Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Brian A. Bottge

Second Advisor

Dr. Allan Allday


Students with disabilities (SWD) face an unfavorable employment future because many drop out of school at a disproportionate rate. The employment outlook for SWD who graduate from high school is also a concern because current studies show that only about half of them find jobs. In addition, most jobs they do find are entry level and low paying. One predictor of post-secondary success is career awareness. The purpose of this study was first to develop a curriculum especially designed for teaching career awareness of SWD and then to test its effects with a pretest-posttest randomized trial. Results indicated that the SWD who taught with the new curriculum deepened their knowledge of careers and developed a more positive attitude toward career planning. Implications for further development and research are provided.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This research was supported by the Arvle and Ellen Turner Thacker award (2019), the Blackhurst Student Research Fund (2019), the Wallis Charles Hill Endowment (2020), and Department Block Funding (2020).