Date of Award

Summer 8-9-2017

Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Morgan

Second Advisor

Dr. Timothy Riesen

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Oertle

Abstract

Collaboration between agencies has been shown to be an indicator of post-school success for individuals with disabilities. While it is shown to be important, collaboration between Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Special Educators (SPED) does not always occur. This project examined the effects of combining Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and intake interviews on the rate and satisfaction of collaboration and the understanding of the other agencies roles and responsibilities. Participants included four SPED teachers and two VR counselors. All participants worked with individuals with disabilities between the ages 15-22 years who attend public education in a school district in the western region of the U.S. Participants completed a pre-survey which included information about (a) demographic information, (b) rate of and satisfaction with collaboration, and (c) understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the other agency. After the presurvey, participants received a training on why and how to conduct IEPs and intake meetings together. Thereafter, they conducted combined IEPs and intake interviews. After IEP/intake meetings, participants completed a post-survey that included (a) rate of and satisfaction with collaboration, (b) understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the other agency, and (c) satisfaction of combining IEPs and intake meetings. The overall rate of and satisfaction of collaboration increased. Also, all but one participant’s overall understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the other agency increased. The one participant that did not increase had a ceiling effect, that is, this individual was unable to rate level of understanding higher than the pre-survey rating. All of the participants were satisfied with combining the meetings. Overall, the participants reported that this process might change scheduling going forward in their career. Findings suggested the process of combined IEP/intake meetings was a viable process that could be used to enroll more students for VR services while increasing the rate of and satisfaction with collaboration between the agencies.

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