Logan-Nyonnoh, R. T. (2017). Learning disability and the college student experience as perceived by support staff who provide services (Publication No. 10283262) [Doctoral dissertation, Keiser University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/1906325443
Keiser University (Ft. Lauderdale, FL); ProQuest document ID: 1906325443
Accommodations were not specified in advance of the investigation. Postsecondary faculty and staff members were invited to describe their perspectives and experiences providing support services and accommodations to students with learning disabilities. Information on accommodations in typical practices by faculty and staff were emphasized in this summary, and reported in the Findings section.
Seven (7) faculty members and four (4) staff members with experience teaching or otherwise supporting postsecondary students with learning disabilities responded to surveys or participated in interviews. The respondents and participants were currently or formerly employed at postsecondary institutions, either two-year colleges (n=3) or four-year universities (n=8), in the Southeast (U.S.). Six study participants were associated with traditional institutions and five were associated with Historically Black Colleges or Universities ("HBCUs"). Ten of the 11 study participants reported that their postsecondary institutions had disability services offices, and the other study participant seemed to lack full familiarity with available services for students with disabilities. This same atypical study participant had reported having no direct awareness of having taught students with learning disabilities, as that faculty member had not been approached by students with self-disclosed disabilities.
Surveys were conducted with six respondents, and interviews were conducted with five participants. Questions—similar for both the survey and interview protocol—were developed by the researchers of this study and aimed to better understand the support and resources that study participants perceived were necessary to support students with learning disabilities in their postsecondary educational experiences. Three items inquired about availability, actual educator implementation, and observed link to success for various supports, including specific accommodations.
In addition to counseling, tutoring, academic advising, and advocacy support, specific accommodations were available at all postsecondary institutions. Four participants indicated having implemented accommodations to support students with learning disabilities. Ten participants affirmed that specific accommodations were observably supportive of students with learning disabilities, and that they facilitated students' persistence and graduation. Accommodations for course examinations included extended time and alternative testing formats, provided at all postsecondary institutions in the study. Qualitative data indicated that most most faculty and staff members believed that all of the identified services—counseling, tutoring, academic advising, advocacy support, and specific accommodations—were effective in supporting students with learning disabilities to graduation, and preventing dropout.