Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award


Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project


Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Cindy Ryan

Honors Program Director

Dr. Gavin Keulks


The purpose of the present study was to examine individuals’ immediate responses and perceptions when faced with presuming children with disabilities performance levels in a general education classroom. The participants consisted of 96 college students attending Western Oregon University and who were enrolled in at least one college course during the school year. Seventy-six students identified themselves as female, 16 identified as male, and 3 identified as nonbinary, with the average age of participants being 18-22 years, and the standard deviation being σ = 0.66. Forty-eight percent of participants identified themselves as having a White ethnic background, whereas 32.67% identified with having a Hispanic background. The participants were sampled from a website called SONA Systems. Using the Qualtrics survey creation tool, all participants were provided with two short vignettes about children in a general education classroom that they were asked to read. Following each vignette, participants were asked to answer six survey questions, twelve questions in total, regarding the vignette they just read. The results revealed that individuals believe children with disabilities will perform poorly in a general education classroom without the presence and assistance from special education teacher aides, but will perform better with such aides in the general classroom. This research will aid in revealing individuals' 6 perceptions of students with disabilities engaging socially and learning in a general education classroom.