Helping STEM Students with Disabilities Persist

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Co-Presenters: Michael Lawler, MS Laura McCullough, PhD Gracia Larson, MS, CRC, PVE

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<ul><li> 1. Helping STEM Students with Disabilities Kathleen M. Deery, PhD, CRC Michael Lawler, MS Laura McCullough, PhD Gracia Larson, MS, CRC, PVE Support provided through The National Science Foundation grant # 1129682 </li></ul> <p> 2. Why Are We Here? Part I 3. Here are the facts. National need for more STEM professionals o Need to draw from underrepresented groups (women, minorities &amp; PWD) Low rates of success among students with disabilities in STEM workforce (7%) o 14% of the entire US labor force (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009) The problem is widespreadtherefore the solution needs to be widespread 4. Evolving Needs We are teaching a more challenging student Better Accommodations HoweverThey arent necessarily going into STEM programs 5. Disabilities in STEM programs Learning Disabilities (LD) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Mental Health Disability o depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 6. What does that look like? I susgect th at thechil b wi tha learn ing disadility mu stfre quent lyex ger i e n o e a n alicein won berl an bex is ten ceof the wef in b tba tthe ymu st co ge wi tha n unsta dlew or lb in consistentabul tsa nd haphaza r b gerceg tio nsthey rec on Fuseb dyth erca zys ym dols we piv them gress ureb dy t he leng tho ft imei nwic hto b oi tamb frus tra ted dy regea teb fa ily resth eybo no tlear no hetra bit lon alw ayamb sow ern u stte achth embif Fere ntly. 7. Your Turn! 8. Student Perceptions Heres What Theyre Saying About Instructors. Lack of Awareness Indifferent Attitude Unrealistic Expectations Poor Response to Feedback Unwillingness to Share Responsibility (fear of favoritism) 9. Millennials and Generation Y 10. How are they different? Product of power-parenting Feel special Highly social need to connect Seek partnership &amp; consensus Expect social promotion 11. Generational Challenges High expectations - can feel like entitlement Multi-tasking is a way of life Zero tolerance for delays Crave immediate feedback, reinforcement &amp; structure Not used to speaking for themselves Fear of failure 12. Digital Learning (OMG) And the Impact on Communication IK,R? 13. Bridging the Gap A Study of Perceptual Differences 14. Pilot Study Perception of Readiness for Employment Student Perception (N= 40) Employer Perception (N= 680) Difference Technical Knowledge 98% 53% 45% Job Seeking Skills 75% 46% 29% Cover Letter &amp; Resume 94% 53% 41% Oral Communication 86% 50% 36% Reading &amp; Writing 87% 52% 35% 15. Next Steps. NSF Grant: Soft Skills Hard Science Value of mentoring Use of modern technology Program Method Element 1 Soft Skills Learning Modules (Critical thinking, Interpersonal effectiveness, Problem solving) Element II Work-Based Learning (Co-op or Internship) Element III Mentor-Protg Experience 16. Break time.(sort of) Blindness Simulation 17. Accommodation: Level the Playing Field, Dont Lower the Bar Part III Gracia Larson, MS, CRC, PVE Minnesota State Services for the Blind 18. Accommodation: The Letter(s) of the Law 504 ADA 508 UDL 19. Educational Accommodation Strategies Two Levels of Accommodating Students 1. UDL: Universal Design for Learning Accessible Design of Facilities and Environment Digital Formatting of Material/Content Preparing students and teachers to apply UDL concepts 2. Individualized Accommodations for Students Needs identified through specialized assessment Non-device approaches/strategies Commercially available devices Commercially available with modifications Custom designed products Lawler, 2008 20. The UDL Model Key Ideas: Student diversity, high standards, and accountability challenge teachers to help all students achieve. New insights into the learning brain shed light on learner differences and effective uses of technology. UDL seizes opportunity of evolving technologies to create flexible methods and materials that can reach diverse learners. Instilling flexibility into methods and materials maximizes learning opportunities UDL is not "just one more thing;" it is an integral component of improving student learning, compatible with other approaches to education reform. 21. Flexible Instructional Media Key Ideas: Learners capacities are defined by abilities and tools. Traditional materials and media, come in one size for all. Inflexible media actually create barriers to learning. New classroom media, like digital text, sound, images, and the World Wide Web, can be adjusted for different individuals and can open doors to learning. 22. Universal Design for Learning Key Ideas: The key to helping students achieve is identifying and removing barriers from our teaching methods and curriculum materials. The UDL framework proposes three kinds of flexibility: To represent information in multiple formats and media. To provide multiple pathways for students action and expression. To provide multiple ways to engage students interest and motivation. The three UDL principles, implemented with new media, can help us improve how we set goals, individualize instruction, and assess students progress. 23. Human Performance Model Context PsychoSocial - Physical Human Sensory Cognitive - Motor Activity Self Care Work School Leisure/Play Assistive Tech Human/Technology Interface Processor Environmental Interface Activity Output Context Human Activity Assist Tech (Bailey, 1983) 24. Whos responsible for accommodation? Entitlement versus Eligibility High School and College Differences 25. Under- &amp; Over-Accommodation Who decides whats reasonable? Pressure for Social promotion Middle Ground Solutions Cost, time, access Negotiation 26. Dexterity &amp; Learning Instructions: 1. Place two pair of gloves on (one over the other) 2. Duct tape together three middle fingers on each hand 3. Form a small group and select one person to be the instructor 27. Persistence Part IV 28. Cumulative Issues Its not just one thing disability, perception, generational differences, soft skills, or accommodation .its EVERYTHING in combination. 29. Reaching Out If they dont know there is a problem, they cant change it. Dont overlook the elephant in the room Stepping lightly around sensitive issues Tough love vs. setting up for failure 30. Nobody Said Life Was Fair Provide authentic feedback o NOBODY like constructive criticismso dont do it o Find a way to examine the issue and brainstorm together without judgment Relationship matters o How you say it as important as What you say. 31. Be human. Be forgiving. Be honest. 32. Additional Resources Searchable Online Accommodation Resources https://askjan.org/soar/disabilities.html National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) Online Accommodations Bibliography http://www.cehd.umn.edu/NCEO/OnlinePubs/Acco mmBibliography/AccomStudies.htm Reasonable Accommodations for People with Psychiatric Disabilities (Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation) http://www.bu.edu/cpr/reasaccom/ Academic Supports for Individuals with ASD http://www.iidc.indiana.edu/?pageId=3417 Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice (Burgstahler &amp; Cory, 2010) http://www.hepg.org/hep/Book/83 </p>