DTN - Training, Innovation, and Research

The Disability Training Network-Training, Innovation, and Research (DTN-TIR) addresses the higher education completion disparity between college students with and without disabilities by expanding the existing Disability Training Network for the Texas A&M University System (DTN-TAMUS) from material development and training to three dimensions of activities, including training, innovation, and research. The overall purpose is to develop faculty and administrators on disability issues and to empirically examine the effects of training and the effectiveness of selected teaching innovations. To achieve this overall purpose, three dimensions of interrelated activities were conducted.

Dimension 1: Continue current DTN-TAMUS training activities. The training activities include (1) providing a brief introductory training and informational materials (e.g., Tip Sheets and Quarterly Updates) to new faculty at the following System campuses; (2) disseminating quarterly updates on policies, practices, and issues via the website, postal mail, and new faculty orientations; (3) providing instructor-led seminars and self-paced online seminars on topics of importance; and (4) providing 1 days of intensive training to faculty and staff during the annual summer institute.

Dimension 2: Promote teaching innovations through faculty learning communities and mini-grant awards to faculty. Faculty learning communities are an effective mechanism for faculty to engage in group efforts for the development of discipline-specific teaching innovations pertaining to students with disabilities. Faculty in the communities participate in professional development, work with each other and with students to identify innovative strategies, field-test these strategies, and assist the proposed project in disseminating their innovations. The DTN-TIR also works with the members of the faculty learning community to create publishable works based upon their teaching projects. Another mechanism is the use of mini-grant awards to faculty from different disciplines for developing, testing, and disseminating new or applied instructional strategies.

Dimension 3: Conduct quasi-experimental research to empirically examine the effects of training on faculty competencies and on student achievement, and to examine the effectiveness of selected instructional strategies.

The DTN-TIR is supported by a grant ($997,726) from the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education (#P333A080032-09).


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