Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




This research project investigates the processes by which federal policy pertaining to the the American higher education system evolves through an historical case study analysis of the development and implementation of section 504(E) of Public Law 93-112. Also examined is the statute's impact on postsecondary education in prohibiting discrimination on the basis of handicap.;Section 504(E) was developed and shaped by the actions of the federal courts, Congress, and various federal agencies. Policy development was also stimulated by interest group politics, public opinion, the influence of political elites, and the calendar of national politics. Although the actual impact of this statute is difficult to determine, the data presented indicates that most campuses have made at least some effort to comply. Full access and accommodation, however, are yet to be realized nationally.;This investigation contributes original research to the limited number of studies addressing the legal and policy issues concerning postsecondary education and students with disabilities. Additional research is needed to determine institutional costs for section 504(E) compliance, factors other than section 504(E) that contribute to the increased enrollment of disabled students, actual compliance with section 504(E) requirements, and the impact of the threat of federal fund withdrawal as a sanction for noncompliance.



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