NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1048786
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
Students with Disabilities Choosing Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Majors in Postsecondary Institutions
Lee, Ahlam
Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, v27 n3 p261-272 Fall 2014
Many science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies have focused on issues related to underrepresented groups' participation in STEM disciplines. Most of these studies have targeted women and individuals from racial minorities as the underrepresented groups of interest, while little attention has been paid to people with disabilities. Extracting a nationally represented sample of students with disabilities from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2, this study investigated whether and to what extent the selected demographic and academic factors predict STEM major choices by type of postsecondary institutions. Based on the literature on STEM students without disabilities, logistic regression analyses yielded both expected and unexpected results. As expected, female students with disabilities were substantially underrepresented in STEM majors in all types of postsecondary institutions. At 2-year or community colleges, White and Asian-American students with disabilities substantially dominated STEM majors over other racial groups. At 4-year postsecondary institutions, students with disabilities who enrolled in STEM majors showed higher high school GPA in math compared to non-STEM students with disabilities. Unexpectedly, at 4-year as well as vocational and technical postsecondary institutions, students with disabilities from lower-income backgrounds were significantly more likely to choose STEM majors compared to their counterparts. The results provide insights into career and academic resources that can help students with disabilities prepare for STEM careers.
Association on Higher Education and Disability. 107 Commerce Center Drive Suite 204, Huntersville, NC 28078. Tel: 704-947-7779; Fax: 704-948-7779; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Transition Study of Special Education Students