The federal government has supported postsecondary education for deaf persons for over a century, helping to establish Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University) in 1864. The establishment of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology, mandated by Congress in 1968 through the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Act (PL 89-36), created the second federally funded national postsecondary education program for persons who are deaf. A great deal of information is known about these two federally funded national programs and about the students who attend these programs. In 1990, these two institutions enrolled 3,079 deaf students and offered more than 30 areas of study leading to certificates and associate's, bachelor's, masters, and doctor's degrees (Rawlings et al. 1991). However, except for a few self-report studies of various groups of postsecondary students (e.g., the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, discussed in more detail in the methodology section of this report), little information has been available about deaf and hard of hearing students who attend other postsecondary institutions. Little has been known about the range of postsecondary institutions in which deaf and hard of hearing students enroll, the number of deaf and hard of hearing students enrolled at these institutions, and the support services provided to these students by the postsecondary institutions.
The Survey on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in Postsecondary
Education was requested by the Office of Special Education and
Rehabilitative Services of the U.S. Department of Education to obtain
information from postsecondary education institutions about these issues.
The survey was designed to answer the following questions about deaf
and hard of hearing students and the services provided to them at
Information about deaf and hard of hearing students was collected about only those who had identified themselves to the institution as deaf or hard of hearing, because preliminary work on the survey indicated that these were the only students about whom the institutions could report. Students who identify themselves to the institution as deaf or hard of hearing are a subset of all deaf and hard of hearing students, since some deaf and hard of hearing students may choose not to identify themselves to their institutions. The information presented does not include Gallaudet University or the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, since the intent of the survey was to obtain information about deaf and hard of hearing students enrolled at institutions other than these two federally funded national programs for persons who are deaf.
The following institutional characteristics, widely used for analyzing data on postsecondary education, were used as independent variables for analyzing the survey data
The survey was conducted in spring 1993 by the National Center for Education Statistics using the Postsecondary Education Quick Information System (PEQIS). PEQIS is designed to quickly collect limited amounts of policy-relevant information from a previously recruited nationally representative stratified sample of postsecondary institutions. PEQIS surveys are generally limited to 2 to 3 pages of questions with a response burden of 30 minutes per respondent.2 The survey was mailed to the PEQIS survey coordinators at 1,036 2-year and 4-year postsecondary education institutions (both higher education and other postsecondary institutions).3 Coordinators were told that the survey was designed to be completed by the person or office at the institution that had the most information about deaf and hard of hearing students. Completed questionnaires were received from 982 of the 1,025 eligible institutions, for an unweighed survey response rate of 96 percent (the weighted survey response rate is 97 percent). Data were adjusted for questionnaire nonresponse and weighted to provide national estimates. The section of this report on survey methodology and data reliability provides a more detailed discussion of the sample and survey methodology. The survey questionnaire is reproduced in Appendix B.
All specific statements of comparison made in this report have been
tested for statistical significance through chi-square tests and t-tests
adjusted for multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni adjustment, and
are significant at the 95 percent confidence level or better. However, not
all statistically different comparisons have been presented, since some
were not of substantive importance. All estimates for the 1989-90, 1990-
91, 1991-92, and 1992-93 academic years are based on data reported by
the institution in spring 1993.
1Definitions for level are from the data file documentation for the Integrated
Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Institutional Characteristics file, U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics.
2Additional information about PEQIS is presented in the methodology section of this report.
3Postsecondary education is the prevision of a format instructional program whose curriculum is designed primarily for students beyond the compulsory age for high school. This includes programs whose purpose is academic, vocational. and continuing professional education, and excludes avocational and adult basic education (U.S. Department of Education 1992). Higher education institutions are institutions accredited at the college level by an agency cognized by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, and are a subset of all postsecondary education institutions.