• Report

Improving the options of handicapped students in mainstream vocational education. Final report


Eagle, E., Choy, S., Hoachlander, E. G., Stoddard, S., & Tuma, J. (1987). Improving the options of handicapped students in mainstream vocational education. Final report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.


Presented are the findings of a study designed to identify and describe vocational education programs that have been successful in mainstreaming mildly handicapped students (educable mentally retarded, learning disabled, and mildly emotionally disturbed). The structural elements of 30 exemplary programs in six states are described and an optimal organizational model is presented. Among 20 identified exemplary practices are limiting the number of handicapped students in each mainstream class and providing multiple exit points with specific occupational outcomes. Successive chapters focus on the interdisciplinary approach (integrating the expertise of special educators and vocational educators), characteristics of classroom instruction, optimal classroom arrangements, and components of the overall system of education for employment (professional development incentives, vocational assessment and placement, prevocational instruction, work experience, transition services, support services, interprofessional communication, and administrative support). Implications for state and federal policy are detailed in the areas of funding, technical assistance, and evaluation. Among observations in a concluding chapter is that local education agencies must take the major responsibility for improving the ability of vocational education programs to serve mildly handicapped students. An appendix describes data collection methods and units of analysis. (JW)