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Progress of DO-IT Participants Toward College and Careers

AccessSTEM/AccessComputing/DO-IT Longitudinal Transitional Study (ALTS) are two research projects funded through NSF with a goal to increase the number of people with disabilities who have degrees and careers in STEM.
Author(s): 
Sheryl Burgstahler
Elizabeth Moore
Lyla Crawford
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation: 
Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology Center
Published: 
2011
Resource Type: 
Research
Number of Pages: 
6
Abstract: 

Since 1992, the Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) Center has worked to increase the success of people with disabilities in college and careers. DO-IT has encouraged participation in STEM fields with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This report summarizes selected results of the AccessSTEM/AccessComputing/DO-IT Longitudinal Transition Study (ALTS). ALTS explores college and career outcomes for students with disabilities who have participated in DO-IT activities that were at least partially funded by NSF.

 The ALTS and earlier studies suggest that DO-IT interventions positively impact high school and college graduation rates and career participation, particularly in STEM fields, for people with disabilities.

What the Experts Say: 

Progress of DO-IT Participants Toward College and Careers provides support for adult educators working with disabled learners as a template for what works to provide STEM support for students. The resource provides an overview of the elements of the DO-IT Program and key outcomes. There is a lot of good information in the conclusions section, although not much is focused on process. The authors are primarily focused on where the STEM resources and programmatic access helped the students to go, as opposed to how it helped them to get there.

For a relatively short resource, this publication provides a wealth of good information pertaining both to STEM programming and to preparing students with disabilities to engage more fully in STEM-centered careers. It is not a stand-alone resource for adult educators seeking to learn how to structure their own program or looking for specific practices to use. It is, however, potentially useful for adult educators seeking an overview of important practices to research further.  It can also be useful for programs to think about what outcomes they might assess when evaluating their own programming.

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