Office of Disability Services (ODS)

Ohio STEM Ability Alliance

Ohio’s STEM Ability Alliance (OSAA) is a coalition of Ohio stakeholders established to increase the number of students with disabilities that earn degrees and enter employment in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. In seeking to grow the proportion of people with disabilities working in STEM, OSAA joins its sponsor the National Science Foundation, in the task of maintaining and building US global competitiveness by increasing the participation of underrepresented individuals in critical science and engineering professions.

On this page:

What Can OSAA Do for You?

Ohio’s STEM Ability Alliance has a number of resources available to assist you in achieving your academic and career goals within Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math fields. Included here are the primary ways in which we can help and the processes for taking advantage of our services.

These meetings are designed to provide assistance in creating a successful plan for approaching academic work, getting involved at Wright State University, and developing the experiences necessary to put you above the rest of the field when pursuing graduate schooling or employment after obtaining your degree. OSAA Scholars should ideally meet with their Ability Advisor, Jason Gepperth, at least once per month throughout the academic school year. An appointment can be set up by emailing jason.gepperth@wright.edu with a list of times when available to meet.

  • Scholars Meetings: These meetings occur monthly between the times of 5:30–7:30 p.m. and involve short seminars, activities, and guest presentations designed to assist you with areas including academic success, getting involved, resume-building, internships, job opportunities, networking, scholarship information, and applying for grad school programs. Dinner and snacks are typically served.This is a great way to meet other OSAA members as well.
  • Peer Mentoring: Freshmen have the opportunity to receive advice and direction from upper class OSAA Peer Mentors to assist them towards a successful transition to Wright State University. Interested upper class OSAA students can receive professional development via this position as well as knowledge and activities covered in a related Leadership via Peer Mentoring course. This is a great way to give back, boost your resume, and hone "soft skills." If interested, contact your Ability Advisor.
  • Tutoring Sponsor Tickets: OSAA is able to sponsor students desiring tutoring from Tutoring Services so that they may get the assistance they need to succeed in class for free. Tutoring sponsor tickets are available in the Ability Advisor’s office (180 University Hall) and are available at any point throughout the semester.
  • Internship and Research Experiences: Obtaining meaningful fieldwork experience is one of the best ways, along with academic success, to distinguish yourself when preparing to obtain an advanced degree or full-time employment. Opportunities will be presented throughout the year via email, on OSAA’s Facebook page  and Twitter feed, and at monthly Scholars Meetings.
  • OSAA Scholars Dollars: All OSAA members are eligible for Scholars Dollars, which are awards that can be used to pay for professional and career development opportunities including annual fees for organizations, STEM conference registration and transportation costs, STEM research project needs, GRE/GMAT/MCAT testing study materials, and assistive technology. Application forms can be obtained from your Ability Advisor. Regular attendance at Scholars Meetings and Ability Advisor Meetings is required for eligibility.
  • OSAA Choose Ohio First Scholarship: OSAA members from Ohio who are in an approved STEM major and maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA are eligible to compete for these awards. Deadlines for applying will be regularly communicated throughout the academic year.  Application forms can be obtained from your Ability Advisor. Regular attendance at Scholars Meeting and Ability Advisor Meetings is required for eligibility and to maintain scholarship funding.

Eligibility

All new, prospective or current Wright State University or students with disabilities majoring (or planning  to major) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields are eligible to become OSAA Scholars. 

OSAA Scholars at Wright State University receive:

  • Services of an Ability Advisor who will help you achieve your academic, personal and career goals.
  • Membership in STEM Learning Community that keep you connected to a network of like-minded students and professionals.
  • Access to special OSAA tutoring services in the tough STEM courses.
  • Opportunities to earn Scholars Dollars incentives to pursue STEM related interests, travel internships and research opportunities that open doors to great jobs or graduate school. 
  • Eligibility for scholarships reserved exclusively for OSAA Scholars.

STEM Majors

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology
  • Applied Math
  • Applied Statistics
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biological Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomedical Sciences Ph.D
  • Business Economics
  • Chemistry
  • Clinical Lab Sciences
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Science and Engineering Ph.D
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences Ph.D
  • Life Science/Earth Sciences
  • Economics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering Ph.D
  • Engineering Physics
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Exercise Biology
  • Finance
  • Geography
  • Geological Sciences
  • Geophysics
  • Human Factors/Industrial Psychology Ph.D
  • Industrial and Human Factors Engineering
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Logistics Management-Supply Chain
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Physics
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Physics (BA or BS)
  • Physiology and Biophysics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Renewable and Clean Energy
  • Science in Mathematics
  • Social and Applied Economics
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Urban Affairs

Services

OSAA universities and colleges provide a wide range of tailored activities, academic supports and enrichment opportunities to STEM students with disabilities in the Junior and Senior years of High School, 2 and 4-year College programs and Graduate School.  OSAA is supported by its secondary school partners through recruiting assistance and by its STEM  government and industry partners through student placements. 

OSAA programming at the high school level is aimed at facilitating the recruitment and transition of students with disabilities to college STEM degree programs.  One of our key recruiting activities is Diverse-Ability U., an annual 5-day residential campus experience for 11th and 12th grade students with disabilities.

At the college level, OSAA provides supports and STEM enrichment opportunities to promote retention, graduation and successful entry to the STEM workforce or graduate education.  Interventions focusing on these objectives within the individual QUADs include:

  • Intensive Advising
  • Internships and Research Experiences
  • Mentoring Programs
  • Learning Communities
  • OSAA Scholarship Program

Become a Member

To become an OSAA Scholar, download the application and submit the completed form to:

OSAA DAYTON Program Office
Wright State University
433 Russ Engineering Center
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy.
Dayton, OH  45435

or email:  OSAA.Dayton@wright.edu

OSAA is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under a five year Regional Alliance in Disability Education (RDE) Grants # HRD-0833561 & HRD-0833644. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation


Contact Information

Name Position Email
Jennifer Barga Disability and STEM Support Specialist (Ability Advisor) jennifer.barga@wright.edu
John Gallagher Principal Investigator john.gallagher@wright.edu
Jason Gepperth Disability and STEM Support Specialist (Ability Advisor) jason.gepperth@wright.edu
Katherine Myers Educational Assistive Technology Coordinator katherine.myers@wright.edu
Clark Shingledecker Director Dayton QUAD clark.shingledecker@wright.edu

Further information on the OSAA program may be obtained by writing to:

OSAA Dayton
Wright State University
180 University Hall
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy.
Dayton, OH  45435

or

Email: OSAA.Dayton@wright.edu
Phone: (937) 775-5680
FAX: (937) 775-5699


Scholarships

Students who are interested in being considered for the COF/OSAA Scholarship at Wright State University must be one of the following

  • A current  Wright State undergraduate OR
  • An admitted high school student entering Wright State as undergraduate OR
  • An admitted transfer student entering Wright State OR
  • Seeking a graduate degree at Wright State

Applicants also must meet ALL these requirements:

  • Be a legal Ohio resident
  • Have a minimum 2.75 GPA in science and mathematics courses
  • Have a minimum 2.5 overall GPA (current college or cumulative high school GPA)
  • Be enrolled at Wright State in a STEM program of study (see list of eligible majors)
  • Be an active participant in the Ohio’s STEM Ability Alliance programming
  • Have a certification of a disability and be registered with the Wright State Office of Disability Services

Locations

OSAA is composed of cooperating regional "QUADs", each including a major 4-year research university, a 2-year community college, regional public schools and STEM industry and government partners that work together to address alliance goals.

The Dayton QUAD is anchored at Wright State University. Wright State is joined by Sinclair Community College, SW Ohio high schools like the Dayton Regional STEM School, and industrial and goverment partners that include Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The Columbus QUAD is directed by the Ohio State University and includes Columbus State Community College and local high schools including Metro High School and the Ohio State School for the Blind. Business partners include Battelle, Nationwide, American Electric Power and the IDEAL Group in Columbus.