This qualitative, phenomenological study will cross-sectionally examine the perceptions of general education teachers through in-person interviews to analyze their personal beliefs for special education students’ attendance at post-secondary education institutions. Data was collected from general education teachers working at different urban high schools in a Southern California charter management organization. Each of the interviewed teachers are currently responsible, or have been responsible, for the instruction of special education students in their classroom. A total of 6 general education teachers participated in semi-structured interviews that consisted of 10 open-ended questions. Three conclusions were extracted from the findings related to the data collected through the interview process. Firstly, the general education teacher must believe in the potential of the special education student and their ability to attend a post-secondary education institution. Secondly, the school and the charter management organization must provide adequate training and collaboration opportunities to general education teachers in order to provide them with the pedagogical skills necessary to appropriately support special educations students. Thirdly, the special education student must have the self-belief and the self-confidence required to attend a post-secondary education institution after high school graduation. The 3 implications supported by the key findings and conclusions from the study are to explore methods by which general education teachers might better communicate their belief in the potential of all special education students, devise systems in which more meaningful collaboration, communication, and training of general education teachers to instruct special education students can occur, and investigate strategies that general education teachers might implement to improve the self-belief and self-confidence of special education students.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Leadership, administration, and policy; Teachers -- Interviews; Students with disabilities -- Education (Higher); Effective teaching -- Case studies

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Barner, Robert R.;