NTID Rearcher Wins Coveted NSF Award




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Dr. Sara Schley, assistant professor of research at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology, has won a National Science Foundation CAREER award for her project, “Deaf Children and Young Adults: Predicting School, College, and Labor Success.” Schley is NTID’s first ever CAREER award winner.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is an NSF-wide initiative that supports the activities of promising teachers or scholars. CAREER awardees are chosen for creative plans that effectively integrate research and education supporting the mission of their organizations.

Schley’s project award of $520,848 will be used over five years to track deaf children’s school, college, and employment paths to identify academic and labor success. Deaf children and young adults will be compared with their hearing siblings, using data from the National Bureau of Labor Studies’ “National Longitudinal Survey of Youth” (NLSY). NTID alumni also will be surveyed to see how closely their experiences mirror patterns found in the NLSY research.

Factors used to predict school success—defined for this study as academic achievement as well as completion of high school or its equivalent—will include, attendance, standardized test performance, and parent involvement with school. Young adult factors include social and emotional development, at-home responsibilities, job experience, and family resources. Labor factors will include the subject's age at his/her first job, length of that job, expectations of contributing financially to the family as a young adult, and job status.

Research results will be tied into courses offered through NTID’s Master of Science in Secondary Education program, which trains future teachers of deaf students, and shared within and outside of RIT. Student mentoring is a large part of the project—with co-op experiences in research and data analysis for both undergraduate and graduate students at NTID.

“To date, no work on the NLSY databases has focused on deaf individuals and their families," said Schley. "I hope that some of this work will have far-reaching implications to the field in general, as well as NTID in particular—possibly feeding into not only the admissions process, but more importantly, the career development of our students.”

NTID is the first and largest technological college in the world for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. One of eight colleges of RIT, NTID offers educational programs and access and support services to its 1,100 students from around the world who study, live and socialize with 14,400 hearing students on RIT’s Rochester, N.Y., campus.

Web address: www.rit.edu/NTID.

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