Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Dennis Feaster, Sociology & Social Work; Professor Nancy Cook, Education

Document Type


Event Date



Exploring the attitudes of the Hope College campus community towards the Ready for Life Program was a topic first researched for a fall Genius Hour Showcase, as social inclusion is a primary area of interest for this researcher and her team. Ready for Life is a program that provides post-secondary educational experiences for college-aged individuals diagnosed with cognitive, learning, or social disabilities. Instructors at Ready For Life assist each student in daily instruction and support, and partners with Hope College professors to adapt the academic materials from the courses each student is enrolled in. As a partner with Hope College, Ready for Life students have access to many of the things that Hope students enjoy. However, there are also significant barriers to full inclusion on Hope’s campus that could be resolved if Ready for Life was a Hope College program. The research question that was developed was, “What are the attitudes of Hope College stakeholders about students with disabilities from the Ready for Life program?” A survey was designed and then distributed during the lunch hour in Phelps Hall. 52 surveys were provided to a convenience sample of students, staff, and guests. Questions were asked about attitudes toward the Ready for Life program, and their opinions about whether people with special needs should attend college. Following the distribution of the surveys, data were collected and organized by survey question. The initial findings were positive, suggesting that the Hope community would be open to more fully including Ready for Life students into campus life and academics.