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A longitudinal study of the Access, Retention, and Success of Students with Disabilities across 9 HEIs in Ireland PowerPoint Presentation
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A longitudinal study of the Access, Retention, and Success of Students with Disabilities across 9 HEIs in Ireland

A longitudinal study of the Access, Retention, and Success of Students with Disabilities across 9 HEIs in Ireland

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A longitudinal study of the Access, Retention, and Success of Students with Disabilities across 9 HEIs in Ireland

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  1. A longitudinal study of the Access, Retention, and Success of Students with Disabilities across 9 HEIs in Ireland Innsbruck July 2010

  2. Our Location: Cork CityUniversity College Cork (UCC) & Cork Institute of Technology (CIT)

  3. Some Background Information... University College Cork (UCC) • UCC is one of the oldest universities in Ireland (founded in 1845).  • The university has 19,269 full-time students attracting students from over 90 different countries (2009-10).  • UCC has a rich tradition of teaching, research and scholarship with a view to responding effectively to the needs of a global society • With 82 thriving student societies and 50 different sports clubs, society and sporting life is at the heart of the University. Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) • CIT is one of the largest and longest established technological centres in Ireland. • The Institute has approximately 12,000 registered students (including part-time students). • CIT has three constituent colleges which include the National Maritime College of Ireland, the Cork School of Music and the Crawford College of Art and Design.

  4. Disability Support Services in UCC & CIT • Supports students with many types of disabilities • Assistive Technology Lab • Specialist advisors • Currently supports approx. 625 students in UCC and approximately 330 students in CIT • Works to promote independent learning • Supports funded through European Social Fund • Types of supports include: - Personal / educational assistants, Transport support - Assistive technologies & software - Educational supports such as conversion of texts into alternate formats, exam arrangements

  5. Overview • Project Background • Scope of the Research • Methodologies: • Issue of Confidentiality • Selection Criteria for Sample • Development of Tracking System • Overview of Research • Key Findings • Recommendations • Questions & Answers

  6. Project Background • Pathways to Education: A Joint Access Initiative of UCC & CIT • Funded through Strategic Innovation Fund – Cycle 2 • Dearth of research in area of disability • National tracking of students with disabilities has not taken place before

  7. Scope of the Research • Aim: to track students with disabilities from 1st year of study through their academic lives & establish patterns/trends in this area of the educational sector • Tracked on 2 levels: programme of study and category of disability. • 1st year students in 2005/06 academic year (‘2005 New Entrants’) • In-depth pilot study: UCC & CIT • National sample: 7 additional institutions participating (AIT, DIT, Tallaght IT, TCD, DCU, NUIM, NUIG) • Mainly quantitative study but qualitative research included in pilot study

  8. Addressing the issue of confidentiality: • Data collection of national sample: no names used and false ID numbers where necessary • Raw data transferred into generic template • Tracking templates: categorize students under broad headings of programmes & disability • Finalised information was returned to participating institutions for approval prior to use in report • Interviews: students were informed what the information would be used for and assured names would not be used in any way in the report

  9. Selection Criteria for ‘2005 New Entrants’ • Students who entered first year (for the first time) in the 2005/06 academic year • Undergraduate students only • Full time, degree students only (excluding part-time, occasional, visiting, international students) • Excluding repeat first year students or deferred students who re-entered first year in 2005

  10. Development of tracking system: • Template modeled on report carried out by Edinburgh University • Consists of 2 sections: programmes of study & disability categories • Programmes of study: AHEAD categories originally used but now grouped under 4 broad categories • Disability Categories: 6 general categories

  11. Sample of Tracking Tables – Trinity CollegeProgrammes of Study

  12. Sample of Tracking Tables – Trinity CollegeCategories of Disabilities

  13. Overview: National Study • 9 institutions took part: AIT, DIT, Tallaght IT, TCD, DCU, NUIM, NUIG (plus UCC & CIT which are the pilot institutions) • Analysis: tracking tables (programme & disability) • Comparability – raw data transferred into generic format • All institutions except one provided years of withdrawal

  14. Findings: National Sample (Part 1)Overall Retention (9 HEIs)

  15. Findings: National Sample (Part 2)Retention Per Year (9 HEIs)

  16. Note on previous slide (retention per year): • Overall retention Yr 1: 92.7% • UCC retention in Year 1: 90% • Entrants with disabilities had a higher retention (i.e. progressing from first year to second year) than all students in UCC for 2005/06 to 06/07)

  17. Findings: National Sample (Part 3)Retention in Year 1 by Category of Disability

  18. Findings: National Sample (Part 4)Success of Entrants with Disabilities

  19. Key Findings • Spld students achieve greatest success- highest percentage of first and second class honours • Most entrants registered in Arts & Humanities and Science & Engineering programmes • Students with mental health difficulties have greatest difficulty and poorest retention levels • First year of study crucial to success of students- very low withdrawal in 2nd and subsequent years

  20. Overview: Pilot Study UCC/CIT • Tracking tables by programme & disability • Further in-depth analysis on the following areas: • Disability categories • Programmes of study • Home domain • Funding • Exam success • Supplementary Admission Route (UCC only) • Interviews / Qualitative analysis (UCC & CIT)

  21. Key Findings: Pilot StudyFunding • Many students cannot cope in a third level / higher education setting without the funding provided through the ESF Fund. This was highlighted in the interviews: “The funding given to me for my supports has changed my life. I wouldn’t be pursuing my chosen career otherwise. I absolutely cannot cope without my supports in college [if I didn’t have them] I would have dropped out”.

  22. Key Findings: Pilot StudyExam Success - UCC

  23. Key Findings: Pilot StudyExam Success - CIT • 1st Class Honours results were attained by all SPLD students.

  24. Some words from the students themselves... • “...a hearing/visual impairment, or any disability should never be considered a barrier to progression to education...” • The supports are there waiting for you. Grab them and use them to help you reach your goal!” • “I wouldn’t do anything differently. It was worth every minute”

  25. A short media clip of a HI student from UCC.

  26. Recommendations Further research recommended in the following areas: • Reasons for withdrawal rates in first year • Why withdrawal is highest in the category of mental health difficulties • Analysis of first destination of all the graduates of 2005across the 9HEIs • Analysis of the destination of students that dropped out of college Recommendation at an institutional level: • Gain consent of students for use of non-personal statistical data in reports. This could be done on initial assessment and registration of the student with the disability support service (e.g. A tick box on the registration form). Other recommendations: • Compare the access , retention, success of students with disabilities in Higher Education Institutions with other countries • Continue tracking students with disabilities to increase the level of information available on challenges faced by different and emerging disability categories such as students with Aspergers

  27. Questions & Answers

  28. Contact Details Mary O Grady Disability Support Officer & Head of Disability Service University College Cork Cork, Ireland Phone: +353 21 4902985 E Mail: Website: