Research Statement: The Transitions Curriculum

White Paper

The Transitions Curriculum Research Team:

Louise Fulton, Ed.D.

Content Areas: Special Education, Learning Theory, Curriculum, Reading, and Transition (School to Adult)

Rebecca Silva, Ph.D.

Content Areas: Special Education, Autism, Curriculum, Transition (School to Adult), and Alternative Education

James Stanfield, Ed.D.

Content Areas: Special Education, Instructional Technology


In 1990, as transition services became a national priority, we began to raise the question, “Did school prepare students with disabilities for a successful adult life”? To find the answer, we needed to go directly to the students and their parents and ask a series of questions. With support from a California Department of Education grant, we developed a comprehensive follow-up study and conducted hundreds of interviews asking former students about their employment, education, and quality of life. Results from this research paralleled other published data indicating high unemployment and poor quality of life for young adults with disabilities. These results supported the need and development of a comprehensive curriculum called The Transitions Curriculum (TTC).

Development of this curriculum is research-based through an extensive literature review that includes the most recent peer reviewed articles related to transition. In addition, The Transitions Curriculum revisions have been based on our own ongoing action research that has included over 100 teachers and several thousand students. The most recent research study, Who Is In the Driver’s Seat: The Importance of Self-Determination for Individuals with Disabilities (Silva, 2004), indicates positive correlations between use of The Transitions Curriculum lessons and activities and increased student self-determination.

This paper addresses three areas:

1. Development of The Transitions Curriculum Content

2. Alignment with Evidence-Based Strategies and Methods

3. Research Support for The Transitions Curriculum

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The Transitions Curriculum: Research Statement

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