Indicator 1 | Graduation Rates

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Closeup of three diplomas rolled up and tied with ribbon.Updated, April 2013

Indicator 1 concerns itself with the numbers of youth with disabilities graduating from high school with a regular diploma.

Indicator 1 reads as follows:

Percent of youth with IEPs graduating from high school with a regular diploma.  [20 U.S.C. 1416 (a)(3)(A)]


These, then, are the data that States must compile and report to OSEP in keeping with its monitoring and supervision activities regarding graduation rates of youth with disabilities.

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Resources Resources to Support Data Gathering for Indicator 1

Guidance documents on Indicator 1.

How are we doing?
What’s the current status on improving graduation rates for youth with disabilities? What are the data telling us? Read this summary from 2011.

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Resources to Support Graduation Rates

Want to learn more about post-school outcomes?
Is your state trying to develop strategies for collecting and using data to improve secondary, transition, and post-secondary outcomes for youth with disabilities? Does your state need technical assistance to improve systems for post-school outcome data collection and use?  If you answered yes to either question you should check out the National Post School Outcomes Center at the link below.

Explore the stepping stones to graduation: high-school and transition.
The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) oordinates national resources, offers technical assistance, and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities.

Join a community to discuss graduation rates. is a forum for exchanging strategies and ideas to improve outcomes for children with disabilities. As a member, this platform will enable you to find colleagues who share interests (member profiles), participate in discussions, and share strategies, resources, and post content.  One of the communities you can join on TAcommunities is the “Exiting – Part B Community.” Part B refers to the part of the special education law that applies to students in public schools until they leave high school.  The Exiting – Part B community discusses issues around transition, graduation, post-secondary education, employment, and post school outcomes.

Learn about high school improvement and reform.
The National High School Center provides information and technical assistance to the Regional Comprehensive Centers to increase states’ capacity to improve their high schools.  They provide webinars and many products on a variety of secondary education issues including graduation rates.

What happens after graduation?
The HEATH Resource Center has information for students with disabilities on utilizing disability support services on college and university campuses, and accessing services at career-technical schools and other postsecondary training entities. HEATH has information on financial assistance, scholarships, and materials to help students with disabilities transition into college, university, career-technical schools, or other postsecondary programs.

Help students who are deaf or hearing impaired navigate secondary and postsecondary education.
The mission of PEPNet is to assist secondary and postsecondary institutions to improve educational access and enhance educational opportunities for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

How to calculate high school graduation rates.
The Center for Public Education provides several guides to policy issues facing public schools, including one on calculating high school graduation rates.

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