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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Abstract

An undergraduate research experience can provide a unique opportunity for students to learn and grow as scientists; when positive, this experience is often transformative and motivates students to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate degrees or careers. Conversely, negative research experiences can sour a student’s opinion of research, propagate misconceptions of graduate school, and lead to attrition from STEM fields. Negative research experiences can be equally devastating for faculty mentors and may result in reluctance to mentor future research students. Using a mentoring approach that has traditionally translated to positive research experiences for hearing students may not be as efficacious for mentoring d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) research students, particularly when a communication mismatch is at play. Up until recently, most research has focused on how to understand and improve the learning environments for DHH students in the classroom. Here, we present several challenges and strategies associated with the undergraduate research experience for DHH students. The challenges and strategies outlined were derived from a pilot survey administered to DHH students who previously took part in undergraduate research. The preliminary strategies put forth by respondents will inform future mentoring and training efforts with the goals of enriching DHH students' research experiences and their pursuit of graduate STEM degrees or postgraduate careers in STEM.