Date of Award

Fall 11-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Beth Kania-Gosche

Second Advisor

Dr. Lynda Leavitt

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom


For students with significant disabilities, the process of transitioning from their secondary school setting to their post-secondary setting includes the exploration of potential adult settings. This paper explored the perspectives of secondary school personnel, as well as the viewpoints of personnel from St. Louis area post-secondary programs, as to the characteristics which determine adult program placement. State agencies that facilitate Person Centered Plans were also interviewed regarding viewpoints as to how secondary students with significant disabilities could seek and secure their most non-restrictive adult program placements. Research questions included: (1) How do the Missouri Alternative Frameworks utilized in secondary programming differ from the eligibility criteria utilized in post -secondary programs?; (2) How does the post-secondary eligibility process relate to the Missouri Alternative Frameworks Curriculum guidelines?; (3) What specific selfcare skills and academic skills determine criteria for students with severe cognitive disabilities in post-secondary adult programs in the St. Louis area?; and (4) In addition to self-care and academic skills, what other factors determine student placement in postsecondary programs for the severely developmentally disabled within the St. Louis area? Revealed in this study was the importance of the development of lifelong relationships with post-secondary program organizations. Age, type of residence as well as the geographical location of residence, can be paramount to the applicants’ skills or ability levels as adult program placement is determined for individuals with significant disabilities. Funding sources, as well as specific skill sets, were explored as they related to post-secondary clients achieving their most non- restrictive post-secondary placement.


Copyright 2014