An analysis of the relationship between high school exit exams and diploma options and the impact on students with disabilities

Amy S.Gaumer Erickson, Jeannie Kleinhammer-Tramill, Martha L. Thurlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nontraditional high school completion or exit documents are becoming increasingly publicized as more states adopt testing requirements for graduation. Research has shown that students who do not graduate from high school with a standard/traditional diploma often experience negative consequences, such as (a) limited admission into college or the military, (b) ineligibility for federal financial aid for postsecondary training, and (c) denial of employment opportunities (Bowers, 2004; Johnson & Thurlow, 2003; Zafft, Hart, & Zimbrich, 2004). Although research is beginning to explore the diploma options available in each state, there is a paucity of research surrounding students who receive nontraditional completion certificates. This study examined the relationship between alternative high school completion documents and graduation testing. Using preexisting data sets from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, this study profiled students with disabilities in the United States who earn nontraditional exit certificates in contrast to those who earn standard diplomas. Understanding how students with disabilities exit public education will lead to assessment of the impact each exit option has on students'postschool outcomes and the implications for society as a whole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Disability Policy Studies
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007

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