Ambiguity and Alignment in Academic Policies: Course Substitutions, Learning Disabilities, and Universal Design

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/228192
Title:
Ambiguity and Alignment in Academic Policies: Course Substitutions, Learning Disabilities, and Universal Design
Author:
Galilee-Belfer, Mika
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
While research on barriers to full participation for those with learning and other disabilities has focused largely on structural and institutional obstacles to work and education (Swain, French, & Cameron, 2005; Jones, 1996; Watson, 2002), the recognition of disability as a social justice issue is gaining currency (Kraus, 2008). Expensive, bureaucratic, and protracted procedures for reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in colleges and universities may serve as institutional obstacles that can challenge notions of social justice. This study examined academic policy implementation surrounding foreign language substitution procedures and practices in five institutions of higher education. Nineteen academic administrators were interviewed to examine how and when policies are implemented, and how those responsible for decision-making around student requests for foreign language substitutions as a reasonable accommodation approach their decision-making. Additionally, content analysis of institutional material listed on websites and in documents available to students was conducted to understand in what model(s) of disability substitution requests are rooted. Finally, four students from one of the five institutions were interviewed to contextualize the findings from the institutional administrator interviews and content analysis. The framework of Strategic Ambiguity is utilized to examine how ambiguity in policy creation and implementation can negatively impact the experiences of some students with disabilities in higher education, even as it benefits administrators who can capitalize on ambiguity to align their policy decisions with individual interpretations of fairness. The framework of Universal Design is utilized to examine how diverse perspectives on the comparative importance of language and cultural study may legitimize the expansion of curricular options for all students.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
strategic ambiguity; Universal Design; Higher Education; academic policies; learning disabilities
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Higher Education
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Lee, Jenny J.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleAmbiguity and Alignment in Academic Policies: Course Substitutions, Learning Disabilities, and Universal Designen_US
dc.creatorGalilee-Belfer, Mikaen_US
dc.contributor.authorGalilee-Belfer, Mikaen_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractWhile research on barriers to full participation for those with learning and other disabilities has focused largely on structural and institutional obstacles to work and education (Swain, French, & Cameron, 2005; Jones, 1996; Watson, 2002), the recognition of disability as a social justice issue is gaining currency (Kraus, 2008). Expensive, bureaucratic, and protracted procedures for reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in colleges and universities may serve as institutional obstacles that can challenge notions of social justice. This study examined academic policy implementation surrounding foreign language substitution procedures and practices in five institutions of higher education. Nineteen academic administrators were interviewed to examine how and when policies are implemented, and how those responsible for decision-making around student requests for foreign language substitutions as a reasonable accommodation approach their decision-making. Additionally, content analysis of institutional material listed on websites and in documents available to students was conducted to understand in what model(s) of disability substitution requests are rooted. Finally, four students from one of the five institutions were interviewed to contextualize the findings from the institutional administrator interviews and content analysis. The framework of Strategic Ambiguity is utilized to examine how ambiguity in policy creation and implementation can negatively impact the experiences of some students with disabilities in higher education, even as it benefits administrators who can capitalize on ambiguity to align their policy decisions with individual interpretations of fairness. The framework of Universal Design is utilized to examine how diverse perspectives on the comparative importance of language and cultural study may legitimize the expansion of curricular options for all students.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectstrategic ambiguityen_US
dc.subjectUniversal Designen_US
dc.subjectHigher Educationen_US
dc.subjectacademic policiesen_US
dc.subjectlearning disabilitiesen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHigher Educationen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorLee, Jenny J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberDeil-Amen, Regina J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMilem, Jeffrey F.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLee, Jenny J.en_US
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