A Survey of College Students with Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to Identify their Relationship and Use of College Disability Resource Centers

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A Survey of College Students with Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to Identify their Relationship and Use of College Disability Resource Centers is a well-researched Education Thesis/Dissertation topic, it is to be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research.

Abstract

College students with learning disabilities (LD) and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) complete college at lower rates than their non-disabled peers (Newman & Madaus, 2015). Colleges receiving federal funding are required to have a disability resource center (DRC) that provides and coordinates accommodations for students with disabilities.

This project examined the factors that led students with LD and/or ADHD to initially contact their college DRC. This project examined data from 61 college students pursuing an undergraduate degree with LD and/or ADHD who had already contacted their DRC.

A survey was sent to those students asking about circumstances surrounding their initial contact with the DRC, their knowledge of Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Section 504 services in high school, and advice for future students. Most participants contacted the DRC to receive help with specific needs or to receive specific accommodations.

About 75% of participants who contacted the DRC before their first year had an understanding of the IEP or 504 process, compared to 50% of the participants who contacted the DRC during their first year, and 58% of participants who contacted the DRC after their first year.

Participants recommended that future students with LD and/or ADHD ask for help when they need it without embarrassment. These findings align with the findings of Lightner, Kipps-Vaughan, Schulte, and Trice (2012). This information is useful for parents, special education teachers, transition specialists, and counselors to encourage the high school students they work with to contact college DRCs.

Introduction

Students with Learning Disabilities (LD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have not graduated with bachelor’s degrees or certifications from college at the same rate as their peers without disabilities(Newman, Wagner, Cameto, & Knokey, 2009).

College completion rates for students with LD and ADHD are 40% each, compared to 51% completion for students without disabilities (Newman & Madaus, 2015). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) defines a learning disability as a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations.

The American Psychiatric Association (2013) defines ADHD as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. According to Newman et al. (2009), students with LD and/or ADHD have faced formidable challenges in college environments, including passing classes and successfully obtaining degrees.

For example, students with LD and/or ADHD struggle with time management, information processing, concentration, and motivation (Reaser, Prevatt, Petscher, & Proctor, 2007). Also, students with LD and/or ADHD may not have fully taken advantage of services and accommodations available on college campuses to assist them because of an unwillingness to disclose their disability or the belief that they did not require accommodations (Farrell, 2003).

According to Shaw and Dukes (2001), one purpose of campus disability resource centers (DRCs) was to coordinate services and accommodations for students with disabilities, such as alternative materials, interpreter services, and adaptive technology.

IDEA (2004) specified the need for a transition plan as part of the individualized education program (IEP) for students with disabilities ages 16-22 years. The transition plan is developed to include supports and services in the areas of training, education, employment, and independent living skills to help students transition to their lives after exiting the public school system.

Teachers, transition specialists, vocational rehabilitation counselors, parents, and others involved in the creation and implementation of transition plans for students with LD and/or ADHD need to know the reasons why individuals with LD and/or ADHD seek out or choose not to seek out DRC services. This information would enable these services providers to encourage students with LD and/or ADHD to access DRC services.

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Additional information

Type

Thesis/Dissertation topic

Category

Education

No of Chapters

5

Reference

Yes

Format

PDF

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