Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Linda Gaughan

Committee Member

Daniel Turner


inclusion, non-traditional school, special education, perceptions, students with disabilities, and self-efficacy


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a 2015 U.S. education law which requires schools to provide all children with a fair, equitable, and quality education. For students with disabilities, this also means that they are to be educated in mainstream classrooms when appropriate. To meet this requirement, traditional schools have adopted various inclusive practices. Students with disabilities are increasingly enrolling in non-traditional schools which often receive less funding than traditional schools making it difficult for them to provide adequate support services.

The central research question for this generic qualitative research study was: What are the attitudes and opinions of teachers regarding inclusion services provided to students with disabilities in a local regional high school system?

An examination of the data provided by the 10 participants revealed both positive and negative aspects to implementing inclusive education to students in an alternative education setting. The participants gave several specific practices used at the research site that were proven to help all students gain access to the curriculum. They also spoke about the challenges to implementing inclusion in alternative education settings. One of the biggest challenges identified by the participants was the difficulty they experienced adequately educating all students in the alternative education setting. Gathering information from other stakeholders, especially students, would be helpful in identifying specific practices or strategies they feel are most useful in helping them to have full access to the curriculum. Should the study be replicated, it would be beneficial to hear the opinions of other stakeholders in the alternative education setting as well as including other alternative education sites.

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