Coleman, C. L. (2018). Perceptions of accommodation enhancements on student academic achievement in higher education (Publication No. 13427044) [Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/2175871167
Lindenwood University (St. Charles, MO); ProQuest document ID: 2175871167
Accommodations were not specified, but were broadly discussed. The perspectives of postsecondary students with and without disabilities were investigated regarding the concept of "reasonable accommodations" and their effects.
Postsecondary students (n=86) from a private liberal arts university in the Midwest (U.S.) responded to surveys, and some respondents (n=4) also volunteered to participate in focus group interviews. Nearly all respondents (n=80; 93%) were students without disabilities; six respondents indicated that they had disabilities. Two respondents with disabilities reported that they used accommodations, and four indicated that they did not use accommodations. The initial number of students recruited was 104, with several neither starting nor completing the online survey; further, surveys were missing some item responses, including data on personal characteristics. Respondents were mostly undergraduate students (n=70), yet some respondents had completed their undergraduate program (n=9), including three who had completed either a Masters or Doctorate; seven provided no information. Demographic data such as gender and age, and other information such as cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) were also collected.
The online survey included 13 items, framed primarily as a satisfaction survey with ratings on a 5-point scale: not satisfied, moderately satisfied, meets satisfaction, exceeds satisfaction, exceptional satisfaction. Items pertained to knowledge and satisfaction of disability services, availability of accommodations, accommodations process, effects of accommodations on academic performance, and potential attitudes about accommodations for both students with and without disabilities. Focus group protocol items asked for further details and perceptions addressed in the survey. The survey and focus group protocols generated data that were analyzed qualitatively.
The researcher concluded, after reviewing qualitative data from survey respondents and focus group participants, that students with disabilities felt equally as capable as their non-disabled peers in terms of academic achievement. Broadly, study participants communicated that they felt all students could benefit from accommodations. Many survey respondents, and all focus group participants communicated that accommodations have not given students with disabilities an unfair advantage. One respondent using accommodations rated their course outcomes as exceeding satisfaction, while another respondent using accommodations was not satisfied. The participants with disabilities not receiving accommodations experienced indifference towards self-advocating for accommodations. Generally, study participants seemed to demonstrate positive perceptions about the availability of accommodations for students with disabilities.