IGERT fellows selected to participate in APaCT will be trained as technology-adaptation-policy specialists. Fellows will be immersed in an integrated compendium of coursework including mandatory IGERT core courses, discipline core courses, electives and practicum and internships. The carefully balanced program of study assures that each fellow will receive adequate preparation and specialization in the primary discipline as well in as the IGERT concentration. In addition to IGERT core courses, each fellow will enroll in existing discipline core courses and electives to satisfy his/her home department’s PhD requirements. The trainees will witness first-hand the personal, environmental, and social barriers people with disabilities face as they attempt to achieve a high quality of life in home, school, and community, and as they pursue academic excellence in their respective disciplines.
Graduates will have a broad understanding of all aspects of person-centeredness, universal design, and access in disability technologies and practices; will demonstrate excellence in his or her specific discipline; have a working knowledge of interdisciplinary research and the connections between constituent areas; will have applied knowledge learned in real-world situations; and will be well equipped to make a significant contribution to society.
IGERT Fellows will learn through an integrated education-research-practice model consisting of six discrete components:
Education: Each fellow will complete an interdisciplinary set of coursework, with core courses, electives, and practical training, in one of the following programs at ASU: Computer Science, Bioengineering, Educational Studies and Science Policy; or at CSULB in the PhD program in Engineering.
Research training: Through mentoring, fellows will learn to carry out and lead interdisciplinary research projects that merge technology, adaptation and policy aspects of disability research. The primary focus of research projects will be to provide roadmaps and solutions for person-centeredness and universal design and access in disability technologies and practices.
Applied learning: IGERT fellows will gain experience with practical aspects of research through internships in industry, federal/state government agencies, or with global academic partners over the course of their PhD program. Fellows will also formally interact with collaborators in institutions across the country and the world to obtain broader national and global perspectives.
Service learning: In collaboration with community partners and caregivers in Arizona and California, fellows will engage in activities involving individuals with disabilities, leading to a deeper understanding of their lives and learning. This will occur through structured course-level interactions, as well as informal yearly retreats.
Entrepreneurship, commercialization and global leadership: IGERT fellows will be exposed to pathways and contemporary issues related to entrepreneurship, commercialization, innovation and global leadership through regular workshops conducted within the innovation centers at ASU and CSULB. Fellows will also complete internships with start-up companies that address issues related to disabilities.
Teamwork and camaraderie: IGERT fellows will be expected to define their research activities in a manner that promotes inter-trainee collaborations across disciplines. The fellows will organize annual new trainee orientation programs and teambuilding activities in order to foster a strong sense of community and solidarity. The IGERT core courses, biweekly seminars/guest lectures, once-a-semester workshops, combined service learning activities, the research summit, and the annual retreats will bring the IGERT trainees together periodically.