Register today: Disabling Difference In the STEM Classroom: The Disability & Universal Course Design You Need To Know for Inclusion (Summer 2016)

CIRTL LogoAs our classrooms become more diverse, and as we witness an increase in the number of students with disabilities (the National Council on Disability estimates that 11% of undergraduates in the US have a disability – that is 2, 000, 000 students) , so we need to formulate responses that respond to this reality.

In this series, our aim is to guide future faculty in developing inclusive courses and classrooms using the guiding principles of Universal Design. This will involve an in depth look at engaging learners of all abilities, representing information in multiple ways, and creating opportunities that allow students to express what they have learned in ways that are meaningful to both them and us. Ultimately, we would like participants who complete the course to learn how to teach inclusively as a habit, rather than by design.


Visit Disabling Difference In the STEM Classroom: The Disability & Universal Course Design You Need To Know for Inclusion website


Indrani Singh, Education Development Specialist in STEM, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, University of Rochester; Jennifer Hadingham, Assistant Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, University of Rochester; and Amy Clark, Access Coordinator, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, University of Rochester

Course dates

Wednesday, June 15 through Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Online meeting times

Wednesdays at 2:15-3:30PM ET/1:15-2:30PM CT/12:15-1:30PM MT/11:15AM-12:30PM PT

Registration period

Monday, April 11 through Monday, May 9. Students will be notified of their enrollment status on Tuesday, May 10. When registration opens, we will update this page to include a link to our registration form.

Open to

Advanced graduate students, postdocs, academic staff, and faculty

Anticipated workload

1.25 hours per week in class, plus another 2-3 hours per week doing assignments and readings.


In addition to the online sessions that all students are required to attend on Wednesdays, instructors will post weekly assignments and readings on Moodle. Students will be expected to write several short reflections and create a revised teaching toll (eg. syllabus, activity, assessment) to incorporate the material they learn.

Required technologies

Blackboard CollaborateMoodle, and Google Docs. Please review our Course Logistics Page and Course Preparation Checklist for instructions on how to access Blackboard Collaborate. Students will receive a Moodle account once they are enrolled in this course.


We strive to be inclusive of anyone interested in participating in our activities, programs, and courses. If you have specific accessibility needs, please contact Kate Diamond (kdiamond3 AT in advance so that we may make the necessary accommodations.


This event is promoted by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). Iowa State University is a member of The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Network. CIRTL is an NSF Center for Learning and Teaching in higher education. Visit the CIRTL website to learn more.

Seeking Proposals for the Spring 2017 ISU Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) Research Streams

Picture of students working with laboratory equipment

The Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) at ISU introduces freshman undergraduates to authentic research. The goal is to engage more freshmen students in doing science, increase their enthusiasm for science and start to develop the skills involved in asking scientific questions that can be systematically investigated. To reach a large number of freshmen students, the FRI project consists of streams that have 10-20 freshmen students working collaboratively on a research project. This model complements the traditional model where one or two freshmen might work in a research lab. Some background and references on types of FRI projects can be found by visiting Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) website. We currently have five FRI streams in place during Spring 2016, visit Freshman Research Initiative Streams website for details.

We invite faculty members or departments to submit a proposal for a FRI research stream in STEM and encourage faculty to envision research streams that are closely aligned with their research programs.

We are currently accepting proposals for streams that will start in Spring 17.

For more details, download Request for Proposal PDF.  Please send proposals email Elizabeth Sandquist by April 1, 2016.

To engage as many students as possible and to maximize flexibility a stream can

  • Utilize publicly available data in your research area or remote-accessible instrumentation, which reduces the learning curve for freshmen students and reduces demands on your time and lab facilities.
  • Be part of the Broader Impacts section of an NSF proposal
  • Connect to research being done in either your lab, or a research center on campus
  • Involve service learning projects.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) grant will provide up to $6000 funding in the first year to help each FRI stream get started. These funds can be used for equipment, supplies and/or salary support for teaching assistants or a postdoc to develop the stream. For example some streams have used a ¼ time TA for a few months to expand one‐on‐one research projects into a research stream. Some projects use part of the funding to help with the first year of operational costs. However, part of the goal is to work with each stream to develop a plan to have ongoing operating costs not paid by the HHMI grant. We are encouraging streams to include sustainability from the outset.

If you have questions please email Jeff Essner or email Craig Ogilvie

Supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Senior Vice President and Provost