Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding the Perceptual Divide between Students with Disabilities, Faculty and Administration in an Open Enrollment Environment
by Wrage, Jennifer, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2017, 171; 10276943
Abstract (Summary)

Due to civil rights legislation, advances in technology, disability support services on college campuses, medication therapy and increased public acceptance of disabilities, students with disabilities are one of the largest minority group on college campuses (Pryor, Hurtado, DeAngelo, Palucki, Blake, & Tran 2010). According to the 2016 U.S. National Center for Education Statistics Fact Sheet, “11.1% of the college students attending college in the 2011-2012 academic year reported a documented disability.” The U.S. Department of Education also indicates that nearly “60% of students with disabilities attend two-year schools due to their open enrollment policies” (U.S. Department of Education 2002).

This qualitative study focused on understanding the faculty-student perceptual divide between students with disabilities, faculty and administration in open enrollment environments. The study examined interview data of both full and part time community college faculty, students with differing disabling conditions, and disability support directors at two different community college institutions in New York State. The study found multiple themes in which a faculty-student perceptual divide was observed. The theme that caused the most stress and conflict between faculty and students was accommodations. Other themes included: students with disabilities in as an independent learner, the teaching-learning process, obstacles to learning, and perceptions of disabled students strengths and weaknesses. The findings suggest that the lack of disability awareness can precipitate faculty prejudicial attitudes and biases towards students with disabilities. Similarly, students’ lack of understanding of college culture, academic standards and resources on campus can cause stress and suboptimal learning experiences. This study offers recommendations to alleviate these problems.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Meyer, Heinz
Commitee: Hammond, Jan, Schiller, Kathryn
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Educational Administration and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Higher Education Administration, Special education
Keywords: Faculty training, Faculty-student perceptual divide, Retention strategies, Sense-making, Students with disabilities, Transition to college
Publication Number: 10276943
ISBN: 978-1-369-79080-1
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