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ERIC Number: ED522181
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 178
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-3315-1
Collaborative Partnerships that Promote Seamless Learning for Students with Disabilities
Stolz, Katherine A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
This instrumental case study employed a qualitative approach to explore ways that partnerships were built on a large, decentralized campus to support the seamless learning for students with disabilities. The number of college students with disabilities is increasing today, yet higher education lacks coordinated systems that provide a coherent learning experience for students who have specialized needs. This study addressed two overarching research questions: In what ways does a student affairs unit that provides disability services interact with campus partners to promote student learning? What factors influence the interaction between these organizational units? To explore these questions, Buchmiller Hall at Midwestern University was selected as the site for this case study. Three Buchmiller staff members were interviewed, in addition to nine individuals who Buchmiller staff identified as campus partners. Two campus leaders, who provided a broader view of organizational dynamics at MWU, where also interviewed. First interviews took place during spring and summer of 2009, followed by second interviews during the late fall of 2009. Document analysis supplemented data collected through on-site interviews. After data were collected and transcribed, several themes emerged during analysis of the data. Findings in this study examine themes that emerged in regard to factors that were supports or barriers in collaborative efforts with partners. Discussion explores support and barrier themes in light of three research sub-questions that address how, why, and when collaboration took place. Participants described three types of boundaries, which included boundaries of position, identity, and space. They described two primary ways that they negotiated these boundaries, using both a structural and human component of navigation. Values of individuals and leaders emerged as an important theme during the process of navigation, in addition to the importance of individuals having the necessary tools to act upon values. Finally, when certain elements of context aligned, an "incredible moment" was created, in which the above themes came to light Present throughout all themes, the context of disability presented unique characteristics in partnership efforts. After discussion of the themes, implications for practice and research are provided. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A