Examining school-community transition partnerships using community conversations

Michele A. Schutz, Erik W. Carter, Erin A. Maves, Shimul A. Gajjar, Elise D. McMillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Effective school partnerships are crucial for supporting transition-age youth with disabilities to transition to adulthood. Although the importance of strong school-community collaboration is widely advocated, many school districts still struggle to establish transition partnerships within and beyond the school. OBJECTIVE: This study examined the application of 'community conversation' events as a pathway for convening local communities to reflect on and strengthen their existing transition partnerships. METHODS: Five school districts held events that engaged a total of 213 local citizens in constructive dialogue about enhancing school-employer-community partnerships. RESULTS: Collectively, the individuals involved in these community conversations generated 55 distinct recommendations for developing or deepening transition partnerships, both within and beyond the walls of their local schools. When asked about the strength of current transition partnerships, however, the views of attendees were quite mixed. CONCLUSIONS: We offer recommendations for research, practice, and policy aimed at strengthening partnerships among schools, employers, agencies, families, and communities that improve the preparation and outcomes of youth with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-145
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • employment
  • interagency collaboration
  • secondary school
  • Transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy

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