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Students with Disabilities in Higher Education: A Review of the Literature and an Agenda for Future Research

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Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research

Abstract

In this chapter, we describe the current state of theory and research related to the higher education experiences of students with disabilities. It begins with a review of the legal and theoretical frameworks that shape perceptions and social understandings of disability, and influence the educational experiences of students with disabilities. We next review recent empirical studies in order to describe access trajectories, college experiences, and college outcomes for students with disabilities. Building from this discussion, the theoretical and methodological perspectives most frequently employed in research focused on students with disabilities are described. The chapter then discusses the modifications that could be made to three major higher education conceptual models—Weidman’s (1989) conceptual model of undergraduate socialization; Perna’s (2006) conceptual model of college choice; and Hurtado, Alvarez, Guillermo-Wann, Cuellar, and Arellano’s (2012) Multicontextual Model for Diverse Learning Environments— to take into account the experiences of students with disabilities:. We conclude the chapter with recommendations regarding topics and strategies for future scholarly work.

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Kimball, E.W., Wells, R.S., Ostiguy, B.J., Manly, C.A., Lauterbach, A.A. (2016). Students with Disabilities in Higher Education: A Review of the Literature and an Agenda for Future Research. In: Paulsen, M. (eds) Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research. Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, vol 31. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-26829-3_3

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