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NCEO - National Center on Educational Outcomes

Graduation Requirements for Students with Disabilities

Publications and Other Graduation Requirements Resources

NCEO Resources

Online resources available at NCEO's Web site (the publications are listed chronologically, with the most recent first; Policy Directions will give a general overview of the issues with other publications providing greater depth):

  • Graduation Policies for Students with Disabilities Who Participate in States' General Assessments (Synthesis Report 98) (2015)
    PDF document
  • Diploma Options, Graduation Requirements, and Exit Exams for Youth with Disabilities: 2011 National Study (Technical Report 62) (2012)- NEW!
    HTML document / PDF document
  • Earning a High School Diploma through Alternative Routes (Synthesis Report 76) (2010)
    HTML document | PDF document
  • Revisiting Graduation Requirements and Diploma Options for Youth with Disabilities: A National Study (Technical Report 49)  (2007)
    HTML document / PDF document
  • High Stakes Graduation Exams: The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Minnesota's Basic Standards Tests for Students with Disabilities (Synthesis Report 62) (2006) HTML document / PDF document

For reports before 2006, see NCEO's Archived Publications.


Partner Resources

Graduation Requirements for Students with Disabilities: Ensuring Meaningful Diplomas for All Students
Produced by Achieve and NCEO.

Diplomas At Risk: A Critical Report
The Diplomas At Risk page on the NCLD website will get you to the report after a free registration process. By registering, you'll also get access to a recording of the accompanying webinar.


Additional Resources

Chambers, D., Rabren, K., & Dunn, C. (2008). A comparison of transition from high school to adult life of students with and without disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32(1), 42-52.

Christenson, S.L., Decker, D.M., Triezenberg, H.L., Ysseldyke, J.E., & Reschly, A. (2007). Consequences of high-stakes assessment for students with and without disabilities. Educational Policy, 21(4), 662-690.

Erickson-Gaumer, A., Kleinhammer-Tramill, J., & Thurlow, M. (2007). An analysis of the relationship between high school exit exams and diploma options. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 18(2), 117-128.

Hall, D.. (2007). Graduation matters: Improving accountability for high school graduation. Washington, DC: Education Trust. http://www.edtrust.org/dc/publication/graduation-matters-improving-accountability-for-high-school-graduation

 Hartwig, R., & Sitlington, P. L. (2008). Employer perspectives on high school diploma options for adolescents with disabilities. Journal of Disability Policy Students, 19(1), 5-14.

Heubert, J. P., & Hauser, R. M. (Eds.). (1999). High stakes testing for tracking, promotion, and graduation. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Johnson, D. R., Stout, K. E., & Thurlow, M. L. (2009). Diploma options and perceived consequences for students with disabilities. Exceptionality, 17(3), 119-134.

Lehr, C. A., Clapper, A. T., & Thurlow, M. L. (2005). Graduation for all: A practical guide to decreasing school dropout. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

McIntosh, S. (2012). State high school exit exams: A policy transition. Washington, DC: Center on Education Policy.

McIntosh, S. (2011). State high school tests: changes in state policies and the impact of the college and career readiness movement. Washington, DC: Center on Education Policy.

Thurlow, M. L., Cormier, D. C., & Vang, M. (2009). Alternative routes to earning a standard high school diploma. Exceptionality, 17(3), 135-149.

Thurlow, M. L., & Johnson, D. R. (2011). The high school dropout dilemma and special education students (Report #18). Santa Barbara, CA: University of California, California Dropout Research Project.

Thurlow, M.L., & Johnson, D.R. (2010, August). From high school to success: Implications of diploma options for the future. The State Education Standard, 34-39.