Taiwanese University Students with Hearing Impairment: A Case Study of Their Experiences and Factors Contributing to Persistence in Their Studies
This study examines the experiences of students with hearing impairment (HI) in post-secondary education in Taiwan. Although students with HI now have greater opportunities to enrol in post-secondary education and are provided with support services they continue to have problems and often eventually drop out. However, despite their difficulties, some students with HI do persist and graduate. At this point, there is no information on the reasons for these students’ success.
A qualitative phenomenological conceptual model guided the case study, and its theoretical framework was a revised version of Tinto’s 1993 and 1997 Student Integration Model (SIM). This is one of the first qualitative studies that examines the experiences of Taiwanese post-secondary students with HI. The participants were seven students with HI in their third and fourth year of university, their learning partners, four professors, and two personnel for the Centre for Counselling Services. Data collection procedures included individual interviews, focus group interviews, field observations, and a self-reflective journal. Profiles of the participants with HI were developed and a cross case analysis was done.
The findings identified three factors contributing to persistence: individual characteristics, academic integration and the support services. In particular, personal effort, the provision of the learning partners and motivation to graduate and get a good job influenced persistence. The students with HI in this study were not socially well integrated, and so this study did not support Tinto’s identification of social integration as a very important factor in persistence. Therefore, only partial support for Tinto’s SIM was found.
Keywords: Hearing Impairment, Post-Secondary, Persistence, Support Services
Dr. Shu-Fen Lee Chang
Recent Graduate, Department of Education, University of Ottawa