Experiences of Students with Disabilities in the Cegeps

This project was completed in 2003.

After twenty years of planning, special funding, and the provision of specialized disability related services in Quebec's community colleges (Cegeps), little is known about how successful students with disabilities are once they enter college. What kinds of grades do they receive? What proportion of students with disabilities graduate or drop out? How long does it take students to graduate?

In a case study of Dawson College we conducted 12-year archival investigation of these questions. The transcripts of 653 students who were registered with the Services for Students with Disabilities office at Dawson College were compared to the transcripts of 41,357 students who did not register for such services (their nondisabled peers).

Findings

Results show no significant differences between students with and without disabilities on any of the four outcome measures examined: graduation rates, average grades in the first semester, course pass rates (percent of courses taken that were passed), and course success rates (percentage of students who passed 100% of the courses they undertook in the first semester). The only significant difference was that students with disabilities required approximately one semester more to graduate than did their nondisabled peers.