Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Chriss Walther-Thomas


The primary purpose of this study was to explore the complex role of division level special education administrators relating to secondary transition services. Management and leadership dimensions of the role of special education administrators related to secondary transition services were explored by surveying all special education directors (133) in the Commonwealth of Virginia using a survey instrument specifically designed for this study.;Analyses of the data revealed significant overlap between the management and leadership components of the role suggesting that the two constructs can not be separated. The dimensions of management and leadership were highly correlated and ratings for importance of tasks related to both constructs fell between "some extent" and "great extent" on the survey scale.;There was, however, significant difference between special education administrators' perceived ideal role and their real role. Transition related tasks were rated in importance between "some extent" and "great extent", while ratings for the performance of those tasks in the real role fell between "small extent" and "some extent".;Administrators identified enablers to their ability to administer transition services in their divisions as support of a committed knowledgeable staff, adult agencies, community, general education, and their own personal vision and knowledge. Primary barriers included lack of time, resources, knowledge, and community support. Comments on factors related to enablers and barriers seemed to be linked with both management and leadership tasks as defined by this study.



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