Date Approved

12-14-2017

Embargo Period

12-14-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Educational Leadership (Doctor of Education)

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Manning, JoAnn B.

Second Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth

Third Advisor

Chew, Catherine

Subject(s)

College students with disabilities; Community colleges--Faculty

Disciplines

Community College Leadership | Disability and Equity in Education | Higher Education

Abstract

The purpose of this single case study was to explore the attitudes and experiences of faculty at one small, public, community college in the southeastern United States. Of the 180 faculty sampled, 35 completed the Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons survey, 13 participated in a one-on-one interview, and a review of 30 institutional documents was conducted. Using social constructivism, disability theory, and the researchers personal and professional experiences as the framework, the data collected helped to gain insight into the faculty's experiences with classroom accommodations and attitudes toward students with disabilities. Five key findings revealed that community college faculty in the present study generally have positive attitudes toward students with visible disabilities. Second, faculty in the present expressed significant concerns for the academic success of students with invisible disabilities. Third, faculty are less willing to provide accommodations they believe provide an unfair advantage for students with disabilities or do not adequately prepare students for the rigors of a university or workplace setting. Fourth, faculty expressed a desire for training regarding disabilities to have a better understanding of the impact of disabilities on students and how best to accommodate them. Fifth, faculty consistently used antiquated language when discussing students with disabilities. Community colleges should find the information in this study helpful in developing workshops and other training on disabilities to improve faculty understanding of students with disabilities and the use of classroom accommodations.

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