The authors prepared two studies: 1) One examining the relationship between disability, transfer, and postsecondary education outcomes; and 2) a second study examining the relationship between disability, transfer, postsecondary outcomes and predicted income earnings.
Their first report addresses the following research questions:
- Are students with disabilities more likely to transfer between postsecondary institutions? If so, in which direction?
- Dependent on transfer patterns, are students with disabilities more or less likely to graduate?
- Which factors are most important in relation to students’ transfer and graduation patterns?
- What role do students’ public school experiences play in relation to students’ postsecondary education transfer and graduation patterns?
Highlights from the findings:
- Students with disabilities are more likely to transfer between postsecondary education institutions.
- Students with disabilities are less likely to enter and stay in a university program than their non-disabled peers and are more likely to enter and stay in a college program and transfer between college programs than their non-disabled peers.
- Students who transferred between postsecondary institutions are less likely to graduate. Although there was an initial gap in graduation between students with and without a disability, once control variables were included, the gap was negligible.
- For both transfer patterns and graduation rates, it is clear that the inclusion of students’ public school markers is critical in explaining students’ postsecondary outcomes.
Their second report addresses the next set of research questions:
- Do students with and without disabilities achieve parity in predicted income shortly after leaving their programs?
- Dependent on transfer patterns, are students with and without disabilities more or less likely to reach income parity?
- What role do transfer and students’ public school experiences play in relation to students’ earnings shortly after leaving PSE?
- Regardless of their academic pathway, students with disabilities consistently earn less than their non- disabled colleagues.
- Students who enter and stay within their college or university program have higher predicted earnings than their respective peers who have transferred between PSE institutions.
- When the control variables were included in the model, the increase in earnings was larger for transfer students with disabilities than transfer students without disabilities, suggesting that if students are going to transfer, students with disabilities are more likely to benefit from transferring than their non-disabled counterparts.
- In our first analysis examining transfer and graduation from PSE (Parekh, et al., 2022b), the inclusion of students’ achievement, program, and school-based variables rendered the gap in students’ graduation rates for both transfer and disability variables negligible. However, in the analysis of predicted future earnings, the inclusion of these same variables reduced, but did not eliminate, the persistent income gap between both transfer and disability variables.