News Release

What factors help students with disabilities transition to college?

Peer-Reviewed Publication


Few aspiring students with disabilities attend college, and fewer complete a degree program. A qualitative study published in Psychology in the Schools examined the perspectives of five undergraduate students with disabilities who attended college in the United States to identify factors that helped them successfully transition to college.

Results suggest that self‐determination—or one's agency to decide their course of life without coercion—allowed participants to reach their educational goals and participate in postsecondary education.

The findings suggest that teachers should infuse self‐determination elements in the structure and content of the subjects that they teach. Also, students with disabilities might benefit from actions such as restructuring of education programs to promote inclusion of learners with disabilities, reforming institutions to foster a welcoming climate and culture that value and promote belonging of all learners irrespective of their dis/abilities, and transforming individual educators to always assume students’ competence.

“Students with disabilities are prepared for successful adulthood when placed in a rich, safe, and welcoming environment filled with learning opportunities and reasonable and appropriate risks to nurture self-determination,” said author Theodoto Ressa, PhD, of Wayne State University.

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About the Journal

Psychology in the Schools is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to research, opinion, and practice. The journal, which is published ten times per year, welcomes theoretical and applied manuscripts, focusing on the issues confronting school psychologists, teachers, counselors, administrators, and other personnel workers in schools and colleges, public and private organizations. Preference will be given to manuscripts that clearly describe implications for the practitioner in the schools.

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