Special Education ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-20-2018


Recent statistics indicate that approximately 11% of undergraduate college students seek out disability support services (National Center for Education Statistics, 20015). The review of research indicated a lack of research regarding faculty in postsecondary education and their knowledge of disabilities and services, experiences of individuals with disabilities, and in particular, experiences and interactions toward students with support services attending postsecondary educational institutions. The purpose of this case study was to explore the classroom experiences of seven faculty nominated by students with support services as exemplary at a four-year public university. The semi-structured interviews focused on the abilities of students with support services as they transition from secondary to postsecondary education from a faculty viewpoint.

Comments made by students with support services regarding exemplary faculty indicated willingness by faculty to provide accommodations and the importance of faculty interpersonal skills in relationship building. Results from the faculty semi-structured interviews found: (a) little difference in comparison of students with support service to students without support service, (b) faculty have more stories of successful students with support services than stories of failure, (c) stories of failure resulted in future success or increased understanding of the student, and (d) faculty preferred students with support services to self-initiate accommodation requests. The advice faculty offered to new faculty was that minimal adaptations to teaching styles are necessary to accommodate students with support services.


faculty, services, students, support, transition

Document Type




Degree Name

Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Ruth Luckasson

Second Committee Member

Julia Scherba de Valenzuela

Third Committee Member

Elizabeth Keefe

Fourth Committee Member

Yen Pham

Fifth Committee Member

Jan Armstrong