Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Kelli R. Paquette, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Shirley Johnson, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

DeAnna M. Laverick, D.Ed.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore and to compare the programs at two Pennsylvania Universities for students with intellectual disabilities (ID). The study explored how each university began the program from idea to implementation, including why and when it was started.

The first university in this study was a four-year private school that offered a one-year Culinary Arts program for students with ID. On-campus housing was not an option for the participants in this case study. The data collected from students who graduated from the program included how the program affected student outcomes in the areas of employability and social skills.

The second university in this study was a four-year private liberal arts university with a two-year program for students with ID. Student housing was not offered. In this program, a liberal arts approach was tailored to meet each student’s personal interests and needs. Data collected from students who graduated from the program included how the program affected student outcomes in the areas of employability and social skills.

Additionally, the cost, length of the program, and curriculum of each university’s program was addressed. Student internships were mandatory in both universities’ programs. Administrators of the university programs, graduates of the programs, and their parents participated in this study. Various types of student internships were explored. A Pennsylvania non-profit state agency, which offered grants to both schools, was discussed. The administrator of the non-profit agency participated in the study. A pilot study was also conducted at a Pennsylvania University, which provided a similar program for students with ID.

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