Comprehensive Support for Students in STEM with Learning Disabilities

Project Overview

Comprehensive Support for STEM Students with Learning Disability (CS3LD) is a four-year interdisciplinary research project that has been creating, refining, and testing a multi-level model (personal, interpersonal, and institutional) for supporting the success of students with LD majoring in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), including social, behavioral and economic (SBE) sciences.

Funded by the National Science Foundation (HRD-1246587) in 2012, CS3LD has brought together faculty members and graduate students in the Colleges of Engineering, Health & Human Performance, Agriculture & Life Sciences, and Public Health & Health Professions to provide comprehensive support through structured mentorship and learning activities. CS3LD began recruiting study participants in February 2013, and the first Cohort of research participants began project activities in the Fall 2013 semester. Four Cohorts of study participants have been recruited, with the final Cohort of the research project recruited for the Fall 2016 semester.

Watch this short introductory video in which Dr. Consuelo Kreider gives a brief overview of the CS³LD project.

Project Details


Create, test and refine a multi-level model providing academic and health based supports for students with learning disabilities in the STEM/SBE fields at the University of Florida.

Personal-Level Objective

Create mechanisms for CS3LD Scholar engagement designed to foster self-advocacy, self-efficacy, and increased campus connection and participation that will bolster academic satisfaction and success.

Interpersonal-Level Objective

Create mentorship teams for each CS3LD scholar that will improve mentoring and professional enculturation to STEM/SBE disciplines for students with LD.

Institutional-Level Objective

Create a campus-wide network of health and STEM/SBE faculty, staff, graduate students, and academic units knowledgeable and coordinated in facilitating success of undergraduate students with LD.


Each year, up to 25 undergraduate students with LD in a STEM/SBE discipline at the University of Florida had the opportunity to participate in CS3LD. These students became Scholars, and were matched by project investigators with a mentorship team with special training in LD and whose backgrounds and interests align most closely with their own. The mentorship team — consisting of a STEM/SBE graduate student, STEM /SBE faculty member, DRC counselor, and project investigator — partnered with the Scholar for two years, guiding them in professional and academic development. Scholars also participated in monthly workshops and other activities designed to facilitate the development of positive self-efficacy. At the institutional level, CS3LD worked to create a Partnership Council, a campus-wide network of health and STEM/SBE faculty, staff, graduate students, and academic units knowledgeable and coordinated in promoting success of undergraduate students with LD.

The CS3LD multi-level Model for supporting success of students with LD is shown below.  Please click on the diagram to open and then on the icon in the lower right corner to enlarge.