Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Department of Special Education

First Advisor

Maureen E. Angell


The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of students with Individualized Education Programs who attend regional safe schools of their educational experiences. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act mandates that students with disabilities be provided a free, appropriate, public education in the least restrictive environment; however, the students who participated in this study had been removed from their home public schools. This study employed a qualitative research methodology to investigate the students' perspectives on their experiences at public schools and a regional safe school.

Participants in this study were 8 high school students with disabilities who attended a regional safe school. The school was located in a small urban community in the Midwest. Data were collected through document review, observations, and one-on-one, semi-structured interviews. All but one student participated in three interviews. Interview questions focused on students' experiences, views of their success in public and alternative school, and elements that they identified as being essential for their success. Open coding was used to analyze student responses to interview questions.

Findings indicated that students identified both teacher and school factors as essential to their school success. Students expressed positive changes in themselves in the areas of motivation, determination to succeed, and self-awareness. All students perceived that they were more successful at their regional safe school.


Imported from ProQuest Degruy_ilstu_0092E_10069.pdf


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