Determining Academic Success in Students with Disabilities in Higher Education

Stephanie Bain De Los Santos, Lori Kupczynski, Marie-Anne Mundy


Students with disabilities have not been fully welcomed in higher education in spite of litigation, court cases, and positive shifts in public perceptions. The transition from high school to college is challenging for students without disabilities. Students with disabilities often get overlooked by their institution and overwhelmed during this transition, contributing to an achievement gap for these students. Student success is measured by retention, academic achievement, and on-time graduation. This research study examined how student success was impacted by a student’s registration with the campus disability office, use of accommodations, and use of institutional and social support systems. This study explored a new frontier of research that dispels the myth that students with disabilities are a homogenous group. The results of this study can be used to increase knowledge regarding students with disabilities and their success in higher education. The results will assist college and university administrators as well as staff in disability services offices in tracking the success of accommodations for students with disabilities. This study can help university administration to better understand the benefits of institutional support services as well as encourage faculty involvement in implementing accommodations and helping students see the benefit of student registration with the campus office of disabilities.

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Copyright (c) 2019 International Journal of Higher Education

International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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