Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Educational Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Luana Greuclich

Second Advisor

Colwick Wilson

Third Advisor

Bordes Henry-Saturne



Over the past fifty years, there has been an increase in the number of students with special needs in the U.S., from 1.8% of students in 1977 to 5.7% of students in 2006 and 13.0% of students in 2015. Federal legislation such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act support equal education for this growing population of students, and special-needs educators have responded by implementing full-inclusion strategies. Public schools continue to make advances in implementing inclusion practices since they are legally bound to do so. The Seventh-day Adventist community is one of the largest private school systems in the United States. However, inclusion has yet to become a priority among Seventh-day Adventist schools in the City of New York. Since the number of students with special needs continues to increase, Seventh-day Adventist schools might benefit from prioritizing the implementation of inclusion programs. This exploratory study sought to elicit from Seventh-day Adventist administrators, teachers, and parents of children both with and without special needs, their perception of inclusion initiatives and programs.


The research methodology adopted is a qualitative two-part design that examined the Inclusion of Special Education in Seventh-day Adventist Schools in New York City. Data were obtained by means of focus groups and in-depth interviews of administrators, teachers, parents of children with special needs, and parents of children without special needs, drawn from four Seventh-day Adventist Schools located in two Conferences; Greater New York (n=2) and Northeastern Conference (n=2) schools. Results As a result of the views expressed by the participants of this study, five themes emerged: (1) Effectiveness, (2) Lack of Confidence in Inclusion, (3) Segregation, (4) Social Benefits/Belongingness, and (5) Importance of Integration. Overall, the results of this study were in keeping with the work of Boroson as there was support for inclusion in Seventh-day Adventist schools within the New York City area, providing that teachers were adequately trained and given the requisite tools to do the job. However, concerns as to whether social benefits will accrue to the children with special needs, and that of bullying were quite prominent in inclusion programs. Conclusions For too long, children with special needs were denied the privilege of obtaining a Christian education. Going forward therefore, educators in the Seventh-day Adventist schools of New York City should focus on the needs that are necessary for the effective educational performance of “children with special needs.”

Subject Area

Special education; Seventh-day Adventists--Education;

Available for download on Wednesday, May 17, 2023