Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership



First Reader/Committee Chair

Sparks, Shannon


This qualitative study explores the transition of students with learning disabilities (LDs) from high school to junior college, focusing on self-advocacy, self-determination, and the impact of transition services. Conducted with students aged 18 to 23 in Riverside, California, through semi-structured interviews, it employs hermeneutic interpretative phenomenological analysis to merge participants' experiences with social justice theories. The research underscores the need for educational strategies that are inclusive and adaptive, catering to the unique challenges of students with LDs. Key themes found are Awareness and Application of Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination, the Role of High School Transition Services in College Preparedness, Guidance and Skill Development, Managing College Life, and Advice for Teachers and Students. These themes emphasize the critical role of transition programs and personalized guidance in fostering essential skills among students. The findings call for systemic reforms in education to ensure equitable support and opportunities for students with LDs, highlighting the importance of ongoing research and development in special education.