Academic accommodations, social supports, and academic self-efficacy: predictors of academic success for postsecondary students with disabilities
Fried, Juliet Hope, 1952-
Ososkie, Joseph N.
University of Northern Colorado
Type of Resources
Place of Publication
University of Northern Colorado
Although the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 have mandated the necessity of services for students with disabilities to receive equal access to education, a clear picture of what contributes to academic success is still lacking. Research indicates that students with disabilities face academic difficulties due to lack of social support, lack of confidence, or poor quality of services. Therefore, the current study examined whether: (a) academic success was related to academic selfefficacy; (b) academic success was related to academic accommodation use; (c) academic success was related to social support use; (d) academic accommodation use, social support use, disability group, or academic self-efficacy predicted academic success; and (e) the variables of academic accommodations, social support use, academic selfefficacy, or academic success differed among disability groups. The data from this study may increase the knowledge of disability office staff in regards to helpful services and supports that can increase retention and graduation rates of students with disabilities. In addition, students with disabilities may be better advised on what factors can contribute to their academic success. Participants were 110 students with disabilities registered with their school disability service office and receiving accommodations. A majority of the sample was made up of sophomores (32.7%) and seniors (30.0%). Additionally, most of the sample indicated having a learning disability (62.7%). Participant grade point averages ranged from 1.8 to 4.0, with most students (37.3%) having a grade point average of 3.6 or higher. Data illustrated that the relationship between academic success and academic selfefficacy (r = .416) had a significant positive correlation and the relationship between academic success and use of social support (r = -.178) had no significant relationship at the p < 0.01 level. In addition, academic success was found to have a significant positive correlation with utilization of academic accommodations (r = .235) at the p < 0.05 level. Moreover, academic self-efficacy (p. =001) was the only variable that significantly predicted academic success. Lastly, academic accommodation use, social support use, academic self-efficacy, and academic success were not found to differ significantly between disability groups. Future researchers may seek to examine the same variables in a qualitative study, thus providing a clear picture of what students with disabilities find useful about each service and support they are currently receiving or have received. Additionally, future research could compare services and supports for students with disabilities on academic probation and those that are not. Moreover, research could examine students with disabilities not registered with the disability office at their school in order to understand their feelings and thoughts regarding services and supports as well as potential barriers to use.
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