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ERIC Number: ED505402
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May-18
Pages: 256
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 168
Transition from College to Work: Lived Employment Experiences and Perceptions of College Seniors and Recent College Graduates with Physical Disabilities Seeking Employment Opportunities
Williams, Brenda Coleman
Online Submission, Ed.D. Dissertation, The George Washington University
The purpose of this qualitative study was to reveal and understand how college students with physical disabilities perceive their disability and how the disability influences their ability to obtain employment after graduation. A phenomenological research design was used, and data was gathered through intensive repeated interviews with eight student participants enrolled at a private urban four-year university in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. A convenience and purposive sampling participant selection process was used. The participants were seniors in the selected university or recent graduates with various physical disabilities. The analysis of the data used a phenomenological hermeneutic lens (Moustakas, 1994) and the review of four models of disability: (a) the Medical Model of Disability (Parsons, 1975); (b) the Social Model of Disability (Oliver, 1995); (c) the Nagi Model (Nagi, 1965); (d) and the International Classification of Functioning (Strucki et al., 2002). The Social Model of Disability (Oliver, 1995) used a social interpretive perspective, to understand complex situations and the world we live in (Creswell, 2003). The Advocacy/Participatory Knowledge Claim (Creswell, 2003; Mertens, 1999) and Critical Social Theory (Calhoun, 1995) were also utilized to analyze and understand the phenomena related to marginalized individuals in the educational structure. Based on the analysis of the data, the findings emerged within seven thematic areas--(a) Advanced Education Attainment, (b) Accessibility, (c) Reasonable Accommodations, (d) Barriers/Hindrances, (e) Disability and Impairment, (f) Discrimination, and (g) Career Services. Moreover, two new assumptions were embedded within the phenomenon of disability and employment--(a) participants introspectively searched for ways to improve their employment outcomes using advanced degrees and credentials, and (b) participants sought graduate degrees to improve their employability because of the competitive labor market in the Mid-Atlantic region. Several major findings emerged from the study about college students with disabilities which include: (a) transition from college to work was not a feasible option or priority after the baccalaureate degree or graduation; (b) continued higher education beyond undergraduate education is a priority; and (c) viewpoints about and experiences with disability and impairment are not monolithic. Six appendices are included: (1) Letter to Participants; (2) Data Collection Instrument: Interview Questions; (3) Participant Consent Form; (4) Epoche (bracketing); (5) Personal Reflection; and (6) Glossary of Disability Terms. (Contains 1 figure and 15 tables.)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A