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Drawings are Worth a Thousand Words: The Process of Design for General Classroom Facilities in Higher Education

Dr. Estrella Johnson


This study examined the process of design for general classroom facilities in American four-year public higher education institutions.  Combining grounded theory, case study methods, visual methods, and portions of the Authentic, Action-Oriented, Framing for Environmental Shifts Method, I was able to address the four research questions posed in this study.  I conducted interviews with participants involved in specific general classroom facilities design/construction while asking participants to co-create a diagram of the steps of the process.  The data collected from this process produced the Train Model of Design for General Classroom Facilities and a general theory of the process of design for general classroom facilities.


Bio Sketch:

Michael J. Kutnak has served for over 10 years as an administrator and faculty member at multiple institutions. Prior to assuming his role as Virginia Tech’s ADA and Accessibility Specialist, he served as in a variety of roles at the institution including instructor, program director, and assessment specialist.  Before arriving at Virginia Tech, he served as an enrollment advisor for the University of Phoenix and as an adjunct faculty member at Piedmont Virginia Community College. He has published and presented at multiple regional, national, and international conferences on physical access and facility management, higher education law and policy, accessible and inclusive events on campus, and students with disabilities and the admission process to higher education.   Michael holds a PhD in Higher Education from Virginia Tech and a Master of Science in Occupational and Technical Studies from Old Dominion University.  He has previously served as the ACPA College Educators International’s (ACPA) Chair of the Coalition for (Dis)Ability.  He currently serves as the Access Chair for ACPA’s Convention Planning Team. He was also the recipient of Virginia Tech’s National Faculty Distinction Award in 2017 and ACPA’s 2017-2018 Disability Leadership Award.