Date of Award

8-2019

Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Robert Morgan

Second Advisor

Karen Hager Martinez

Third Advisor

Jeff Sheen

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.

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