National Science Foundation Awards Sociologist $365,000 Grant to Examine Educational Experiences of Students with Learning Disabilities

A sociologist in the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded a $365,000 grant by the National Science Foundation to examine the educational experiences of kindergarten through 12th-grade students with learning disabilities.

The three-year research project will identify factors that lead to their success in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

Chandra Muller, professor of sociology at the university, and collaborator Rebecca Callahan, assistant professor of education at the University of Georgia, will investigate how students are identified as learning disabled, their access to advanced STEM curriculum, the support they receive and how these factors contribute to their success.

"The demand for workers trained in science, technology, engineering and math in the United States has outpaced supply, and students with learning disabilities are often overlooked as a source of potential talent," Muller said. "Our research will help educators improve K-to-12 math and science education for these talented students."

The study will draw upon a nationally representative data set. Findings from the research will inform the development of education programs and practices to better integrate students with learning disabilities into the STEM pipeline.