Carmen Ellis, M.S.
Education: Bachelor of Science in elementary education (E.S.L.) (December 2009)
Master of Science in education from Florida International University
McNair Project: Methods of Professional Development, Increasing Confidence and Competence in Faculty to Improve Accommodations for Special Needs Learners (2009)
Mentor: Judith Hughey, Ph.D.
What methods of professional development could be used with faculty to increase their confidence and competence and success for students? This research seeks to find ways to better serve faculty on university campuses to make them more aware of a wide range of accommodations for students with special needs such as: students with disabilities, students from poverty, and students for whom English is not their first language (ELL). Various data that have been collected from Kansas State University Faculty interviews, as well as journal articles in the areas of Adult Education and Special Education, offer great detail as to what problems exist on campus for special needs students and some best practices/effective teaching strategies that will help accommodate special needs students in the classroom. This information serves as a building block for the main part of my research.
The larger part of my research will consist of administering a faculty survey regarding the needs, behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge levels of teaching students with special learning needs or issues in their course. We will analyze the survey results and use a descriptive statistics, including mean, median and one-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) which will help measure: the relationships between faculties’ knowledge of disabilities, disability law, and/or other special learning needs and their confidence to educate the student; the relationship between the faculty members’ knowledge of disabilities and other special learning needs and the success those students with disabilities experience in that course; the relationship between the years of experience of the faculty and their willingness to provide accommodations for a student with special learning needs in a course; and the relationship between faculty’s knowledge of retention data and willingness to provide accommodations.