Young, R. E. (2013). Advisor knowledge of disability-related needs, laws, and accommodation requirements in postsecondary academic advisement practices (Publication No. 3577635) [Doctoral dissertation, The University of Southern Mississippi]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/1476944618
The University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, MS); ProQuest document ID: 1476944618
The researcher interviewed and surveyed postsecondary academic advisors about their knowledge and practices regarding accommodations in general, but did not inquire about specific testing accommodations in particular.
Twelve academic advisors at postsecondary institutions in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee (U.S.) participated in the first, or interview, phase of the study; 387 faculty advisors to undergraduates, including students with disabilities, participated in the online survey, the second phase of the study.
In the first phase of the study, advisors responded to a semi-structured interview protocol, generating qualitative data; in the second phase, advisors generated quantitative data by completing an online survey via invitations sent to their two national associations, 20 state associations, or 300 postsecondary institutions' disability services or student support offices. The survey items collected participants' demographic data, information about their institution, participants' knowledge and training about accommodations needs of their students with disabilities, and a randomly-selected advisement scenario (from four options) video to be viewed and responded to using the survey multiple choice items.
The researcher sought to explore the knowledge of postsecondary academic advisors about disabilities, disability law, and accommodations requirements, and to identify patterns of response potentially related to professional experience and working circumstances of participants. Qualitative data yielded that advisors were familiar with process of students' accessing disability services offices for accommodations, yet not familiar with specific accommodations procedures. Survey data indicated that more than half of respondents were not trained about disability legislation and otherwise less than adequately prepared to advise students with disabilities. On the advisement scenarios in the surveys, just over half of respondents selected appropriate responses for six to nine of the 12 questions. When analyzing the survey respondents' characteristics and working circumstances, the researcher identified that full-time advisor status was associated with connecting students with disabilities to academic supports, and that private four-year institution respondents and those who use a prescriptive approach to advising were associated with failing to refer students with disabilities to disability services offices. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.