Postsecondary Educational Aspirations and Enrollment of Students with Learning Disabilities: The Role of Secondary Schooling Experiences

Open Access
Park, Youn Jung
Graduate Program:
Special Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
October 09, 2013
Committee Members:
  • Charles A Hughes, Dissertation Advisor
  • Charles A Hughes, Committee Chair
  • Richard M Kubina Jr., Committee Member
  • David Brent Mcnaughton, Committee Member
  • Soo Yong Byun, Committee Member
  • secondary schooling experiences
  • postsecondary education
  • aspirations
  • enrollment
  • alignment
  • learning disabilities
While there have been steady increases in postsecondary education attendance by students with learning disabilities (LD), limited research has examined secondary schooling factors that may affect and promote their postsecondary educational aspirations and enrollment. Drawing on a sample of 370 students with LD from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2), the current study examined associations of a comprehensive set of factors (family, individual, school, and secondary schooling experiences) to postsecondary educational aspirations, enrollment, and alignment between the two, focusing on the role of secondary schooling experiences. Binary or multinomial logistic regression results showed that secondary schooling factors explained a significantly large amount of the variance in those outcomes; grades and school perceptions were the most consistent and critical predictors beyond other background characteristics. The schooling variables of grades, grade retention, overall school perceptions, and college entrance exams, were significantly associated with enrollment status, particularly for colleges. These findings highlight the importance of schooling experiences and the need for additional research in promoting educational aspirations and successful secondary transition to postsecondary education among students with LD.