The purpose of this research study was to investigate the following research questions: (1) What attitudes do community college students have toward their peers with disabilities? (2) Do the research demographics (sex, academic year classification, sex, report of a disability and level of contact) and social desirability influence the community college students’ report on the attitudes community college students have and exhibit toward their peers with disabilities? Past investigation into the attitudes of university students toward university students and individuals with disabilities have been classified into the following four themes by this researcher: (a) general, (b) social, (c) professional and (d) academics. Critical demographic categories emerged in the literature as major contributors in understanding attitudes of university students. Those categories include: sex, academic year classification, report of a disability and level of contact. To measure the attitudes of community college students, the researcher investigated the variance between the reported comfort level of the respondent, his/her perception of their friends and the typical community college student with peers with disabilities. Additionally, these demographic categories were investigated to determine its predictability of attitudes toward community college students with disabilities. It is the hope of this researcher to expand on the paucity of information on the attitudes of community college students toward their peers with disabilities.
Members of the American College Personnel Association's Commission on Student Development in Two Year Colleges, were recruited to send out a web-based survey, which consisted of quantitative comfort items. A total of 128 students responded to the survey. Only 114 completed surveys were analyzed using a general descriptive data review, ANOVA assessments and multiple regression. Results from the analysis found variance in the perceptions of comfort between the respondent, his/her friends, and the typical community college student. Analyzing further the respondent’s perceptions of comfort with peers with disabilities determined that level of contact with students with disabilities predicted the attitudes toward students with disabilities.
Based on the findings, implications were offered for community college campus administrators and staff, campus programming and future research. The major implication focused on the use of Universal Instructional Design to assist with creating opportunities for students to be in contact with students with similar and different learning styles, strengths, and limitations from their own and that the practice of this praxis is to be shared by all stakeholders at community colleges.
|Commitee:||Murdick, Nikki, Rush, Doug|
|School:||Saint Louis University|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/10, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Community college education, Special education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Attitudes, Attitudes toward disabilities, Community colleges, Disability, Higher education|
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