Education Doctorate

Year Approved


First Advisor

Schulze-Michener , Mary


The purpose of this study was to understand the parental perspective and satisfaction with the transition process as their child, who is a student with special education needs, moves from the junior high to the high school setting. For students with disabilities, transitions within the education system can be more challenging and difficult (Hay & Winn, 2005; Hill, 2010; Kinney, 2006;) than for students without unique learning needs. Many parents of special education students find the transition from junior high to senior high school to be particularly intense. If school professionals are in the position to support educational transitions, understanding the parent perspective is critical. The overarching research question of this study asked: What are the specific perceptions and level of satisfaction that parents of special education students experience as their student makes an educational transition from the junior high to senior high? A secondary question was: Are there differences between parent perceptions and satisfaction between students with mild disabilities, moderate disabilities, and students with more significant needs? Finally, what suggestions for improvement do parents want the school to know about and understand that would make the transitions easier and smoother for parents, and secondarily for their students? This study was a hybrid case study with quantitative and qualitative components. Data were obtained from a survey with a Likert scoring structure and two open textbox questions. Recommendations for the district to consider in supporting students with disabilities as well as future research are presented.

Degree Name

Education Doctorate

Document Type

Doctoral dissertation