Date of Award:

8-2019

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Advisor/Chair:

Robert Morgan

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Tim Riesen

Third Advisor:

Anne Larson

Abstract

Career and technical education (CTE) is a set of career-focused courses and pathways that provide students with technical skills and knowledge which can lead to future employment and postsecondary education. Concentration in a career and technical education pathway while still in high school supports job exploration for school-age youth and is correlated with higher levels of full-time employment after high school. This is especially true for students with disabilities. Special Education (SPED) is the educational support system for students with disabilities. CTE and SPED professionals have struggled to effectively collaborate to serve students with disabilities. Infrequent and inconsistent communication between CTE and SPED professionals as well as limited time and opportunities are barriers to effective collaboration between these professional groups. Joint training with SPED and CTE teachers may be a crucial component to a successful collaboration process.

The purpose of this research is to explore the effect of joint training and collaborative teaming with CTE and SPED professionals on their knowledge and attitudes of collaboration in serving students with disabilities. The activities in this research study involved educating SPED and CTE professionals in a joint training on working together to effectively serve students with disabilities. Time for collaborative teaming and strategizing between SPED and CTE professionals was included in the training. Knowledge and attitudes were measured before and after the training. This study demonstrated that joint training and collaborative teaming with CTE and SPED professionals increased knowledge of both disciplines and improved attitudes about collaboration between disciplines. Improved knowledge and attitudes toward collaboration resulted from professionals creating a sense of network and community as they worked in interdisciplinary teams.

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