|Title:||National Disability Center for Student Success|
|Principal Investigator:||Cawthon, Stephanie||Awardee:||University of Texas, Austin|
|Program:||Special Education Research and Development Center Program [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||5 years (08/01/2023 – 07/31/2028)||Award Amount:||$4,991,201|
Co-Principal Investigators: Dillon, Andrew; Roberts, Gregory
Purpose: The purpose of the National Disability Center for Student Success (Center) is to advance the capacity of postsecondary institutions in the United States to support the successful enrollment, persistence, and completion of degrees by postsecondary students with disabilities (PSWD). The Center activities draw upon three main conceptual frameworks: (a) student engagement is a critical predictor of student success; (b) instructors need support in building their accessibility knowledge base, mindset, and skill set; and (c) the success of students with disabilities requires a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach across administrative units at an institution. The Center will use a student-centered approach to understanding the experiences, obstacles, and opportunities to support PSWD success, both while enrolled in postsecondary programs and institutions and as they enter the workforce.
Focused Program of Research: This Center plan proposes ten studies over a 5-year period.
National Leadership and Capacity-Building Activities: The Center's national leadership and capacity-building activities will be led, staffed, and informed by people with disabilities and those who are deeply connected with the disability community. Undergraduate and graduate students from intersectional backgrounds (e.g., first-generation college student, disability, race, gender) will be included in the research and capacity-building activities through mentorship experiences and internship experiences. Stakeholders, such as students, faculty, administrators, and researchers, will be invited to engage in dialog about study findings in cross-disciplinary town halls that bring people together to discuss key topics and issues central to the success of PSWD. The Center will design and disseminate accessible, relatable, and usable online resources and online learning opportunities via multiple platforms such as the Center's website and social media. A robust set of partnerships, including Advisory Networks and a Communications Network, will ensure Center findings reach intended audiences, such as PWSD, researchers, faculty, and administrators.
Outcomes/Products: The Center intends for its work to result in measurable gains for the field.