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Addressing the Needs of Students with Disabilities during the COVID Pandemic

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2022 Spring ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Conference


Newark, New Jersey

Publication Date

April 22, 2022

Start Date

April 22, 2022

End Date

April 23, 2022

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Paul J Marchese City University of New York, Queensborough Community College


Deborah Hecht Center for Advanced Studyin Education

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As Director of the Center for Advanced Study in Education, at the CUNY Graduate Center I am involved in a wide range of educational evaluations of funded and local projects. I also mentor graduate students interested in careers in evaluation.

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Students with disabilities account for a significant portion of those pursuing an engineering degree. According to the National Center for Education Statistics 19.4% of undergraduate students report having a disability (Okoro, 2018). Additionally, 14% of students pursuing an undergraduate degree in engineering report needing some type of accommodation. Before the onset of COVID students with disabilities tended to have lower retention and completion rates. The reason for this varied but included factors such as difficulty of the engineering material, low self-efficacy, lack of accommodations to address the disabilities of the students, and pedagogy that does not take into account the students’ needs (students with different abilities learn differently). In the spring of 2020 when universities switched to an online modality many students faced difficulties and left college. Students with disabilities, an already vulnerable population, faced even greater challenges than their peers. Educators, having to switch to teaching online, did not always take into account those students with disabilities. In this paper we present the efforts at several colleges XXXX to address the needs students with disabilities. These accommodations include, the use of innovative technology, enhanced pedagogy, and academic and personal counseling.

Marchese, P. J., & Hecht, D. (2022, April), Addressing the Needs of Students with Disabilities during the COVID Pandemic Paper presented at 2022 Spring ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Conference, Newark, New Jersey. 10.18260/1-2--40042

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