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Utilizing Bridges Across Colleges to Propose a Grant to Improve the Recruitment and Retention of Students with Disabilities in STEM Programs

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Recruiting, Retention, and Diversity in Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1657.1 - 22.1657.12



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Paper Authors


Donald C. Richter Eastern Washington University

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Donald C. Richter obtained his B.Sc. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from The Ohio State University, M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Arkansas. He holds a Professional Engineer certification and worked as an Engineer and Engineering Manger in industry for 20 years before teaching. His interests include project management, robotics/automation, Energy Management and air pollution dispersion modeling

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William R. Loendorf Eastern Washington University

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William R. Loendorf is currently a Full Professor of Engineering & Design at Eastern Washington University. He obtained his B.Sc. in Engineering Science at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside, M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Colorado State University, M.B.A. at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, and Ph.D. in Engineering Management at Walden University. He holds a Professional Engineer license and has 30 years of industrial experience as an Engineer or Engineering Manager at General Motors, Cadnetix, and Motorola. His interests include engineering management, technological literacy, improving the competitiveness of American companies, and real-time embedded systems.

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Romel W. Mackelprang Eastern Washington University

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Director, Center for Disability Studies & Universal Access

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Utilizing Bridges Across Colleges to Propose a Grant to Improve the Recruitment and Retention of Students with Disabilities in STEM Programs  AbstractThis paper describes how a collaborative interdisciplinary approach between the School of SocialWork and Disability and the College of Science, Health & Engineering developed a projectproposal for a National Science Foundation grant that is intellectually and academically sound inits multi-tiered approach. It promotes the success of students with disabilities through directinterventions that encourage secondary students to consider Science, Technology, Engineeringand Math (STEM) careers. The paper discusses how the proposed project would combine typicaldisability support services with comprehensive supports that involve peer mentoring by STEMstudents and faculty, academic advising, with a multidisciplinary team, to promote studentrecruitment and retention. The proposed multidisciplinary team would include faculty from theSchool of Social Work and Disability with Faculty of STEM fields such as Engineering andEngineering Technology. The paper also discusses how it proposes to utilize the University’sCenter for Disability Studies and Universal Access and curriculum for students to embrace theiruniqueness as disabled persons in a manner similar to ethnic and women’s programs. Further, ithas practical implications on the teaching environment by offering pedagogical training relativeto universal education to STEM faculty. In the past, many universities have proposed projectsthat have exposed students with disabilities to STEM career possibilities. The paper details howthe proposed project will actively involve interdisciplinary partners from disability supportservices in a shared alliance with STEM faculty breaking down the silos that often lead to adisconnect for student success and retention. Educating not only how the disabled student canpursue a career in STEM but educating the STEM faculty on how they can make their coursesmore universal in access.

Richter, D. C., & Loendorf, W. R., & Mackelprang, R. W. (2011, June), Utilizing Bridges Across Colleges to Propose a Grant to Improve the Recruitment and Retention of Students with Disabilities in STEM Programs Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18642

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