Date of Award

Summer 2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Deborah Kipps-Vaughan

Abstract

After-school programs are increasing in popularity, with an estimated 6.5 million students attending organized after-school programs (Harvard Family Research Project, 2008). With the continuing rise in popularity of these programs, more students (including students with disabilities) have access to after-school programs. The purpose of the current research was to discover what current practitioners of school psychology recommend in regards to after-school programming for students with disabilities. All participants were school psychologists or staff members at after-school programs located within either the Richmond, VA region (including the City of Richmond, Chesterfield County, and Henrico County) or the Harrisonburg,VA region (including the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County). Participants completed an individual interview with the researcher. Overall, it was found that the majority of school psychologists were aware of after-school programs in their areas, but the majority did not recommend these programs for students with disabilities as part of their practice. After-school program staff reported low levels of communication between their programs and the schools. School psychologists did, however, express willingness to share information with after-school programs to help these programs better serve students with disabilities. Further results are discussed as well as implications for future research.

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