Factors Related to Accessing Postsecondary School Supports by English Learners With Disabilities

Lynn A. Newman, Audrey A. Trainor, Lindsay Romano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the relationship between demographic, disability-related, and transition planning experiences and accessing disability-specific and universally available supports at 2- and 4-year colleges by postsecondary students identified in secondary school as English learners with disabilities. Findings were based on secondary analysis of a nationally representative sample of approximately 160 English learners with disabilities included in the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). Logistic regression results identified two potentially malleable factors linked to increased likelihood of English learners with disabilities accessing postsecondary supports. If these students had a high school transition plan that indicated postsecondary supports as a needed post-high school service, when they attended college they were more likely to access both postsecondary disability-specific supports (p <.01), and supports universally available to the full postsecondary student body (p <.001). Aspects of self-determination also were related to an increased likelihood of seeking postsecondary supports. Higher levels of personal autonomy were positively related to accessing disability-specific (p <.001) and universally available help (p <.05), and higher levels of psychological empowerment were related to receipt of universally available supports (p <.01). These findings demonstrate that high school professionals can support the postschool success of English learners with disabilities by influencing their likelihood of accessing beneficial supports in postsecondary school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-91
Number of pages12
JournalCareer Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2024


  • English learners
  • college supports
  • self-determination
  • students with disabilities
  • transition plan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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