Staying in School: Exploring the Experiences of Post-Secondary Students with Diverse Needs
Brandt, Lauren R 1985-
The purpose of this study was to describe and facilitate further understanding of the school experiences (e.g., experiences related to academics, campus culture, and extracurricular involvement) of university students with learning, attention, emotional, and/or behavioural difficulties, with the hope of coming to a greater understanding of how academic success (i.e., continued education) is achieved among these individuals. This study employed a basic qualitative interpretive approach to understand the experiences of the students interviewed for this study (Merriam, 2002). Semi-structured interviews were utilized to gain insight into the experiences of these individuals. Analysis of the data generated from these interviews was conducted within the theoretical framework of resilience. Three themes were discovered as embedded within the data: (1) unpacking the “Box”: exploring perceived attitudes about diversity in the learning needs of students; (2) breaking the “Box”: redefining success by adapting behaviour in the context of post-secondary education; and (3) reshaping the “Box”: overcoming personal barriers and achieving success. Despite the barriers to academic success the participants in the present study experienced, they all described occasions during which they were able to demonstrate positive adaptation and multiple characteristics related to resilience in order to experience academic success in the post-secondary educational environment. This study concludes with a discussion of the practical implications of the findings, the limitations and strengths of the study, and areas recommended for future research.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramEducational Psychology and Special Education
CommitteeHellsten, Laurie; Morrison, Dirk; Mousavi, Amin
Copyright DateOctober 2016