Dr. Lisa Beymer
This research project measured the perceptions of traditional college students when having visiting students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) in their college classroom. In this study, visiting students with IDD were partnered with peer allies who are traditional students participating in ESP-250. Allies and visiting students meet before each class session to build relationships, attend class together, participate in class activities, and collaborate on homework assignments. After class, allies record a journal entry describing their feelings and experiences. Data from these journals are coded to determine what trends are demonstrated in the perceptions of allies when having visiting students in their class. Pre and post surveys are also sent out at the beginning and end of the semester for both participating and nonparticipating ESP-250 students to complete. Current results show that 11 out of the 12 allies frequently agreed they were making connections with the visiting student they were working with. Both visiting students and allies have expressed feelings of appreciation and understanding of differing perspectives. This leads us to believe that inclusion can have a positive impact on the college classroom experience. This research is continuing.
Cherry, Nicole; Gorman, Julia; and Beymer, Lisa, "EPRICC: Exploring Peer Relationships in an Inclusive College Classroom" (2020). 2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 25.