STEM Faculty Experiences with Students with Disabilities at a Land Grant Institution

Tyler S. Love, Nicole Kreiser, Elsa Camargo, Michael E. Grubbs, Eujin Julia Kim, Penny L. Burge, Steven M. Culver


Preparing faculty to meet the needs of the increasing number of students with disabilities is a critical need in higher education, particularly in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Quality preparation is an emerging problem as the number of higher education students with disabilities is on the rise. In this study, researchers used a qualitative methodology to examine STEM faculty members’ experiences with students with disabilities at a land grant institution in the southeastern United States. The study was conducted to answer the following questions: (a) What experiences, positive and negative, have STEM faculty members had working with students with disabilities?(b) How do STEM faculty members describe students with disabilities?, and (c) What resources do faculty members need to adequately serve students with disabilities? Five researchers conducted individual interviews with STEM faculty members. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed, with the following themes emerging from the data: Challenges, Support, Knowledge, Awareness/Visibility, and Formal versus Informal Accommodations. Implications from this study relate to the improvement of services for students with disabilities at higher education institutions and to the preparation of STEM faculty to accommodate their students.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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