Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Erik Drasgow

Second Advisor

Anthony Plotner


The purpose of this study was to examine transition professionals' perceptions of the importance of family engagement practices, how frequently specific family engagement practices are implemented, and the perceived level of preparation to implement these practices. The survey instrument was created for the purpose of this study, based on the extant literature review related to the specific family engagement practices that transition professionals implement in their work. A total of 237 transition specialists from 81 South Carolina school districts and 24 South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department local offices participated in the study. To identify the underlying structure of the specific family engagement practices, exploratory factor analysis was conducted, which revealed three family engagement domains: (a) Family Guidance, (b) Family Recognition, and (c) Family Partnership. Each domain comprised a set of specific family engagement practices and study participant responses regarding perceived importance, frequency, and preparation were evaluated at a domain level.

Data analysis revealed that transition professionals perceived family engagement practices as highly important across all three domains; however, reported preparation and frequency of actual implementation of such practices were lower. Study results showed that there was a statistically significant difference related to both perceived importance and frequency of implementation of family engagement practices across three groups of transition professionals: those who felt low, moderately, and highly prepared to perform such practices across all three domains. Statistically significant difference also existed among three groups of transition professionals based on the perceived importance of family engagement practices with respect to the frequency of implementation of such practices.


© 2019, Gerda Kumpiene