Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Elizabeth Ankeny

Second Advisor

Jennifer Niedzielski


Students with disabilities face many unique challenges in life but one of the most impactful and challenging moments they will face is the transition from high school to postsecondary education. This new phase in their lives is filled with dramatic changes and can prove to be especially troubling for students with disabilities. Yet, if these students receive the proper training prior to leaving high school, they may experience a smoother transition and ultimately achieve their goals and dreams. Through qualitative methods using narrative and descriptive approaches, this research investigated what study skills are the most important to teach to high school students with disabilities to prepare them for the rigor and challenges of postsecondary education and training. Through the development of an in-depth questionnaire, and one-on-one interviews with former students who had received special education services while in high school, the researcher discovered themes that impacted these students' postsecondary success: study skills need to be taught; literacy skills are key; the need for self-advocacy and utilization of resources; the impact of student engagement; and self-determination and the effect of parental support. The findings strongly suggest that effective study skills instruction for students with disabilities, while they are in high school, greatly impacts their postsecondary experiences in a positive manner.


SC 11.MAE.2015.DesMarais.MR