Post-secondary education experiences and needs of students with autism spectrum disorder at Wichita State University
AdvisorSelf, Trisha L.
MetadataShow full item record
The literature reports increased enrollment of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in post-secondary education settings. Unfortunately, a significant number of these individuals do not graduate (Zeedyk, 2016). The low graduation and retention rates in the post-secondary settings have been attributed to the loss of services these students encounter upon leaving high school and encountering unfamiliar situations with unfamiliar people. Navigating a dynamic college environment can positively and negatively impact the educational experiences and outcomes of individuals on the autism spectrum (Anderson et al., 2020; Zeedyk et al., 2016). Literature reveals, however, students with ASD can experience success in the post-secondary education setting when provided appropriate supports and services (Van Bergeijk et al., 2008). This study explored the academic and non-academic experiences, needs, and supports of 15 Wichita State University Students (WSU) with ASD using a mixed method approach. An on-line survey (n = 15) and focus group sessions (n = 8), conducted simultaneously, revealed the perceived academic and non-academic experiences, needs, and supports of students with ASD at WSU from a first-person perspective. Across the on-line survey and focus group sessions, commonly identified themes included academics, self-perception, non-academic resources, social encounters, academic resources, and mental health. Both the positive and negative aspects of these themes were identified and discussed by the study participants. Attaining a first-person perspective from WSU students with ASD can reveal important information to assist with the development and promotion of appropriate accommodations, supports, and services within the post-secondary setting. Furthermore, targeting supports and services for this unique group of students may serve to improve recruitment, retention, and graduation rates for students on the autism spectrum.
Thesis (M.A.)-- Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders