"It's cool to be in college"
Monday, April 4, 2005
Thirteen young adults can say “I go to SCSU” despite the fact that they’re developmentally disabled. Every school day they attend classes in the College of Education building, and can have lunch at Garvey Commons, use the recreation center at the Atwood Memorial Center, enjoy sports at Hallenbeck Hall, and – importantly – mingle with other college students.
In the past, developmentally disabled students were “left behind” in high school when their classmates went on to college and jobs. Now, a partnership with District 742 brings special needs students ages 18-21 to the university campus, where they can learn and practice communication, daily living, vocational and recreational skills among other young adults.
This is good for us, too,” says John Hoover, chair of the university’s special education department. “We like to give our prospective special ed teachers contact with the developmentally disabled as soon and as often as possible.” And the special students “really feel good about being here – they think it’s cool to be in college.”