Supporting Students with Disabilities in Higher Education

Written by MaryAnne Steinberg, Doctoral Candidate University of Florida Special Education

      Here are some interesting statistics:

The American College Testing Program (ACT) stated that in 2005 49% of high school graduates did not have the reading skills they needed to be successful in college. 25% of first-time students at 4-year colleges and universities require at least one year of remedial courses (Adelman, 2004; Horn & Berger, 2004; Kuh et al., 2005)

Now consider students with disabilities:

  • According to the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 [NLTS] only 1 in 10 high school students with LD will attend a 4-year college (Wagner et al., 2005)
  • 10.8% of undergraduate students and 7.6% of graduate students are considered students with disabilities (U.S. Dept. of Ed, National Center for Educational Statistics [NCES], 2008).
  • 3-5% of all students enrolled at post-secondary institutions have LD (U.S. Dept. of Ed, National Center for Educational Statistics [NCES], 2006).

Points to ponder:

  • How are you helping your students prepare for "life after high school"?
  • What tools are you giving them access to or teaching them to use that will help them be successful in higher education?
  • What can we do to assist you and the students you serve transition to college or university life?
  • What can we do additionally to help those students having already entered higher education?


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