“If They Could See Me Now!”: College Students Reflect on Their Experiences as Special Education Students in the K-12 System*

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Lynne A. Kellner
Lisa Freden


special education, expectations, meaning-making


The current study examined the experiences of six students with learning disabilities in a four-year public, liberal arts college and discusses the meaning they attributed to their previous identification as special education students while in the K-12 system.  Data was gathered through a semi-structured interview, questionnaire, and a sentence stem structure.  A qualitative approach was used and results were analyzed using principles of content analysis.  Themes emerging as noteworthy were: (a) the effect on relationships with peers, (b) lack of developmental knowledge by school support staff, (c) family support, and (d) the challenges of upholding expectations.

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