Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


This North Dakota study was planned in order to relate the school special education training that 107 young adults with mental handicaps experienced prior to 1989 to their employment status and living conditions in 1989. These individuals and their caregivers were surveyed by the Department of Public Instruction’s Division of Special Education and the survey information was tabulated by the Bureau of Educational Services and Applied Research at the University of North Dakota. Resulting data were statistically analyzed utilizing nonparametric methods.

The results of this study indicated that more high school graduates with mental handicaps in North Dakota were employed and earning a salary than were individuals who earned special certificates or who had dropped out. There was no relationship between hourly wage and graduation status. Career vocational training had no affect on job status, and students did not earn higher wages as a result of having selected career options. There was no relationship between community size and employment status. There was no relationship between severity of retardation and employment status.

In regard to living conditions, there was no relationship between graduation status and independent living conditions. There was no relationship between community skills training and post-secondary living conditions. Regardless of whether subjects had community skills training or not, the parents’ residence was where the majority of the subjects lived after leaving school. Finally, there was no relationship between where the subjects were living and their level of retardation.