Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Individualized education programs; Children with disabilities--Education;


The purpose of this study was to take an in-depth look at the decision-making process that an IEP team goes through regarding the reintegration of special education students. In particular, this study looked at the exiting criteria used by an IEP team in determining whether or not a student should be exited back into the general education classroom prior to graduation. Furthermore, using Raven's (1992) Power/Interaction Model as the theoretical framework, this study also looked at the beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes of an IEP team that were adopted through the processes involved in exiting students from special education programs.

The participants represented an IEP team from a rural, 4A, Iowa, public school. The study was purposefully focused on an IEP team working with a level one (resource) special education student due to the potential for exiting. However, this IEP team was randomly selected from all IEP teams that worked with a level one (resource) special education student from this school. The IEP team consisted of the following: student, parent, special education instructor, general education instructor, administrator, and area education agency representative. The data for this study was collected from one-on-one interviews of the IEP team, observations of the IEP meeting, and field notes and reflection logs from the researcher.

Determination of whether or not to exit a high school student from a special education program into the general education classroom before graduation was the focus of this study. There are no simple rules to guide IEP teams in making placement decisions, especially in regard to exiting. However, this study identified exiting criteria used by this IEP team during their decision-making process. Findings from this study included the following criteria used in making exiting decisions: (a) Student is meeting IEP goals; (b) student is able to self-advocate; (c) the adequacy of the general education classroom; and (d) alternative setting for post-secondary placement. In addition, by using the theoretical framework of Raven's (1992) Power/Interaction Model, it was determined that legitimate, expert, and informational influences (powers) were used by this IEP team during the decision-making process, especially in exiting recommendations.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Susan Etscheidt, Committee Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Rebecca Edmiaston, Committee Co-Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 233 pages)



File Format