Title of Abstract

College Students’ Perceptions of Classroom Accommodations

Faculty Mentor

One WU mentor: Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.; sleighm@winthrop.edu

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

Abstract

The number of college students seeking accommodations has significantly increased in recent years. We examined such campus perceptions, hypothesizing that college students would be more favorable about classroom accommodations for physical disabilities versus emotional disabilities. We also hypothesized that entitled students would evaluate accommodations most harshly. Participants (n = 99) were college students with a mean age of 21.03 (SD = 2.22). Most were Caucasian (72%) and men (55%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four versions of the survey describing a college student with an accessibility issue (ADHD, generalized anxiety, hearing impairment, or muscular dystrophy) and then asked to rate their perceptions of classroom accommodations. Participants also responded to scales to assess their perceptions of students needing accommodations, academic entitlement, and entitlement. Our first hypothesis was not supported. Instead, we found that students saw the appropriateness of accommodations being very specific to the disability. Men and students higher in entitlement or externalized academic responsibility revealed the most negative attitudes towards students with accommodations, perhaps reflecting a concern, seen in previous research, that students with accommodations may be getting an unfair advantage. Upperclassmen expressed concern for teachers, students with accommodations, and non-accommodated peers. Classroom experiences and maturity may have allowed them to see and empathize with multiple perspectives.

Additional Fields About Your Abstract

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Course Assignment

PSYC 302 - Sleigh

Other Presentations/Performances

Southeastern Psychological Association Conference, Virtual, March 2021

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College Students’ Perceptions of Classroom Accommodations

The number of college students seeking accommodations has significantly increased in recent years. We examined such campus perceptions, hypothesizing that college students would be more favorable about classroom accommodations for physical disabilities versus emotional disabilities. We also hypothesized that entitled students would evaluate accommodations most harshly. Participants (n = 99) were college students with a mean age of 21.03 (SD = 2.22). Most were Caucasian (72%) and men (55%). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four versions of the survey describing a college student with an accessibility issue (ADHD, generalized anxiety, hearing impairment, or muscular dystrophy) and then asked to rate their perceptions of classroom accommodations. Participants also responded to scales to assess their perceptions of students needing accommodations, academic entitlement, and entitlement. Our first hypothesis was not supported. Instead, we found that students saw the appropriateness of accommodations being very specific to the disability. Men and students higher in entitlement or externalized academic responsibility revealed the most negative attitudes towards students with accommodations, perhaps reflecting a concern, seen in previous research, that students with accommodations may be getting an unfair advantage. Upperclassmen expressed concern for teachers, students with accommodations, and non-accommodated peers. Classroom experiences and maturity may have allowed them to see and empathize with multiple perspectives.