College Program for Students With Intellectual Disabilities
They have a residential, individualized academic program at Millersville University (Penn.) for students with intellectual disabilities, where students right now are working through a two- and soon, four-year program in Career & Life Studies. According to the Millersville University website, this program can "lead to social and professional networks, careers, and a bright future."
What makes Millersville's program different from most others is that their students live on campus and experience college life, audit regular liberal arts classes, create their own individualized programs, have academic coaches, and make strong vocational connections.
As founder of this particular program in 2014, Dr. Thomas Neuville had an early, influential life connection to people with intellectual disabilities. In a telephone interview, the 65-year-old professor said, "For one, my godmother's daughter, who I grew up with, never left the house because of a (possible) brain injury. The other (connection I had) was with Danny Burke, who all the kids made fun of. Looking back, I clearly now believe he had an intellectual disability." Neuville eventually earned his Ph.D in special education and human resources at Colorado State before finding his way to Millersville University.
He said, "Our program is designed for students with intellectual disabilities and who have the capacity to get around campus independently. Those really are the only two criteria." They began with just one student, Daniel Castellanos, in 2014, and a year later added eight. A 2016 graduate, Castellanos addressed 4,000 attendees at this year's university commencement.
Said Neuville, "Daniel built his own (academic and vocational) path. His interests were theater and hospitality management, and he has the ultimate goal of owning a theater that serves dinner. Through community connections, we linked him with a five-star restaurant, who hired him full-time and taught him everything, including bartending, kitchen, and office. He is currently working there as a sous chef."
Programs for post-secondary students with intellectual disabilities, like ones at Millersville University and other schools, became possible due to the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. The Act also provided funding.
While potentially creating better employment opportunities and higher wages for people with intellectual disabilities, these programs do have critics. Neuville said some believe people with intellectual disabilities really don't belong in higher education at all, while others say these students should have at least a few specialized classes, rather than auditing regular college courses and using academic coaches.
But Neuville said, "Marginalized groups always have their critics."
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesBottleRock Presents Announces Concerts and Festival AftershowsNAPA, Calif. -- BottleRock Napa Valley, presented by JaM Cellars, has sold out all passes to the festival's sixth installment on May 25 - 27, 2018 in downtown Napa
Mesa Verde Country Top 5 Winter Experiences in Southwest ColoradoCortez, Colo. - Mesa Verde Country in Southwest Colorado is a great winter destination. The area boasts mountains, sunshine and everything travelers need for the perfect cold-weather getaway
BottleRock Presents Vines & VibesNapa, CA, - BottleRock Napa Valley presents Vines & Vibes, the fourth annual Do It For The Love Benefit Dinner and Concert on Thursday, May 24, 2018, on the rooftop of the Archer Hotel
2018 Lexus GX570 remains luxurious SUVRoseville, CA,- What most drivers will like about the 2018 Lexus LX570 is the combination of gracious around-town capability and its ability to go off-road in rugged winter conditions
Tree Harvest Cannabis Festival Cancelled, Fall Dates PossibleWoodland, CA- The cannabis themed Tree Harvest Festival scheduled for April 20- 22, 2018 has been cancelled due to a municipality withdrawing authorization
Roseville Gas Prices Ease SlightlyRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville have eased slightly this past week despite the strong upward trend and anticipation of prices pushing toward the $4 gallon mark
Roseville City School District to Share $400,000 Grant(Roseville, CA) - Roseville City School District (RCSD) is poised to be the recipient of $400,000, all aimed to benefit its middle school students through
Kay U. Brooks presented with Don Poole AwardSacramento, CA,- Attorney Kay U. Brooks of Weintraub Tobin was recently awarded the Sacramento Region Community Foundation's prestigious Don Poole Award for her significant contributions
Arson Damage at Margaret Azevedo Park in RocklinRocklin, CA,- On February 17th 2018 at about 10:38 PM, Rocklin Police Officers responded to Margret Azevedo Park in the report of a play structure on fire
Roseville City School District Honors Teachers of the Year(Roseville, CA) - The Roseville City School District (RCSD) recently announced their Teachers of the Year. Heidi Polewaczyk and Michael Larsen have been selected
Roseville Gas Prices Throttling HigherRoseville, CA- A quick look around Roseville had motorists noticing gas prices trending upward. Prices in Roseville have pushed past the $3 mark
IHOP Pancake Drive-thru Benefits UC Davis Children's Hospital(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - On Monday, Feb. 26, pancake lovers can drive through, eat their fill of short-stack pancakes and make a donation to support sick and injured children at UC Davis Children's Hospital