An Evaluation of an Academic Support Programme for Disabled Students
The following paper will detail some of the significant aspects of an academic support programme for disabled students to be held at the Auckland University of Technology in 2005. The proposed sessions will be of both a pastoral and academic nature. These sessions aim to empower disabled students, and to provide them with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to succeed at a tertiary setting. The first part of the paper will discuss the background to this initiative that has its origin in a visit to New York and attendance at the Learning Disabilities of Association of America Conference in 1998. In addition, there will be an overview of some literature related to the transition process of entry into an unfamiliar setting such as a tertiary education setting, and a qualitative comparison with earlier attempts at developing similar courses. The second part of the paper will appraise the impact this programme will have on teachers and students, by gleaning quantitative feedback from these two sources. In order to formalise this evaluation of the workshop, this paper will reflect on: (1) issues of course content; (2) the process of how the course was delivered; and (3) how the course was applied, in terms of how the students and teachers felt the course impacted on student entry into tertiary study. The conclusion will appraise the perceived impact and value on this type of academic support programme for disabled students and to consider the diversity issues that are inevitably associated with this type of programme.
Keywords: Disabled Students, Transition Tertiary Study Programme
Mr Marcus Henning
Lecturer and Psychologist, Student Services Group, Auckland University of Technology