Date of Award

Spring 4-11-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Laurie Goodman

Second Advisor

George Giokaris

Third Advisor

Timothy McCarty


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify and describe the expectations of parents of developmentally delayed special education needs (SEN) high school children regarding their children’s transition out of independent studies charter high schools. In addition, it was the purpose of this study to identify how parents perceived independent studies charter high school schools addressed the needs of their SEN children during the transition process.

Methodology: This study used qualitative methodology to gain insight into the lived experiences and perceptions of parents with SEN high school students in a NCB ISP high school transition program. Data was collected from 10 participants with interviews as the primary data collection method which was compiled with the researcher’s observations during the interview process. This methodology was aligned with the purpose statement and research questions.

Findings: The findings of the research demonstrate that parents of SEN developmentally delayed students who enroll their students in a NCB ISP charter high school do so because they are actively looking for an education model that fits their student’s unique needs. Parental expectation is that the NCB ISP charter high school will provide more choice and opportunities for their students as they go through the special education transition process. Based on the information gathered from the semi-structured interviews, it was concluded that the majority of parents viewed the NCB ISP charter high school transition programs as superior to or on par with conventional public high schools.

Conclusions: Parents of special education (SEN) students who are looking for an effective special education transition services model often choose NCB ISP charter high schools. Successful SEN transition programs at NCB ISP charter high schools emphasize career development and preparedness. Parents require formal training to understand and participate effectively in the special education transition process.

Recommendations: The researcher recommends that all NCB ISP charter high schools have a dedicated special education transition staff and program. Transition programs are to have a parent education component that is relevant. Parents will benefit from having experts guide them through the special education training process.