The Importance of Student Access: Exploring the Relationship Between Graduation Rates, Retention Rates and Students with Disabilities Samantha Dutra, MEd, LMHC, NCC, MaCCS Professor, Doctorate Student and Private Practice Licensed Counselor Endicott College [email protected] Learning Outcomes: I. Review How Graduation and Retention Rates are of Concern to Higher Education Institutions II. Understand How Students with Disabilities Across Struggle to Achieve Equal Student Access and its Connection to Lowered Graduation and Retention Rates III. Analyze the Support that the Institution Provides to Students with Disabilities and Issues Faced IV. Learn About what Students with Disabilities can do to Overcome Barriers in Post-Secondary Education I. Review How Graduation and Retention Rates are of Concern to Higher Education Institutions There is a lack of understanding of the relationship between students with disabilities and graduation
and retention rates (Rigler, 2013). Points covered in this section include: Research has shown that when faculty, administration, student support services, and students communicate openly and effectively, graduation rates increase (Wessell, Jones, Markel, & Westfall, 2009; Malakpa, 1997; Tinto, 2001; Dowrick, Anderson, Heyer, & Acosta 2005; Gordon & Keiser, 1998; Rigler, 2013). B. Graduation and Retention Rates help the Institution A. Statistics and Facts C. Student Access, Academic Equity and Equality D. Contributing to Community and the Common Good A. Statistics and Facts (1 of 3) College administrators are concerned with many elements of student college performance, especially two core principles: Student graduation and retention
rates (Berger & Lyon, 2005). There has been an overall increase in the number of college students registered with disabilities (National Council on Disabilities, 2000; Newman, Wagner, Cameto, & Knokey, 2009; Reid & Knight, 2006), and also a decrease in student retention and drop rates, especially with regard to students with disabilities (National Organization on Disabilities, 2000; Rigler, 2013). A. Statistics and Facts (2 of 3) One common reason for increased dropout rates is that students with disabilities report that the accommodations received from the student support services do not help (West, Kregel, Getzel, Ming, Ipsen, & Matin, 1993). The Digest of Educational Statistics (Synder, Tan, & Hoffman, 2004), reported that almost 9% of college students in the US report disabilities (Henderson, 1999; Leahman, Davies, & Laurin, 2000; Vogel, Leyser, Wyland, & Brulle, 1999; Wessell, Jones, Markel, & Westfall, 2009). Whatever these reasons are, students with disabilities are at major risk for dropout and failure (DeFur, 1996; Wessell, Jones, Markel, & Westfall, 2009; Hossler, 1996; Chickering & Reisser,1993). A. Statistics and Facts (3 of 3) As cited by the National Council on Disability (2000), more than 17 % of college students report
a disability (Rigler, 2013). As cited by Nutter and Ringgenberg (1993), often times, students with disabilities do not report their disabilities and thus do not attain accommodations (Wessell, Jones, Markel, & Westfall, 2009). In addition to this, many students fail to use the accommodations they have been awarded because of several factors including fear of discrimination, confrontation or judgement by faculty and peer. Furthermore, many students report that B. Graduation and Retention Rates help the Institution (1 of 3) Finances and Operations As cited by Braxton, Hirschy, and McClendon (2004), students need to pay their college tuition, which can be costly. The integrity and operation of a college depends on student enrollments and retention (Wessell, Jones, Markel, & Westfall, 2009). Rise in Disabled Students Across Generations
As Tinto (2003a) found for every three traditional students without disabilities who graduate, there is one student with disabilities who drops out (Rigler, 2013). Systems Theory: Every layer of the student which includes barriers, influence student drop out rates, such as work, familial, social, academic, disability, age and other generational factors. B. Graduation and Retention Rates help the Institution (2 of 3) Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) (1997) Cited by Shaw and Dukes (2005) Developed a set of ethical codes and professional standards by which student support services should abide in order to provide equal access to students with disabilities Age: Having a well rounded cohort increases a positive and productive social and academic atmosphere on campus Association of Higher Education
and Disability (AHEAD) (2004) By post-secondary institutions following these ethics and standards, they are more likely to receive grants, approval by vendors, and positive recognition all around. The integrity of the college campus depends on funding to properly grow and maintain its systematic structure B. Graduation and Retention Rates help the Institution (3 of 3) Only when all college personnel commit and take ownership of equal access to students will they be able to contribute to the increase in student graduation and retention rates (Block, 2009). To the right: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (2007) Students entering 4-year college
C. Student Access, Academic Equity and Equality (1 of 3) Disability Support Center Providing access, equal opportunity and equity for students with disabilities on college campuses is a very important role of disability support services (Wessell, Jones, Markel, & Westfall, 2009). This is especially true for students with generational barriers and factors. Law and Ethics More so, federal law stipulates that postsecondary institutions provide accommodations when deemed necessary for student access and equity (Rigler, 2013; Shaw & Scott, 2003; Richman, 2013). Age is included in the federal law of discrimination.
C. Student Access, Academic Equity and Equality (2 of 3) Ethical Mindset As Gardner (2008) reported, it is crucial in an adaptive community to have an ethical mindset. An ethical mindset is one by which communities and individuals have a moral and just attitude to contribute to the common good of society. Unfortunately, many colleges still discriminate against, or display prejudice toward, Discrimination Specifically, there have been many studies that show that faculty are less likely to follow through on accommodations for students with emotional disabilities and more likely to grant accommodations to students with physical disabilities (Aksamit, Leuenberger & Morris, 1987; Vogel, Leyser, Wyland, & Brulle, 1999). C. Student Access, Academic Equity and
Equality An important population of marginalized and student (3 of 3) diversity that is often neglected in postsecondary education, however, is nontraditional adult learners (NALs) even though they represent approximately 38.2% of the postsecondary population in the United States (National Center for Education Statistics, 2009) Colleges and universities have increased their efforts to attract and retain students from different socioeconomic backgrounds through the elimination of barriers that may preclude diverse students to apply or enroll. This increases the enrollment rates of nontraditional students with hopes Unlike traditional students, who primarily perceive their identity as college students, NALs primarily perceive their identities as employees (Wirt et al., 2002), and it is through this identity in
which they evaluate and prioritize higher learning. NALs typically experience what is known as role strain (Goode, 1960), which is defined as individual struggles in meeting the demands of separate life roles. D. Contributing to Community and the Common Good (1 of 3) Helps Generational Transitions As cited by Eaton and Bean (1995), college can be time consuming and expensive, but prepares individuals to become contributing members of society (Wessell, Jones, Markel, & Westfall, 2009). College education greatly increases the likelihood of individuals options for employment compared to Common Good and Adults/ Older Adults with Disabilities
With regard to generational aspects, many individuals change careers several times. Adults/ older adults and older older adults would be able to achieve these career changes with specific and individualized accommodations. According to Stodden and Dowrick (2001), there is a strong positive correlation D. Contributing to Community and the Common Good (2 of 3) Contributing to Community: Impact if the NonTraditional Student does not gain Support: If more students with Unfortunately, individuals with disabilities received are less apt to stay in proper accommodations, disabilities college, earn college degrees and secure employment (Horn & graduation and Berktold, 1999; Horn & Bobbitt,
retention rates may 2004; Wagner & Blackorby, 1996; Yelin & Katz, 1994). This increase, thus more unfortunately adds the numbers in students would obtain adults and older adults with post-secondary degrees. disabilities with limited employment skill set and uncompleted educational degrees. D. Contributing to Community and the Common Good (3 of 3) Employers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the preparation of college students for the workplace (Hart Research Associates, 2010). Colleges and universities, in adapting to both employment and educational realities, can help shape the betterment of citizens. As cited by Block (2009) the common good is one that benefits society as a whole and not centered on the individual. In order for members of a society to contribute to the common good, they must be
committed to education, employment, moral and ethical practices. The non-traditional student spends the majority of their current time out of the educational setting, and mostly in employment and family settings. It is through this employmentbased identity rooted in adult life responsibility in which they seek postsecondary education. Their unique diversity revolves around three general characteristics: the role of adult identity, the role of self-direction, and the role of lived experience (Chen, 2017). II. Understand How Students with Disabilities Struggle to Achieve Equal Student Access and its Connection to Lowered Graduation and Retention Rates There are many barriers that students with disabilities face. In general, having any kind of disability can cause impairments, handicaps and limitations both academically and socially (Jones, 2001). Students with disabilities may face increased problems at home, at work and at school. Points covered in this section include: A. Define Disability B. Pertinent Studies and Statistics C. Define Non-Traditional Aged/ Generation Specific College Student D. Examine Barriers to Equal Student Access
A. Define Disability: What are the differences between a disability, impairment and handicap? (1 of 2) Disability According to CUNY Council on Disability Issues (2014) A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual as compared to most students in the general population, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. Impairment An injury, illness, or congenital condition that causes or is likely to cause a loss or difference of physiological or psychological function (CUNY Council on Disability Issues, 2014) Any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological, or anatomical structure or function A. Define Disability:
What are the differences between a disability, impairment and handicap? (2 of 2) Handicap According to the World Health Organization, a handicap is a disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from an impairment or a disability, that limits or prevents the fulfilment of a role that is normal (depending on age, sex, and social and cultural factors) for that individual. Ethics Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA):A federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The rights of parents with respect to their childrens education records at elementary and secondary school levels are transferred to the student when they reach the age of 18 or attends a postsecondary institution at any age (CUNY Council on Disability Issues, 2014) B. Statistics and Studies (1 of 2) According to Cook, The U.S. Department of
Education, National Center for Educational Statistics (2016), reported that college students with disabilities whom have dependents increased in the last few years by 2%. This trend speaks to the issue of students with disabilities not receiving adequate support at home. Rumrill and Tankersley (2009), college students with disabilities tripled in numbers from 19781998 and thus from 3 % to 9 % Students with disabilities attend college at a smaller percentage compared to those students without disabilities B. Statistics and Studies (2 of 2) Students with UNC-Chapel Hill turned
down only one applicant for disability services, including accommodations, last year. By contrast, the University of North Alabama turns down half its applicants for disability services, according to an estimate by Cope (2009). disabilities have a higher rate of college drop out and take longer to complete their academic degrees than students without disabilities Many students with disabilities have stated that faculty and administrators do not understand their needs or barriers B. The U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics (2016) 15.7 % of college students age 30 and older with disabilities
enrolled in the year of 20112012. This compares to the reduced rate of enrollment of these students between ages 1523 of 9.0 %. Comparably, nondisabled college students between the ages of 15-23 enrolled at 91 %. This compares to the enrollment rate of these students age 30 and older of 84.3 %. This may conclude that students with disabilities may be more confident in enrolling in college at later years. This also may conclude that students with disabilities may take longer to complete high school, not being able to enroll in college until their mid 20s or early 30s. 16% of students between the ages 25-64 who had not completed high school had one or more disabilities in 2015. C. Define Generation Specific/ NonTraditional Aged College Students There are three factors to define the nontraditional student (National Center for Education Statistics, n.d.): 1. Enrollment patterns. Assuming
that traditional enrollment in postsecondary education is defined as enrolling immediately after high school and attending full time, students who diverge from this pattern would be considered nontraditional. In this study, therefore, students who delayed enrollment in postsecondary education by a year or more after high school or who attended part time were considered nontraditional. Non-Traditional Aged 2. Financial and family status. Family responsibilities and financial constraints used to identify nontraditional students included having dependents other than a spouse, being a single parent, working full time while enrolled, or being financially independent from parents. 3. High school graduation status. Students who did not receive a standard high school diploma but who earned some type of certificate of completion were also considered nontraditional. This included GED recipients and those who received a high school certificate of completion. Students who did not graduate from high school or earn a certificate of completion (less than 2
D. Related Barriers (1 of 4) Generational Related: Cultural Missed days of school due to family and cultural needsspecial holidays, rituals, customs Religious individuality- some students may struggle with certain topics that may be adverse to their familys religion Language barriers- culturalESL/ accents, generationalslang, or Autistic- repeated words/ phrases, stuttering/ stammering Generational Related: Family These disorders are often times genetic. The college student may need some support from home at times. However, having a parent or parents with any
mental health or learning disorders can be a huge barrier to receiving this support. Some students may be parents themselves D. Related Barriers (2 of 4) Stress induced Substance Use Binge drinking is most common among younger adults aged 1834 years, but more than half of the total binge drinks are consumed by those aged 35 and older (Kanny D, Naimi TS, Liu Y, Lu H, Brewer RD, 2015). Generational: Substance use such as drinking is one of the most common forms of coping among adults and older adults with regard to life stressors. (i.e. relationships, work related, isolation, mental health related, housing/ domestic related). Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2015
Youth Risk Behavior Survey and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System D. Related Barriers (3 of 4) Group/ Paired Activity: Guide for Student/ Interviewee QA As we are understanding, there are 1.What kind of coaching/ advising do you offer? am a nursing mom, can I bring my infant to class as many layers to the systematic and 2.Icurrently she needs to feed every 2 hours. organizational issues by which 3.I have other children, how will this program fit into my life while raising a family? students with disabilities across 4.Do you offer accelerated and online classes? generations face. In this activity, 5.I have a serious arthritic condition, will I be penalized one person is the college program for being absent, and sometimes regularly? interviewer and one person is the 6.Do you have financial coaching? What does this look student on the interview. like and what funds are available? (Depending on the size of the group) 7.Do you have specialized grants for parents? Student: Use the guide to the right 8.Do you offer credit for life experiences? 9.How will this program help me professionally? Getting of this slide to ask some vital a job? Will this program give me the proper questions regarding the program
credentialing I need to move up in my career? and equal access. Interviewer: 10. I have a significant learning disability, what services Answer creatively, in an ideal world, are available and what services have other students stated are most helpful for accommodations? or you can role play an interview D. Related Barriers (4 of 4) BURNOUT/ FATIGUE: According to the Apollo Group (2018), there have been numerous reports on how stress, depression and anxiety effect the non-traditional college student, more so for students with disabilities. In the graph shown on the left, a study from the Apollo Research Institute shows the psychological issues adult college students face have to deal with adversity in the classroom. It has been proven that whether confirmed mental health related disorder such as anxiety or simply having anxiety related symptoms contributes drastically to fatigue, burnout and thus contributes to increased failure and drop out rates.
III. Analyze the Support that the Institution Provides to Students with Disabilities and Issues Faced According to the US Department of Education (2018), reasonable accommodations are modifications or alterations to tasks which help students with disabilities have equal opportunities to get the tasks done (American Psychological Association, 2018). These accommodations are meant to reduce disabling related barriers Points covered in this section include: A. Communication Between Faculty, Disability Support Services and Students B. Peer Mentoring Programs/ Advisor Support/ Open Door Policy C. Training for Faculty, Student Support and Administration D. Curriculum/ Syllabi E. Universal Design, Multicultural and Multidimensional Approaches A. Communication Between Faculty, Disability
Support Services and Students (1 of 2) Support As cited by Hossler (1996) and Chickering and Reisser (1993), students must be encouraged to graduate, not only by faculty, but from all personnel within the college (Wessell, Jones, Markel, & Westfall, 2009). Advisement As stated by Komives, Woodard, and Associates (2003), student support services should also help with advising students of their rights and responsibilities and communicating with faculty, advisors as well as other college personnel (Rigler, 2013; A. Communication Between Faculty, Disability Support Services and Students (2 of 2) Faculty, Support Influence
Proper support can act as institutional liaisons to help students navigate college systems. At many colleges that implemented supportive, wraparound models, while they anticipated needing to work with students to address life challenges, such as those described above, they found their roles to be more valuable in helping students deal with institutional systems and process once they were enrolled Benefits: 1. Furthermore, in a study by Richman (2013), students who communicate with college personnel are more likely to obtain better grades. 2. According to Rigler (2013), student support services and faculty heavily influence B. Peer Mentoring Programs/ Advisor Support/ Open Door Policy (1 of 3)
Research by TINTO (2001, 2003) As cited by Tinto (2003), other forms of support are informal and include advisors, faculty and other staff whom then can appropriately inquire about the students personal, professional, family and social lives (Rigler, 2013). Specific 5 Conditions In Tintos Theory of Integration (2001), five conditions are shown to increase graduation and retention rates: expectations, support, feedback, involvement, and learning (Rigler, 2013). B. Peer Mentoring Programs/ Advisor Support/ Open Door Policy (2 of 3) Alternative Methods of Support Fortunately, there are supports such as formal programs of support which
include advisory or mentor programs (Rigler, 2013). Coaches have acted as advocates for students in interacting with admissions, registrars, and faculty to ensure that students are on track to complete. Coaches also have helped students to Benefits: As noted by Dowrick, Anderson, Heyer, and Acosta (2005) and Gordon and Keiser (1998), when students feel accepted and supported by advisors, faulty, and mentors, they do better academically. (Complete College America, 2018). B. Peer Mentoring Programs/ Advisor Support/ Open Door Policy (3 of 3) What is an Open Door Policy? An open door policy means that faculty are willing to work with students during office hours and outside of their other obligations.
Faculty should be flexible and accommodating as much as possible when scheduling special times for students that cannot make it during typical office hours (Delaney, Radke and Zimmerle, 2015). Open Door Policy is especially useful for students whom are working full time, raising families This allows for: Students with flexible access to faculty- especially for non-traditional students Students feel supported and welcomed by faculty, equal access A more harmonious atmosphere between faculty and students on campuses Reduces students sense of alienation, isolation Allows faculty to identify any at risk students and refer accordingly (Hainline, Gaines, Feather, Padilla and Terry, 2010; Hill, 1996). C. Training for Faculty, Student
Support and Administration (1 of 2) Lack of Training Many faculty and administrators lack the proper training to help students with disabilities (McLoughlin, 1982; West, et al., 1993; Dona & Edmister, 2001; Yuen & Shaughnessy, 2001). Furthermore, many student support service personnel are not properly trained because there are no current legal mandates or requirements for these positions (Rigler, 2013). Support of Faculty/ Admin Training One survey found that 9 in 10 higher education faculty members believe that professional development is important to their careers and would help improve student outcomes (Hart Research Associates, 2015). Training should be inclusive to generational issues/ barriers,
first generational students, disabilities, various ages of C. Training for Faculty, Student Support and Administration (2 of 2) Faculty Issues: As cited by Nelson, Dodd, and Smith (1990), faculty also should be trained in how to effectively adjust their curriculum to be more inclusive, without worrying about accommodations negatively impacting the integrity of the curriculum (Rigler, 2013). Furthermore, faculty and staff should also be trained in how to deal with their own perceptions, attitudes, and judgements about students with disabilities (Burgstahler & Doe, 2006). Benefits: In a study by Wessell, Jones, Markel, and Westfall (2009), it was found that training faculty and staff on student disabilities helped to increase retention and
graduation rates. As reported by Shaw and Dukes (2005), if faculty are trained on students with disabilities, then D. Curriculum/ Syllabi (1 of 5) Curriculum Offer large print materials, visual aids and other formats to accommodate students. Allow a variety of teaching methods- lecture, group work, presentations among courses Substitute courses for nonessential course requirements Consider recording content discussed in class or allow recording devices of students to be on (American Psychological Association, 2017; Klein, 2009; Griffiths, 2003). Syllabi List on your syllabus how students
with disabilities can access supports and services. Instructors must be aware of what the institution offers for disability supports and policies regarding accommodations List objectives clearly and re-state what the objective is per class. Review the syllabus every week when possible to recap what is due, what the agenda is, etc. (this helps to re-iterate when students are absent) (Musingafi, Mhute, Zebron and Kaseke, 2015; Hill 1996). D. Curriculum/ Syllabi (2 of 5) Curriculum While describing main points, provide examples Paraphrase key information about the course content Select textbooks which are organized with sub headings and student resources
Write out stages to complete any assignments Consider to email your dean or learning center about students that seem behind. This may help schools know who to reach out to. (Collins and Mowbray, 2005; Syllabi Use clear language that is understandable to all students Offer syllabus in different formatting Include written instruction for each assignment and identify the title of each assignment consistently Consider to offer a small group discussion on the syllabus during your office hour time (Kupferman, 2014; Heiman, 2006; (Banks and Banks, 2016; Lisi and Howe, 2016). D. Curriculum/ Syllabi (3 of 5)
Curriculum Allow for extended time on any exams or assignments Allow students to use a laptop for any writing assignments Use both closed and open book quizs Give shorter exams, more frequently rather than longer mid terms or final exams. Allow for note takers and student helpers in the classroom (American Psychological Association, 2017; Griffiths, 2003). Syllabi Integrate small group exercises which review the main points and summaries of the content Avoid wordiness while remaining clear Provide fewer different types of assignments, keeping the
expectations high but simple Allow for multiple choice exams instead of qualitative directed exams (Kupferman, 2014; Heiman, 2006). D. Curriculum/ Syllabi (4 of 5) Curriculum Expect lessoned comprehension more so than lessoned compliance Give praise to students when they give feedback or ask questions regarding the curriculum Use code words or symbols to help students make associations among like terms within the course content As lecturing, notice when students are displaying signs of stress. As this is noticed, rephrase content statements and use more visuals. (Adams and Bell, 2016; Howe and Lisi, 2016). Syllabi When reviewing the syllabus,
encourage students to seat in the front rows of the classroom. Walk around to glance and interact with all students regarding the syllabus When students ask questions about the syllabus, give praise Address not only academic expectations, but behavioral ones as well in the syllabus (American Psychological Association, 2017; Block, 2009). D. Curriculum/ Syllabi (5 of 5) Curriculum Walk around, assist struggling students during group participation activities Include art, design, media and other visually stimulating content Repeat content of coursework, do not penalize those who may not process information quickly and need directions and content repeated
Avoid unusual jargon, slang terms and misunderstood nicknames Pal Buddy Syllabi Revise syllabus after obtaining feedback from students. Use clear non ambiguous words Offer alternatives on the syllabus to group participation. If include power points in the syllabus, offer printed slides for students Use pictures to show what syllabus means (Griffiths, 2003; Jones, 2001; Delaney, Radke and Zimmerle, 2015). E. Universal Design, Multicultural and Multidimensional Approaches (1 of 4) UDI: Universal Design of Instruction In UD, in essence, a classroom is created that permits all students access to content, materials, tools and support services
An instructor secures a note taker for some students, allows them to tape record lectures, or provides students with a copy of his or her notes Both written and oral instructions for assignments or a class activity are provided, instructions are clarified, and questions are welcomed and sought To DO A Professor avoid talking with his or her back to the class Inquiries asked by students are repeated by the instructor Key terms or ideas are written on the board Course selection making is completed so others have ample time to have course materials developed in alternate formats, such as books on tape and Braille. E. Universal Design, Multicultural and Include UDI in syllabus. This will allow a wide array of Multidimensional
Approaches (2 of 4) learners to understand the assignments and readings. There are 9 elements in the UDI A few of the barriers cited by institutions as hindering implementation of Universal Design to a moderate or major extent were limited staff resources to provide faculty and staff training on accessibility issues (52 percent), costs associated with purchasing appropriate technology (46 percent), and other institutional priorities (45 As cited by Cook, Rumrill and Tankersley (2009) the 9 UDI elements are:
equitable use flexibility in use simple and intuitive use perceptible information tolerance for error low physical effort size and space for approach community of learners instructional climate (Scott, McGuire, & Shaw, 2001). E. Universal Design, Multicultural and Multidimensional Approaches (3 of 4) Multidimensional Creative, active learning which is also self guided instruction and encourages students to think creatively Open to the use of online learning techniques, discussion boards and alternative visual formats Interdisciplinary (ID) approaches to research and training are essential underpinnings to best meet the dynamic needs of todays nontraditional higher education students (Jacob, 2015). Multicultural U.S. Census Bureau (2008) data
predict that by 2050, 54 percent of the U.S. population will be individuals from groups currently called minorities. Multicultural education envelops the idea that all students-regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, class, ethnic or cultural characteristics should have equal opportunity to learn. Unfortunately, some students because of one or more of these identity characteristics, have a better chance to learn than others. E. Universal Design, Multicultural and Multidimensional Approaches (4 of 4) Mimic the Workplace: Nontraditional students have opportunities to work with other adults, to be held accountable for things like attendance and performance, to network with employers, and to identify ways in which their degree, course work and credentials will help them further their careers. Accelerated Scheduling: Offers adult learners more flexibility in managing school work alongside fulltime jobs and family responsibilities, allowing them to enroll in fulltime
programs without interfering in their day-to-day routines. Credit for Competency: By awarding college credit for military experience, on-thejob training, industryrecognized credentials, and other evidence of life-long learning, institutions demonstrate a willingness to value nontraditional students knowledge and experience, allowing them to accelerate their progress toward obtaining a degree or credential. (Complete College America, IV. Learn About what Students with Disabilities can do to Overcome Barriers in Post-Secondary Education Points in this section covered: A. Self Advocacy/ Report Disabilities and Generational Based Issues B. Use Accommodations C. Transition Planning Between High School and College D. Social Atmosphere and Attitude A. Self Advocacy/ Report Disabilities and Generational Based Issues (1 of 2) Self Advocacy =
Success According to Thoma and Getzel (2005), Gil (2007), and Skinner (2004), students who strongly self-advocate tend to understand their disabilities and display selfconfidence will be more successful in reaching their academic goals than students who do not self-advocate. Coaching Model: Supplying career coaches and alike one-on-one coaching have a positive impact on nontraditional students many of whom are first-generation college students or older adultsby providing customized support for academics, but also financial aid, priority setting, job placement, and more. This coaching heavily influences whether or not students will feel safe in self-advocacy. Study by Wessell, Jones, Markel, and Westfall (2009) 1. Early Report of Disabilities and/or Generational Related Needs 2. Early Access to Accommodations 3. Early Open Communication with Faculty and Administrators In a study by McGregor, Langenfeld, Van Horne, Oleson, Anson, and Jacobson (2016), when students with disabilities disclosed, they were more likely to do better on assignments and have more
positive interactions with faculty. A. Self Advocacy/ Report Disabilities and Generational Based Issues (2 of 2) A national report estimated that 86% of individuals who have a psychiatric disorder withdraw from college prior to completion of their degree (Collins & Mowbray, 2005). Students with disabilities can qualify to receive reasonable accommodations under federal law if their disabilities substantially limits major life activities such as thinking, reading, and concentrating It is important to seek help and accommodations because students with adequate supports and services can do better on grades, complete their degrees and experience more fulfilling college student lives. Self Advocacy and Generational Influences: Nontraditional students appreciate engaged faculty in the classroom, but they also want advisors who will advocate for them and help them
navigate institutional issues and barriers. Some of these include: financial, academic, need for accommodations, work related, social, family oriented and health issues. Specifically, nontraditional students want an advisor that understands their specific challenges and can represent them to university administration (Goncalves & Trunk, 2014) B. Use Accommodations (1 of 2) DEFINE ACCOMMODATIONS As cited by Gordon and Keiser (1998), academic accommodations are defined as a different way of presenting academic material that is not accessible to a student with a documented disability (Rigler, 2013). It is up to students and student support personnel to implement these accommodations (Malakpa, 1997). What the Research
Shows For instance, in a study by French (n.d.), students who used the accommodation of a different testing environment were more likely to graduate. A study by Richman (2013) concluded that students who did not use accommodations were less likely to succeed academically compared to those students who used accommodations. As reported by Tinto (2001), these accommodations help students with disabilities to learn more effectively, and thus, these students are more B. Use Accommodations (2 of 2) With the use of accommodations and a reduced course load, Jorgensen, Fichten, Havel, Lamb, James, and Barile (2005) and Adelman (1992) both found that students with disabilities of all ages can obtain similar GPAs and
graduate within a term after their peers. Accommodations that are reasonable and necessary to be available for students with disabilities in higher education must be granted when proper documentation is presented (Western Illinois University, 2010, para. 1-3). Accommodations: By 2020, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment of students age 25 and over will have risen by 20% since 2010 compared to an 11% increase for students under 25 (U.S. Department of Education, 2012). with targeted services and outreach to their older learners to help develop academic self-confidence and selfefficacy (Fishman, 2010, p. 663). Thus, academic accommodations that impact students academic performance, campus engagement, and professional development (like the library) can have a valid role in enriching students learning, engagement and perseverance in completing a degree (Soria et al., C. Transition Planning Between High School and College (1 of 2)
Generational Effects: Transition planning should include educating students on how to manage working and familial obligations with college expectations. In a study by Adler (1999), it was concluded that many students with disabilities struggled to balance family life, finances, and other environmental factors with college responsibilities Lack of Transition Planning: 1. Lack of transition planning may further delay students enrolling in college, which has been shown to effect graduation and retention rates (Horn, Cataldi & Sikora, 2005; Wessell, Jones, Markel, & Westfall, 2009). 2. In a study by Jorgensen, Fichten, Havel, Lamb, James, and Barile (2005), it was
concluded that students need more education in-between high school and college on what disability services actually C. Transition Planning Between High School and College (2 of 2) Students with disabilities may take longer to complete high school, not being able to enroll in college until their mid 20s or early 30s. The U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics (2016) Pascarella and Terenzini (2005) cited Tintos (1993) interactional theory with regard to student retention. This theory described the importance of transitioning planning and supportive mentoring in-between high school and college for students (Wessell, Jones, Markel, &
Westfall, 2009). D. Social Atmosphere and Attitude (1 of 2) Generational Issues: College students with disabilities often suffer from isolation, low selfesteem, and impaired social ability. Furthermore, non-traditional aged students or first generation students may struggle to identify with the social atmosphere that is typically more aligned with a younger and traditional college student population. For nontraditional students, a cohort of students grappling with the same balancing leads to more effective learning and supportive peer networks. They have self- Effects: Furthermore, given that many students with disabilities and generational related barriers report feeling a bias and judged by other students, it is even more important that college campuses work to provide a positive social atmosphere (McGregor, Langenfeld, Van Horne, Oleson, Anson, & Jacobson, 2016).
Bean and Eaton (2000) reported, students who are psychologically not motivated to complete college D. Social Atmosphere and Attitude (2 of 2) However, college campuses can promote a positive college atmosphere, while being supportive by identifying what is affecting motivation for students with disabilities (Braxton & Hirschy, 2005). As cited by Tinto (1993) and Braxton, Hirschy, and McClendon (2004), positive social engagement is important for student academic success (Wessell, Jones, Markel, & Westfall, 2009). As cited by Belch (2004), when students report
a positive sense of belonging on campus, they are more apt to not drop out (Tinto, 2001; Wessell, Jones, Markel, & Westfall, 2009; Hill, 1992). THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING! REFERENCES Adams, M. & Bell, L.A. (2016). Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice. (3 rd ed). New York, NY: Routledge. Adler, K. (1999). Community and technical college drop outs: A survey of students with disabilities (Doctoral dissertation, Seattle University, 1999). Dissertation Abstracts International, 61, 468. Aksamit, D., Leuenberger, J. & Morris, M. (1987). Preparation of student services professionals and faculty for serving learning-disabled college students. Journal of College Student Personnel, 28, 53-59. American Psychological Association. (2017). Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pi/disability/dart/toolkit-three.aspx Apollo Research Institute (2018). Retrieved from http://apolloresearch.com/ Association of Higher Education and Disabilities. (AHEAD). (2004b). Best practices. Retrieved from http://www.ahead.org/resources.
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