Secondary Transition Experiences: Analyzing Perceptions, Academic Self-Efficacy, Academic Adjustment, and Overall Impact on College Students' with LD Success in Postsecondary Education

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Butler, Allison Lynette
Fabian, Ellen
The National Center for Special Education Research at the Institute of Education Sciences under the United States Department of Education funded the National Longitudinal Transition Study - 2 to provide the first national overview of the characteristics and experiences of youth with disabilities which includes self-representations of themselves, their schooling, their personal relationships, and their future aspirations. The study was initiated in 2001 and data collection ended in 2010. The NLTS2 provided insight to youth's perceptions of secondary experiences and expectations for the future which was an area with limited research. The current study draws from college students with learning disabilities in an attempt to analyze their perceptions through experience. Exploratory and descriptive, this investigation examines the relationship between students' perceptions of their secondary transition experiences, academic self-efficacy, academic adjustment, and cumulative semester grade point average (GPA). The purpose of this study was to analyze participants' experiences to generate information regarding how students perceive the effectiveness of their secondary transition programs in pursuit of postsecondary success. In addition, this study examined self-efficacy issues and academic adjustment. Through online survey administration the following instruments were used: a demographic questionnaire, National Longitudinal Transition Study - 2 (NLTS2) Youth Continuation Interview (YCI) containing questions asking participants to rate their perceptions, the Academic Self-Efficacy scale (CASES; Owen and Froman, 1988), and the academic adjustment subscale of the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ; Baker & Siryk, 1989). Data was analyzed using a one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Pearson's product moment correlations. In addition a step-wise multiple regression was performed in order to identify the most influential factors associated with postsecondary academic success (GPA). Academic self-efficacy was the primary determinant of student success. Variables found to have significant relationships with academic self-efficacy were perceptions of secondary transition experiences, academic adjustment, self-reported cumulative grade point average, and number of semesters completed. An inverse relationship was discovered to exist between academic self-efficacy and type of institution as well as being African American and Latino students.