International Journal of Social Policy & Education

ISSN 2689-4998 (print), 2689-5013 (online)

Postsecondary Students with Intellectual Disabilities: A Mixed Methods Evaluation of Peer Perceptions in the Inclusion Environment

Meagan Boyd Medley, PhD; Mary Falgout Breaud, EdD; Michael S. Jeffress, PhD; Dennis J. Guillot, PhD; Judith L. F. Rhodes, PhD


Applying for federal student financial aid became a postsecondary option through the 2008 reauthorization of the United States Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) for students with intellectual disability (ID) in the US. Certified Transition Programs (CTP) utilizing 5 programing options for students with ID are now possible. This study evaluated university peers’ perceptions in conjunction with one such HEOA program at a mid-size regional public university in the Deep South. The research was a mixed method design with pre-post ratings on the Sentiments, Attitudes, and Concerns about Inclusive Education Revised (SACIE-R) scale and a focus group of students taking courses with students in the HEOA university program. Results indicated statistically significant differences in peer perceptions. Focus group findings showed student participants growth in awareness and understanding of SWID. Proposed state policies are changing the higher education climate to foster more CTP opportunities.