Perceived Value of Academic Support Services for Post-secondary Students with Learning Disabilities at Accredited Institutions of the Association for Biblical Higher Education

Gretchen Wilhelm, Ed.D.

Abstract (2014):

This study examined the perceived value of academic support service types for post-secondary students with learning disabilities in the Christian higher education milieu. Grounded in a model of service utilization (Pescosolido, 1992), the research methodology applied in this study addressed the following research question:

What is the perceived value of academic service types to provide support for individuals with learning disabilities from the perspective of post-secondary student participants, specifically at accredited institutions of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE)?

Results reported student perceptions of the value of academic service types—both personally utilized and theoretically rated. The results of online survey responses, representative of eligible individuals selected by a criterion sampling protocol (N = 116) from 17 colleges and universities, indicated that the categories of accommodations perceived most valuable by students who utilize intervention services were those that were relationally implemented. Student respondents as an aggregate reported personally utilizing all categories of the 16 academic service types set forth by the researcher.

Assistive technology was the only category found not to be statistically significant when value rated by survey respondents. Conclusions related to the three qualitative thematic findings emergent from the open-ended survey questions are reported. These qualitative themes include a focus on relational connectedness, the importance of self-understanding, and an expressed concern with the attitudinal perceptions of academic service program offerings. The conclusions of this study are purposed to assist program directors, researchers, and other practitioners in implementing academic services for post-secondary students with learning disabilities.

For Dr. Wilhelm's complete dissertation, click here to order (UMI Publication #3617160).

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