Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Eva Miller

Second Advisor

Dr. Jerome Fischer

Third Advisor

Dr. Bruce Reed


Since the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, individuals with disabilities have found enhanced opportunities in various areas of living. The numbers of students with disabilities in institutions of postsecondary education have also increased in the past few decades; however, despite this increase, the degree completion rates of students with disabilities continue to lag in comparison to their non-disabled peers in colleges and universities. As such, most universities currently have a designated office or department of disability accommodations designed to provide academic accommodations for students with disabilities. Nonetheless, current rehabilitation research is lacking in knowledge regarding interventions designed to facilitate the postsecondary educational success of students with disabilities. The present study aimed to investigate whether two specific factors, resilience and perceived social support, correlated with the academic success of students with disabilities in postsecondary educational settings. Results indicated little-to-no correlation between grade point average (GPA) and resilience and GPA and perceived social support. A small-to-medium correlation was found between resilience and perceived social support, thereby indicating these two variables have a positive correlation among a sample of college students with disabilities enrolled in postsecondary education settings. Analysis of qualitative data indicated three primary categories of factors which participants believed contributed to their resilience levels. The discussion includes implications of these findings in postsecondary settings that serve students with disabilities.


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