Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Whitney McIntyre Miller

Second Advisor

Dawn Hunter

Third Advisor

Michael Hoggatt


There is a growing number of inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) programs and scholarship in higher education. Providing a spectrum of educational opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in higher education plays a pivotal role in creating inclusive and meaningful access to postsecondary education. However, little is known about the ways in which the faculty and administrators who are integral stakeholders on campus perceive their work developing and supporting higher education as a socially valued experience for students with IDD. Utilizing constructivist grounded theory, this study examines the ways in which community college faculty and administrators working in programs that provide educational opportunities for students with IDD understand and undertake their work. The study also explores the ways in which faculty and administrators think about and understand disability as a component of diversity, the actions that faculty and administrators take in working with students with IDD, and the advocacy they implore in fostering a sense of belongingness and inclusivity efforts for students with IDD as a campus-wide integral approach. The findings indicate that there are connections between faculty and administrators as individuals (Belongingness and Inclusivity Mindset), the practices they engage in (Disability Knowledge), the community space they work in (Campus Community), and the larger systems found in community colleges (Postsecondary Education Environment). In addition, the findings propose that these connections create an Integral Framework for Inclusive Postsecondary Education (IFvii IPSE) which is defined as a campus-wide, intentional approach of individual and collective action that challenges ableism, advocates for belongingness and inclusivity, and creates educational opportunities for students with IDD. Suggestions are provided for ways to better support faculty and administrators as they navigate community college structures and systems and work toward accessibility, belongingness, and inclusivity for students with IDD.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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