Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Judith J. Ivarie


This study examined and determined the practices in transition that were currently being implemented, what transition opportunities were available, and which practices could be utilized at Litchfield High School during Fall 2000 to support a smoother transition from middle school to high school for ninth grade students with and without special needs. The study did not establish a relationship of cause and effect, but rather compared cases (administrators, special educators, and regular educators) through qualitative data that were supported by quantitative measures. The population surveyed consisted of the 33 teachers and 2 administrators at the high school level, with different number of years experience. Results indicated that Litchfield High School utilized 5 out of 16 recognized best transition practices which included career development, family and living skills, vocational development, sharing facilities, and flexible schedules. Transition practices not being utilized were interdisciplinary grouping, established planning time, advisory programs, academic support skills, organization skills, peer mentorships, reference skills, study and test taking skills, orientation to high school, overlapping content, and teacher expectations. Recommendations for future studies concerning transition include teacher perceptions based on years experience teaching.