Date of Award

Summer 8-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



Committee Chair

Masha Krsmanovic

Committee Chair School



The National Center for Education Statistics revealed that in 2015-2016, 19.4% of undergraduate students reported having a disability. Further data convey that students with disabilities have lower graduation and retention rates than their non-disabled peers. Academic advising has a long-standing linkage to retention and success; however, academic advisors frequently feel that they are in a better place to support students with disabilities if they understand the impact of the disability on academic life. Existing literature focuses on factors that influence students to disclose a disability to obtain reasonable accommodations from an institution's disability/accessibility office and disclosure to faculty members. This research study intends to fill the gaps in the literature related to disability disclosure to academic advisors. The purpose of this explanatory sequential mixed-method study was to explore why students choose to disclose a disability to an academic advisor, as well as the factors that dissuade them from disclosure, and to capture students' perceptions of their experience with disclosure to an academic advisor. Additional data about how students with disabilities believe that academic advisors can better support them through disclosure emerged. The data from the quantitative aspect of the study were analyzed through descriptive statistics to determine the most common factors examined, and thematic coding was applied to the qualitative aspect of the study. This research corroborated some of the past research evidence while also providing novel insights that have not been captured previously. The quantitative and qualitative data provide practical implications that could address some discrepancies in students with disabilities' academic experiences through the lens of academic advising.