Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling

Committee Chair(s)

Robert Morgan (Chair), Brian Phillips (Co-Chair)


Robert Morgan


Brian Phillips


Tyson Barrett


Kaitlin Bundock


Keith Christensen


Students with disabilities have been shown to be less ready for college and career when they leave high school than students without disabilities. Secondary transition is the process of a student with disabilities moving from school to post-school settings. Research has shown that participation in career and technical education (CTE) while still in high school for improves the likelihood of meaningful employment after high school for students with disabilities. Research has also shown that collaboration between educators improves academic outcomes for students. Special education (SPED) teachers have extensive training in supporting students with disabilities throughout the education process. Collaboration between SPED teachers and general education teachers (e.g. CTE teachers) may have play an important role in preparing students with disabilities for future educational and vocational experiences.

The purpose of this research was to explore the CTE course-taking patterns of students with disabilities and compare them with factors of collaboration between different educational professionals. The author sought to identify factors of collaboration that may support the participation of students with disabilities in CTE in high school. Additionally, this study explored the barriers to collaboration and the collaborative practices most commonly experienced by educators in Utah. This study demonstrated that the practice of co-teaching, the existence of a formal multidisciplinary transition team, and high levels of attendance by education professionals in student IEP meetings were related to higher levels of participation in CTE for students with disabilities. This study also demonstrated that different education professionals experienced collaboration differently and may need different instruction in support to collaborate effectively.