Shariese Abdullah

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Higher Education


Educational Services, Administration, and Higher Education


College of Education


Sisco, Burton


College students with disabilities; Rowan University--Faculty


Higher Education


Theories of student development, engagement, and involvement have been essential to various studies that relate to the college experience. Yet little information is known about how development, engagement, and involvement affect students with disabilities. According to Karabin (2009), students with hidden disabilities encounter many obstacles in higher education. These disabilities are hidden illnesses and diseases that are not visual or immediately apparent. While these disabilities are documented and legitimate conditions, the limited amount of research available makes it difficult to utilize the existing theories to assist students. This study focuses on how Kuh's (2003) theory of engagement could be utilized in Rowan University's higher education community by administrators to assist students with hidden disabilities. This quantitative study was structured based on a prior investigation on Priorities and Understanding of Faculty Members Regarding College Students with Disabilities completed at Kent State University (Cook, Rumrill, & Tankersley, 2009). The study subjects included tenured and tenure-seeking faculty and selected students enrolled in Rowan University with documented disabilities. Key findings suggest both groups shared high levels of agreement concerning disability laws and accommodation policy, but differed in their agreement levels for accommodation willingness and universal course design. The importance of engagement and involvement in the enhancement of accommodations, learning outcomes, and socialization are discussed. Recommendations include appropriate training on the differences between accommodation policy and willingness for tenured and tenure-seeking faculty.