This research project utilized a collective case study approach to explore the lived experiences of nontraditional postsecondary students with impairments. Through the lenses of resilience theory and thriving as well as the social model of disability, it explored the challenges faced by successful nontraditional college students with impairments via semi-structured interviews with students and disability service providers. Analysis of websites and documents given to students with disabilities and nontraditional students provided additional information. The primary research question investigated the perceptions of nontraditional postsecondary students with disabilities with regard to the institutional services and supports available at their postsecondary institution. Which supports have most contributed to their academic success? Which supports have been needed, but not available? A second research question investigated the relationship between the student and institutional personnel, exploring how those relationships contribute to resilience/thriving in nontraditional college students with disabilities, how the relationships develop, and what institutional characteristics facilitate the development of meaningful supportive relationships with nontraditional college students with disabilities. The common themes of (a) achievement orientation, (b) positivity, (c) self advocacy, (d) passion, and (e) the presence of multiple institutional sources of emotional support emerged from the data. Challenges included dispositional, attitudinal factors and institutional policies and practices, specifically related to accessible course materials and instruction. Developing an understanding of how successful nontraditional postsecondary education students with impairments overcome barriers and utilize facilitators they have experienced, along with an understanding of the academic supports and services that have contributed to or constrained their postsecondary success can result in increased access to postsecondary education for all learners, including those with multiple barriers.
|Advisor:||Johnson, Jerry D.|
|Commitee:||Godwyll, Frances, Hitchcock, John, Johnson, Jerry, EdD, Mather, Peter|
|Department:||Educational Administration (Education)|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Adult education, Educational psychology, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Adult education, Disability, Nontraditional students, Postsecondary education, Resilience, Thriving|
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