Columbia International University

Project Description

A mixed-methods research analysis of the effectiveness of academic support services for postsecondary students with learning disabilities at accredited institutions of the Association of Biblical Higher Education

Project Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the perceptions of service program directors and students with learning disabilities in regard to the effectiveness of existent academic support services. Grounded in a model of service utilization (Pescosolido, 1992), the proposed research design is constructed as a mixed-methods research analysis to investigate the current phenomena of the increasing percentage of students reporting professionally diagnosed learning disabilities and eligible to receive special academic accommodations in their post-secondary educational experience specifically at member institutions of the Association of Biblical Higher Education Institutions (ABHE).
The study is designed to address the existing disparity of research in the literature related to student perceptions of academic services and is also purposed to measure the effectiveness of various types of support services offered at Christian universities and colleges. The researcher intends to implement a qualitative constructed research base of textual analysis and transcribed responses of semi-structured interviews of academic service program directors which will be analyzed for the purposes of developing domains of responses from which to construct a survey instrument for a hierarchical regression analysis of student perceptions of effectiveness. This statistical model is designed to reveal individual domain variables intended to further empirical research regarding the experiences of post-secondary students with learning disabilities receiving academic support within the milieu of accredited member institutions of ABHE.
The effectiveness of post-secondary academic support services will thus be generally evaluated in relation to the qualitative responses of campus academic service directors and participating students with documented learning disabilities who currently utilize academic support services and volunteer to participate in an online survey. The expectations of the researcher in reference the projected outcomes of such a study is twofold: 1) to identify intervention modes currently offered and considered most effective by students who utilize intervention services, and 2) to assist program directors, researchers, and other practitioners in identifying modifiable accommodations which are statistically significant as characteristics necessary in implementing effectual academic service programs for post-secondary students with learning disabilities.

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