Analyzes barriers faced in transitions to postsecondary education, various transition interventions being implemented and what additional research is needed to rigorously determine program effectiveness.
"Although many efforts are underway to assist youths and adults with their transitions to and through postsecondary education, only a few are conducting, or planning to conduct rigorous evaluations of such interventions. Moreover, a review of selected literature reveals that, to date, only a small number of evaluations of transition interventions have been completed using experimental methods or other rigorous research designs, and, even so, these studies have a number of weaknesses, such as relying on a small sample size or lacking a comparison group. In the absence of rigorous evidence, it was not possible to identify research-based effective interventions. This summary, therefore, focuses on: (1) the barriers to successful transitions to and through postsecondary education, (2) the various types of transition interventions being implemented, (3) the limited rigorous research available on transition interventions, and (4) what additional research is needed to determine which, if any, might be considered effective" (p.2). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

"Literature reviews were able to document some of the objectives, needs, and challenges involved in postsecondary transition, but there was insufficient evidence to determine which transition interventions could be considered effective or serve as models" (p.5). "If public policy and funds are to be devoted to promoting transition interventions, additional information about what works is essential. As the literature reviews demonstrate, rigorous research on transition is lacking. Future studies should: • Clearly identify the purpose, components, target group, and expected outcomes for the transition intervention. • Employ rigorous methodologies, such as longitudinal tracking of students based on student unit record data and experimental or quasi-experimental research methods. • Examine specific components of transition interventions, as well as combinations of components, to determine which are most effective. • Investigate outcomes relevant to policy, including student achievement and persistence, as well as rates of completion and employment. Such research can begin to provide practitioners with information about useful strategies and enable program administrators and policymakers to make sound decisions about how best to deploy resources to support postsecondary education transitions" (p.7). (Abstractor: Author)