The purpose of this phenomenological study was to gain insight into the personal experiences of undergraduate students with learning disabilities and what they identify as impediments to their degree attainment. This study was guided by a conceptual framework connecting the Model of Multiple Dimensions of Identity, Critical Disability Theory, institutional policy/practices, and barriers to the persistence of students towards degree attainment. This qualitative study utilized ten in-depth interviews with undergraduate students who identify as having learning disabilities. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using Moustakas's (1994) model of analysis. Through this analysis, an understanding was gained of how the participants make meaning of their individual identities while navigating the institutional processes to become registered to receive accommodations. In addition to answering the research questions, this study uncovers the emergent themes of Otherness, Rejection-Sensitivity Dysphoria, the impact of social media, and social connections. The findings of this study are not generalizable, but they do provide insight for educators and policy makers who create policies and practices to support students with disabilities in their progression towards degree attainment.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Educational Leadership and Higher Education
Educational Leadership; Higher Education Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Gilmer, Michael, "An Exploration of the Intersection of Critical Disability Theory, Multiple Dimensions of Identity, and Institutional Policy on Students' Persistence Towards Degree Attainment" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 870.