Actively Navigating the Transition into College: Narratives of Students with Learning Disabilities

David J. Connor Professor, School of Education: Hunter College This presentation will summarize a study that was recently published in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Students with learning disabilities (LD) are particularly vulnerable in making the school-to-college transition where they negotiate a complex constellation of challenges that include academic demands, social expectations, and emotional/personal growth. Although a substantial body of knowledge exists about college students with LD, it is largely predicated upon extrinsic supports available to both ensure a successful transition into college and ways to maintain that success. In contrast, intrinsic knowledge as the basis of agency exerted by individuals with LD to strategize for their own success has received comparatively little attention. This study uses narrative methodology guided by a theoretical framework of disability studies, to render three nuanced portraits of college students with LD. Participants demonstrate ways in which they manage to navigate the academic, social, and emotional/personal realms when transitioning into college. In doing so, they reveal instances of self-knowledge that are often hidden or overlooked, revealing numerous instances of agency. Bio   David J. Connor David J. Connor is a Professor and Chairperson of the Special Education Department. His research interests include inclusive education, learning disabilities, and disability studies in education. For more information, including publications, please see Click here to go back