Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Dianne Timm


College is one of the most exciting times in an individual's life and could also be one of the most challenging. Students are coming in to college needing amenities and different accommodations for a variety of different reasons; very commonly, learning and physical disabilities. Utilizing qualitative methodology, this study aimed to explore five different student affairs areas on campus to see if they provide a universally designed environment for college students with both learning and physical disabilities. Each professional shared their knowledge of universal design, universal strategies that they currently use, areas professionals believe are the most accommodating on campus as well as what is needed to make campus more universally designed. Results showed that there was a lack of knowledge regarding universal design and often participants described concepts from the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). It was evident that more education, training, and development is needed in each respective department in order to implement the concept of universal design. Each participant did however discuss how they all believe the institution is an "institution of access". They all believed that any student that identified with any population has the potential to be a successful student at the institution regardless because of the overall supportive, welcoming, and inclusive environment.