Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Beatrice Babbitt

Number of Pages



The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in the perceptions of postsecondary readiness skills between students with emotional disorders, students with learning disabilities, and students with no disabilities. Participants consisted of 91 students, 12 students with emotional disorders, 47 students with learning disabilities, and 32 students without disabilities in grades 11 and 12 who were planning on transitioning to postsecondary education. Data were collected to determine if there were significant differences in perceptions of postsecondary readiness skills among the three groups of students, specifically on eight domains: general preparation, academic preparation, self-determination and advocacy, academic accommodations and needs, self-sufficiency, financial considerations, social skills, and family support. The results indicated that there are differences among the three groups in their perception of readiness skills for postsecondary education. Significant differences were found between at least two of the three groups on four of the eight domains. Specifically, students with emotional disorders and students with learning disabilities perceived that they lack family support for postsecondary education in comparison to their peers with no disabilities. In the domain of general preparation, students with ED perceived themselves less prepared than their peers with no disabilities, but there were no significant differences found in this domain between students with LD and students with ED. Significant differences were also found in the domains of academic accommodations and needs, and self-sufficiency as students with LD perceived themselves less prepared in these domains than their peers no disabilities, however there were no significant differences found between the three groups on the domains of academic preparation, advocacy/self determination, financial considerations, and social skills. The results of this research indicated that students with disabilities perceived themselves less prepared than their peers with no disabilities in many areas. These results further indicated the importance for additional research to compare these students' perceptions to the perceptions of their parents, teachers, and postsecondary personnel.


Disabilities; Emotional Disorders; Perceptions; Postsecondary; Readiness; Skills; Students

Controlled Subject

Special education

File Format


File Size

2068.48 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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