Leveraging Research to Support Student Engagement, Retention, and Self-Confidence
Undergraduate research has long been noted as a high-impact educational practice that contributes to retention in college (Kuh, 2008). Unfortunately, students with disabilities, including neurodivergent students, are underrepresented in undergraduate STEM (which includes psychology) research (Gi et al., 2022). Therefore, these students are not being afforded the same opportunities to support their retention as their non-disabled peers. Moreover, they are being given fewer opportunities to contribute to inquiry, develop research skills, receive mentorship from faculty and research staff, and apply any talents and gifts they have related to research.
Undergraduate students working with the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT) are regularly afforded opportunities to collaborate on research projects. They have gone on to pursue advanced degrees and careers that make use of their research skills. Check out this video that shares the work of some undergraduate researchers who collaborated with LCIRT and our colleagues at the STEM-education gaming company TERC.
Our hope by sharing this video is to inspire and provide tangible evidence of how neurodivergent students can authentically engage in and contribute to research and product development and, through such experiences, demonstrate their skills, develop greater self-esteem, and maintain motivation to persist in their education.