Date of Award

Spring 1-6-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Will Rumbaugh

Second Advisor

Yinying Wang

Third Advisor

Sheryl Cowart-Moss


Students with intellectual disabilities have limited options for continuing their education after high school. Inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) programs provide access for students with intellectual disabilities to the college campus. However, it takes more than an opportunity to have a meaningful college experience. Gidley et al. (2010) outline a framework for promoting Social Inclusion for Quality Higher Education that uses the underlying theories of Neoliberalism, Social Justice, and Human Potential that inform practices. This qualitative research study used a single case study design to explore research questions that ask what specific leadership practices promoting social inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities at the postsecondary level are used at an IPSE program located at Metro University, a pseudonym for a large public university located in the Southeast. Data were collected through six individual interviews with the IPSE program staff, four focus group interviews with IPSE program students, and one focus group with members of the mentorship team, using a total of twenty-one participants. A document review of the parent and student manual and additional information retrieved from the program webpage contributed to the results of this study. The major findings revealed that through relationship building, problem-solving, curriculum development, staff support, and Person-Centered Planning, the IPSE program at Metro University provides an inclusive environment for its students that follows the framework of Social Inclusion for Quality Higher Education.


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