Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling

Committee Chair(s)

Kaitlin Bundock


Kaitlin Bundock


Stephen Kwiatek


Wilhlemina van Dijik


This initial survey study was designed to examine the demographics of students attending inclusive post-secondary (IPSE) programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). IPSE programs are designed to deliver a similar, if not identical, collegiate experience to students with IDD as their peers without disabilities. Previous research has investigated IPSE programs and their impact, but there is limited information regarding student makeup. The researchers looked to identify the diversity of students beyond their disability categories; research questions surrounded student diversity, barriers to accessing IPSE programs, and what, if anything, programs do to increase diversity within their programs. The study was conducted through a survey of IPSE program directors that asked both multiple-choice and open-ended questions regarding current program attributes. The survey was distributed to 303 programs across the United States and received a response rate of 12.2% (n = 37). Overall, findings suggest that IPSE programs could be more diverse in areas beyond disability (e.g., race, intelligent quotient [IQ] range, sexuality). Finances, program capacity, and support needs of students are some of the largest identified barriers, and most program directors would like to improve the diversity of their programs, while many are actively trying to do just that. This research provides a foundation for further exploration of the impact of socioeconomic status on access to these programs, specific interventions to improve diversity, and overall success of IPSE programs.