Date of Award

5-2017

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

College Counseling and Student Development: M.S.

Department

Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy

College

School of Health and Human Services

First Advisor

Seth Christman

Second Advisor

Amy Knopf

Third Advisor

Christine Metzo

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

First-year College Students, Disability, Students with Disabilities, Accommodations, Barriers, Higher Education

Abstract

Students with disabilities face numerous environmental and societal barriers at college. This quasi-experimental research project sought to examine what effect a short targeted training on disability inclusion would have on first-year college students’ attitudes toward persons with disabilities. A pretest and posttest of the Multidimensional Attitudes Scale Toward Persons with Disabilities was administered to a treatment and control group of college students enrolled in variety of first-year seminar courses at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. It was hypothesized that students who participated in the disability inclusion training would report significantly more positive attitudes toward persons with disabilities than students in the control group. Independent sample t-tests revealed no statistical significance between the two groups and the null hypothesis was accepted. Although the study did not create clear delineation of the trainings effectiveness, an understanding of first-year college students’ attitude toward persons with disabilities was gained. Astonishingly, students who identify as having a disability were found to have less positive attitudes toward persons with disabilities than students who do not identify as having a disability. It is recommended that disability inclusion training and education efforts continue, and attempts to create campus communities that are inclusive of all identities persist. A proposed Model for Building Inclusive Communities was created to assist colleges and universities efforts to support students with disabilities.

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