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Undergraduate Studies:

Graduate Studies:


David Johnson

Professor; Coordinator of Evaluation Studies Program; Director of Institute on Community Integration

102D Pt H

150 Pillsbury Dr SE

Download Curriculum Vitae [PDF]

Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1987, educational policy and administration
M.S., Mankato State University, 1977, rehabilitation counseling
B.A., University of Minnesota, 1973, sociology


Areas of Interest

Special Education Policy
Graduation and Transition of Youth with Disabilities
Postschool Outcomes
Achievement Gap
Postsecondary Education
Student Engagement


David R. Johnson, Ph.D., is an Emma Birkmaier Professor of Educational Leadership and Coordinator of the Evaluation Studies Program in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. In addition to his role as Professor, he currently directs the Institute on Community Integration (ICI), a Research, Training, and Outreach Center focused on children, youth, and adults with disabilities. His research interests include: investigations of postschool outcomes of former special education students, high school graduation requirements, diploma options, dropout prevention and intervention, postsecondary education and access for individuals with disabilities, cost-benefit analysis of employment programs, and other policy-related research. He recently served as co-investigator of the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 a study of 12,000 students with and without disabilities and 12,000 parents/caregivers. The study focused on questions concerning youth’s current educational experiences and future plans beyond high school. Dr. Johnson has published more than 130 book chapters, journal articles, research monographs, technical reports, and products on topics concerning the secondary education of and transition of youth with disabilities, special education policy, interagency collaboration, and other themes related to his research. His research and evaluation results have been used by U. S. Congressional Committees, State Legislatures, State Education Agencies, and other organizations.

Courses Taught

  • OLPD 8596 - Evaluation Internship

Selected Publications

  1. Johnson, D. R. (2005). Supported employment trends: Implications for transition-age youth. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 29(4), 243-247.

  2. Johnson, D. R. & Bremer, C. (2005). Comparison of the secondary education and transition provisions of the 1997 and 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals.

  3. Sharpe, M. N., Johnson, D. R., & Murray, H. (2004). An analysis of instruction accommodations and assistive technologies used by postsecondary graduates with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 17(4), 1-9.

  4. Ysseldyke, J., Nelson, R., Christenson, S, Johnson, D.R., Dennison, A, Triezenberg, H., Sharpe, M, and Hawes, M. (2004). What we know and need to know about the consequences of high stakes testing for students with disabilities. Exceptional Children, 71(1), 75-96.

  5. Johnson, D. R., Stodden, R. A., Emanuel, E. J., Luecking, R., & Mack, M. (2002). Current challenges facing secondary education and transition services: What research tells us. Exceptional Children, 68(4), 519-531.

  6. Thurlow, M., & Johnson, D. R. (2000). High-stakes testing and students with disabilities. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(4), 305-314.

  7. Lehr, C. A., Johnson, D. R., Bremer, C. D., Cosio, A., & Thompson, M. (2004). Increasing rates of school completion: Moving from policy and research to practice. Minneapolis, MN: Institute on Community Integration, National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, University of Minnesota.

  8. Johnson, D. R., & Thurlow, M. L. (2004). A national study on graduation requirements and diploma options for youth with disabilities. Minneapolis, MN: National Center on Secondary Education and Transition Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota.