Meeting the Needs of College Students With Learning Disabilities
Although more students with learning disabilities (LDs) are attending postsecondary institutions, faculty lacks the necessary training to educate students with LDs. A need exists to ensure that their college experiences include resources or support services to help students meet their academic requirements. Without support services, students may encounter poor outcomes in postsecondary education. This bounded, qualitative case study was designed to explore perspectives and experiences of students with LDs related to student services and accommodations at a postsecondary institution. Knowles's theory of andragogy formed the study's conceptual framework. A purposeful sample of 6 students, who were medically diagnosed as having a learning disability and who were, at the time of the study, receiving support services from the office of student support services, participated in the semistructured interviews. Qualitative data were analyzed using open and axial coding to search for patterns and emerging themes. Key results included that even though students were satisfied overall with the services and accommodations provided by the university, they lacked adequate support from some of the faculty on the importance of accommodations and services and how they influence academic success in postsecondary education. Based on the findings, a 3-day professional development training was developed to educate faculty in learning disabilities, understanding accommodations, and enhancing their abilities to provide support in working with students with LDs. These endeavors may promote positive faculty-student relationships and increased academic success of students with LDs in postsecondary education.