Nov. 15, 2021
KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Wanda Hadley, Associate Professor of higher education leadership in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology recently appeared on “A World of Difference” to discuss when students with learning disabilities are ready to transition to college. An extended “Ask the Experts” segment is also available. The show is produced by Beacon College, the first accredited college in America that focuses on graduating students with learning disabilities.
Dr. Hadley focuses her research on the academic adjustment issues first-year students with learning disabilities experience in their transition to college through the lens of student development theory. She has an extensive publication record of refereed monographs, book chapters, and articles about college students with learning disabilities. “This topic is important because for the last 20 plus years, students with disabilities, specifically learning disabilities, have been the fastest growing population enrolling in colleges and universities, but their persistence to graduation has been low,” explained Dr. Hadley.
As a new faculty on campus in the fall of 2014, Dr. Hadley developed a special topics course about students with learning disabilities transitioning to college that education leadership masters’ and doctoral students can take as an elective in their program of study. She also teaches a course about higher education law where Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act are featured and shares her research experience during doctoral seminar courses. She encourages her students, whom are often practitioners that interact with students, to support students with learning disabilities as they transition to the college environment. “I try to make sure they understand the importance of helping that student population feel welcome and included in the campus culture.”
Dr. Hadley was recognized by the American College Personnel Association as one of the 25 scholars in the United States conducting research about college students with learning disabilities and received the 2017 American College Personnel Association's Leadership Award for her research and scholarship about college students with learning disabilities.