Nizar, N. (2018). Accommodating students with disabilities: A case study of faculty attitudes and behaviors at a community college (Publication No. 13420509) [Doctoral dissertation, Creighton University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/2158410095
Creighton University (Omaha, NE); ProQuest document ID: 2158410095; also available online on a Creighton University webpage at https://dspace2.creighton.edu/xmlui/handle/10504/119919
Accommodations were not specified; postsecondary faculty members' perspectives on accommodating students with disabilities were investigated.
Ten faculty members at a large community college in the Midwest (U.S.) participated. Demographic data such as gender, and other characteristics such as faculty position (7 full-time and 3 adjunct professors) and number of years of work experience at the community college were reported. They taught courses in the fields included business, information technology, mathematics, humanities, and health careers. Additional details were reported about the postsecondary institution, and role in meeting the needs of a large proportion of postsecondary students with disabilities in the region.
The interview questions addressed faculty members' perspectives on the process and procedures of providing accommodations to postsecondary students with disabilities, including challenges they have experienced and their understanding of community college resources available, including through the disability services office. In addition to thematic analyses of the qualitative data generated from interviews with faculty members, the researcher interviewed the director of the disability services office and reviewed information and artifacts, in order to triangulate and contextualize data.
The five themes that emerged from the data included personal challenges, institutional challenges, informational challenges, student stigma and lack of advocacy, and support. The majority of participants indicated having positive views toward students with disabilities and willingness to provide accommodations; some showed discomfort toward inclusion and expressed concerns about the fairness of accommodations (i.e., personal challenges). Institutional challenges were reflected in courses that had traditional requirements that seemed to limit accommodations, such as for students with cognitive disabilities. Informational challenges were encountered when communication among students with disabilities, disability services offices, and faculty members, especially when timing was not sufficient to institute accommodations. Stigma about disabilities, participants indicated, seemed to limit some students from advocating for their needs. Participants also noted that there seemed to be lack of support, including information and training such as on autism, and on specific accommodations that might most apply to their academic fields.