Although increasing numbers of students with disabilities are attending college, they graduate at lower rates compared to students without disabilities. In order to understand how to effectively prepare students with disabilities and provide meaningful support to college students with disabilities, we investigated the experiences of students registered with the disability service office at a public university located in the eastern region of the U.S. to learn about (a) the degree to which they felt prepared to enter college, (b) the disability-related services they received in college, (c) their perspectives of services received, (d) suggestions for improving services, and (e) their perspectives family involvement in college. We report mixed-methods findings from participants and provide implications for policy and practice.From the article:
Students registered with the DSO at a public university in the eastern region of the U.S. were surveyed about their preparation for college, their experiences and perspectives of services received, and perceptions of family involvement in college. Participants’ sense of preparedness for college ranged from feeling very prepared (25%) to very unprepared (10%). They cited specific transition skills such as timemanagement, note taking, and writing as having positive impact on their academic preparedness for college. However, participants noted that they would have benefited from more explicit instruction in executive functioning, as well as study and literacy skills prior to college. Participants also reported that they would have benefited from specific instruction on the logistics of college life prior to high school graduation, including how to select and register for courses, communicate appropriately with professors, budget money, and navigate the college environment. These needs support previous findings by Cai and Richdale (2016), suggesting that Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams should support high school students in identifying their personal strengths, needs, as well as available resources to access in college.
Cai, R. Y., & Richdale, A. L. (2016). Educational experiences and needs of higher education students with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46(31), 31–41.