College Students with Intellectual Disabilities: How Are They Faring?
Accompanying the recent shift in conventional wisdom about "who" should go to college is a relative dearth of information on how students with ID who live in residence halls with traditional undergraduates are faring. We describe the University of Iowa (UI) REACH (Realizing Educational and Career Hopes) program, its students, and the living-learning community they experience at the University of Iowa. We describe strategies employed to support their transition to college, to build family partnerships, and to help them overcome the challenges and complexities of the social environment. Campus opportunities and the central role of student staff--RAs and mentors-to the integration of REACH students into the campus community are described. A comparison of UI-REACH and first-year college students on the Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-Being and the Openness to Diversity/Challenge Scale revealed no significant differences between the student groups. These results suggest that UI-REACH and first-year college students are adjusting to college similarly on such dimensions as self-acceptance, personal growth, purpose in life, positive relations with others, environmental mastery, and autonomy. We strongly encourage colleges and universities to forge ahead in the development of inclusive postsecondary education options for students with ID.
Hendrickson, J. M., Vander Busard, A., Rodgers, D., & Scheidecker, B. (2013). College Students with Intellectual Disabilities: How Are They Faring? Journal Of College & University Student Housing, 39/40(2/1), 186-199.