Margaret Bonanni

Date Approved


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Higher Education


Educational Services, Administration, and Higher Education


College of Education

First Advisor

Sisco, Burton


Learning disabled youth;College freshmen


Higher Education | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


The goal of this study was to find out what selected freshmen students with learning disabilities reported about their experiences while transitioning from high school to college and the circumstances or situations that impact such experiences in relation to Schlossberg's Transition Theory. The participants in this study were six freshmen students between 18 and 22 years old registered with Rowan University's Office of Disability Resources who self-identified as having one or more learning disability during the spring 2015 semester. Data were collected using an adapted interview protocol with permission from Samantha DeVilbiss' (2014) dissertation, The Transition Experience: Understanding the Transition from High School to College for Conditionally-Admitted Students Using the Lens of Schlossberg's Transition Theory. The interview protocol consisted of two interview schedules with roughly 12 questions each, which totaled to about 24 questions. The questions asked about the feelings and experiences related to the participants' transition from high school to college. Content analysis reported that multiple themes related to the four Ss of Schlossberg's Transition Theory impacted participants' transition experiences. The most significant themes were trigger, independence, assessment of the transition, awareness and acceptance of disability, institutional support, and community involvement.