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Work in Progress: College Students with ADHD: A Framework for Studying the Role of the College Experience on Academic Success

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Student Division Technical Session 7

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Paper Authors


Laura Jill Carroll University of Michigan

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Laura Carroll is a PhD candidate in Engineering Education Research at the University of Michigan.

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Cynthia J. Finelli University of Michigan Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Cynthia Finelli is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Professor of Education, and Director and Graduate Chair of the Engineering Education Research Program at University of Michigan (U-M). Dr. Finelli is a fellow in the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineer (IEEE), and she has served as deputy editor for the Journal for Engineering Education, associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Education, and chair of the Educational Research and Methods Division of ASEE. She founded the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching in Engineering at U-M in 2003 and served as its Director for 12 years. Prior to joining U-M, Dr. Finelli was the Richard L. Terrell Professor of Excellence in Teaching, founding director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Kettering University.

Dr. Finelli's current research interests include student resistance to active learning, faculty adoption of evidence-based teaching practices, and the use of technology and innovative pedagogies on student learning and success. She also led a project to develop a taxonomy for the field of engineering education research, and she was part of a team that studied ethical decision-making in engineering students.

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Students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) represent a growing fraction of the college population. We plan to study the experiences of college students with ADHD majoring in science, engineering, and mathematics (SEM) and explore how those experiences relate to academic success (i.e., academic achievement, persistence, and creativity). For this work-in-progress paper, we present our project’s conceptual framework and share how specific aspects of it may relate to the academic success of students with ADHD. Our framework is based on Terenzini and Reason’s college impact model, which includes precollege characteristics and experiences, the organizational context, the college experience, and students’ educational outcomes (i.e., academic success). We also describe the quantitative portion of our two-part research study that will analyze longitudinal data from three nationally-administered, multi-institutional surveys. That analysis will guide further qualitative research focused on the college experience and academic success of college students with ADHD.

Carroll, L. J., & Finelli, C. J. (2021, July), Work in Progress: College Students with ADHD: A Framework for Studying the Role of the College Experience on Academic Success Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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