Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Kristine Webb

Second Advisor

Dr. Matthew Ohlson

Third Advisor

Dr. Megan Schramm-Possinger

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Natalie Indelicato

Department Chair

Dr. Chris Janson

College Dean

Dr. Diane Yendol-Hoppey


Advances in medication and support services in high schools have influenced the growing number of students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) enrolling in colleges and universities. Unfortunately, their lower graduation rates and extended time to graduation creates multiple challenges to themselves, their institution’s, and their communities. Limited information is available regarding how disability services impact graduation rates for students with ADHD in higher education. More information is needed about how the practices instituted by disability support center leaders in post-secondary institution’s impact the graduation rates of students with ADHD. Retention, a financial and ethical concern for universities, is pushed to the forefront by lawmakers who demand an increased return on their state’s educational investment. Disability resource directors, school registrar officials, and disability resource center websites were data sources. Information was gathered about the number of students with ADHD that have graduated from each institution over the past three years. A non-experimental quantitative design (correlation) was used that provided a process for gathering information about use of disability services, which was then correlated and compared to the overall graduation rate of college students with ADHD over a three-year period. Qualitative information regarding types of services highlighted commonly used services and responses from directors were discussed regarding collaborative partnerships and training for faculty and staff. A positive correlation between use of services and graduation rate was found from examining one school that submitted complete data. Overall, the response rate was low, particularly for the colleges, which impacted the ability to respond to some of the research questions. Some directors noted a preference for the social theory of retention in support of why they don’t collect data on specific groups of students with disabilities, while others chose to not participate at all due to a lack of data tracking. Because funding for programming and targeted services depend on knowledge gained from data tracking, these findings may have implications for policy and practice. Educational leaders may be able to utilize the results of this study to shape future institutional policies and practices that impact the success of their students.

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