Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Daniel M. Miller, PhD, Chair; Robert Donmoyer, PhD; Fred McFarlane, PhD; Caren Sax, EdD


interagency collaboration, intervention, multiple-case study, Point of Transition Service Integration Project--POTSIP, qualitative, stakeholder, systems change intervention


The Point of Transition Service Integration Project (POTSIP) was initiated in 1997 in California as a three-year model demonstration grant funded by the Department of Education. The goal of the project was to improve the level of cooperation and collaboration among public schools, the State Department of Rehabilitation, and the State Department of Developmental Services related to efforts assisting students with severe disabilities who are transitioning from school to adult life. This qualitative study examined a stakeholder-centered perspective on the transition process within the POTSIP model. The purpose of this study was to identify the critical incidents and factors that impact the transition experience as perceived by four students, their family members, transition teachers, and other service providers. These multiple case studies give voice to the participants directly engaged in transition activities in an effort to enhance future practice. The following research questions were investigated: 1. How do students with severe disabilities, their families, transition teachers, and adult agency staff perceive the transition process at least 12-24 months after exiting school for adult life? 2. How does interagency collaboration and early intervention impact the transition service delivery system according to students, families, teachers, and adult agency representatives? Stakeholder interviews, observations, and document review were utilized to provide data for the study. Interview data were analyzed following multiple reviews of the data and emerging themes were identified. Observation and document review data were also analyzed and summarized. This study identified stakeholder perceptions indicating both positive and negative elements related to the implementation of the POTSIP model. Findings included indications of improved interagency collaboration in terms of overlapping of services the final year of school, continuity of services and relationships, improved employment outcomes, and early and shared funding arrangements. Indications of stakeholder dissatisfaction or poor collaboration were demonstrated by themes of failure to address long-term goals, lack of inter-stakeholder communication, and various policy and procedural barriers to providing successful transition outcomes. Based on these findings, implications were offered for the various stakeholder groups and recommendations were developed in an effort to inform and improve practice by the various adult service systems.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access