The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

Special Education: M.S.


Special Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Bradley Kaffar

Second Advisor

Brian Valentini

Third Advisor

Hsueh-I Lo

Creative Commons License

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

Keywords and Subject Headings

Mathematics, Special Education, Employment


Children in the United States have not made adequate gains on national assessments in mathematics (Strickland & Maccini, 2012). Based on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), 65% of 8th graders and 76% of 12th graders scored below proficiency level, along with over 90% of secondary students (Strickland & Maccini, 2012). This is especially troubling since math is used outside of the classroom setting so commonly in the workplace, especially vocational (trade) jobs. Students with disabilities tend to have a hard time with basic math facts and this can become problematic later on when trying to obtain employment (Leach, 2016). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 18.4% of youth with a disability who are 16 to 19 years old are employed compared to their non-disabled peers who are employed at 31.4%. Then, approximately 40.2% of people with a disability between the ages 20-24 are employed, compared to their non-disabled peers at 68.5% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020). These statistics indicate that having a strong mathematical foundation helps with employment opportunities, especially trade jobs. This study will survey local trade employers to see what mathematical skills are necessary for employment.



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