Zeng, W., Ju, S., & Hord, C. (2018). A literature review of academic interventions for college students with learning disabilities . Learning Disabilities Research & Practice , 41 (3), 159–169. https://doi.org/10.1177/0731948718760999

Journal Article

Zeng, W., Ju, S., & Hord, C. (2018). A literature review of academic interventions for college students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 41(3), 159–169. https://doi.org/10.1177/0731948718760999


Accommodation/s not specified; Postsecondary; U.S. context





Accommodations were not specified at the outset of the search process for this review of literature; instead, empirical studies were sought on academic supports addressing the needs of postsecondary students with learning disabilities. Various programs and services, including assistive technology, direct assistance, strategy instruction, and comprehensive support programs were examined in the research.


This review of literature on academic supports for postsecondary students with learning disabilities incorporated 12 studies published during the period 2000–2016 in peer reviewed journals and examined interventions or programs. Sample sizes in these studies ranged from 3 to 969. These studies appeared to have been completed in the U.S. postsecondary context.

Dependent Variable

The effects on academic performance were measured in a variety of ways across the 12 studies: changes in student GPA, pre-post reading comprehension and vocabulary assessments, writing skills, and related academic functioning, such as self-efficacy and metacognitive knowledge.


Two studies (Floyd & Judge, 2012; Stodden & Roberts, 2005) indicated that assistive technology can be beneficial for students who lack compensatory strategies in reading and writing. Strategy instruction, or the teaching of strategies to improve academic performance technique, was reported to have improved cognitive processes, self-efficacy, self-regulation, and academic outcomes (6 studies). Comprehensive support programs were found to be effective in improving academic outcomes (3 studies). The effects of direct assistance, such as tutoring or remediation, were described as improving academic performance (1 study).