposite is true for college attainment. There seems to have been a decline since 1998 from 30% to 26% among people with disabilities who have completed some college, and an even sharper decline from 19% to 12% for people with disabilities who have graduated from college. Given the importance of educational attainment in obtaining quality employment, it is important to explore more fully the cause of this decline. Excerpted from the N.O.D./Harris 2000 Survey of Americans with Disabilities.
During high school, students with special needs have a variety of experiences with transition and ideally – carefully planned their transition to postsecondary education with help and support of parents, school counselors, special education teachers and general education teachers. As an active member of the transition team, a student assumes greater responsibility for their own learning outcomes and takes as active role in the decision making process affecting their long term goals. As you enter college, emphasis is placed on continuing to set short- and long-term goals for yourself and promoting independence and self-awareness during your postsecondary education.
Transition planning for college is really a subset of planning for adult life because postsecondary education is not an end in itself; it is one choice that a student might make in preparing for adulthood. If students and their families are to make informed choices, they must be aware of the options and their consequences, and be given opportunities for making meaningful choices based on a self-knowledge of their strengths, interests, and needs. With appropriate preparation and continuing supports, postsecondary education provides an extended educational opportunity for developing skills needed for a successful career and meaningful life.