Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Special Education, Early Childhood & Prevention Science

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction, PhD

Committee Chair

Courtade, Ginevra

Committee Member

Cooper, Justin

Committee Member

Horn, Channon

Committee Member

Valentine, Jeffrey

Author's Keywords

Inclusive instruction; universal design for instruction (UDI); inclusive teaching strategies inventory (ITSI); faculty attitudes; postsecondary settings


The enrollment landscape of postsecondary institutions in the United States has undergone significant demographic shifts, marked by increasing racial and ethnic diversity and a rise in enrollment of students with disabilities. Recognizing the importance of accommodating diverse learners, this study investigates faculty attitudes toward inclusive instruction, Universal Design for Instruction, and disability-related topics. This multiple-methods study aimed to identify differences across faculty groups to establish an initial measure of faculty attitudes toward inclusive teaching practices that can be used to design future training or professional development opportunities. Data was collected via an online distribution of the Inclusive Teaching Strategies Inventory (ITSI) and semi-structured interviews with faculty. A total of 89 surveys were used to conduct four one-way MANOVAs. The MANOVAs indicated significant results for faculty differences based on disability-related training and college affiliation for the subscales of Inclusive Classrooms, Inclusive Assessment, and Disability Law and Concepts. A thematic analysis of the open-ended survey question indicated generally positive perceptions of inclusive instruction and described two main limitations faced by faculty: the challenging workload and the feasibility of implementing inclusive practices and accommodations. Phenomenological analysis of the data collected from faculty interviews indicated three recurrent themes across faculty experiences: (1) faculty using inclusive instructional practices and Universal Design for Instruction (UDI), (2) a need for more support for diverse student populations beyond those with disabilities, and (3) a transformation in faculty roles. Recommendations for the participating university include prioritizing faculty training on inclusive practices, particularly for those with limited prior training, and incorporating Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) principles into tenure and promotion criteria. The study also underscores the need for further research exploring the influence of technology on faculty attitudes and practices regarding inclusive instruction.