Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Scott Barrett

Second Advisor

Kelly Yordy

Third Advisor

Tim Herrmann


With an increase in students with disabilities entering into a college campus, understanding their unique needs is necessary to ensure they complete their college experience. Their rise in enrollment by students with disabilities is due in part to the increased supports within the K-12 schooling systems. This leaves higher education professionals unprepared to serve college students with disabilities in developing a positive sense of belonging during the transition to postsecondary education. This study explores if and how campus mobility impacts the sense of belonging for a student with a mobility impairment. This student implemented a best practices design and also phenomenological approach to utilizing interviews of students at a large research-based institution located in the Midwest to accurately capture their experience. The results revealed that in order to achieve a positive student sense of belonging, institutions must provide accommodations that go beyond ADA requirements to adequately provide the physical/social inclusion they wanted by students. The student interviews and best practices research indicated beneficial models that other institutions may benefit from after thoughtful consideration, adaptation and implementation of the results.