Special Education

In the United States, 5,693,441 students between the ages of 6 to 21 qualify for special education, yet many do not have the resources needed to help them succeed.  Many school systems have cut back on their special education programs due to lack of funding and resources.

Due to a lack of funding, many schools have cut the amount out students they let into the special education programs. A recent investigation in Texas has revealed that they had set a percentage on the number of students that should receive special education.  The state set a limit to 8.5% of students in a school were allowed to receive special education, which is far less than the national average of 13.8%. If Texas provided services at the same rate as the rest of the United States, 250,000 more kids would be getting critical services such as therapy, counseling and one-on-one tutoring.  This cutback was put into place to save the Texas government $1.1 million.

Another way school systems are reacting to lack of funding in mainstreaming students with special needs. However, doing so without providing the correct resources hinders the student.  In general, studies conducted indicate better academic outcomes for students with learning disabilities who are served in special education settings. When these same students are served in general education settings without any additional help, they have poorer self- concepts. If schools want to help their students with special needs by mainstreaming them, they need to take the specific measures in order to promote success.  According to the Journal for Inclusive Education, there are three ways for mainstreaming students with disabilities: co-teaching, differentiated instruction, and peer- mediated instruction and interventions

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to successful mainstreaming is through peer-mediated instruction.When I was in high school, I created a peer learning group that partnered a special education student with a student without disabilities. What I would do is find a student willing to participate, who understood the subject well and would partner them up with a special education student. They would sit next to one another in class and help one another during class.They were also required once a week to meet in the library to help the special education student with the assignments for that week. 

If you have any questions about starting your own mainstream program don’t hesitate to contact me!



DISC Personal Profile Test: An Influencing, Inspirational Leader

Within my EDL 360 class, I was given the opportunity to take the DISC Classic Profile test.  The DISC is a personality, leadership trait test designed to help you increase your self-knowledge, and to provide information for understanding others.  You are able to learn more about your own leadership style, the strengths and weaknesses associated with the style, and how you like to work in groups.  The four main styles are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. One style isn’t better than the other, they all have strengths and weaknesses that compliment one another.

To start off, I thought about myself as a member of CVFC. Once I established this response focus, I began answering the questions.  For the first part of the DISC, I found words that stood out the most about my character, but I had a hard time finding words that were the least like me.  I felt like I was a combination of all of the words, yet I didn’t know which one I was least like.

INFLUENCE: After finishing the questions, I scored the highest in influencing.  Here are some traits and descriptions that coincide with the influence category.

This persons tendencies include: Contacting people, Making a favorable impression, creating a motivated environment, generating enthusiasm, entertaining people, viewing situations with optimism

This person desires and environment that includes: freedom of expression, freedom from control and detail, coaching and counseling, favorable working conditions

This person needs others to: Speak directly, respect others, demonstrate individual follow-through

To be more effective, this person needs to: Use hands-on management, be more realistic when appraising others

These characteristics really stood out to me and described me as a person.  Seeing these really opened my eyes and made me aware of my strengths and weaknesses and ways that I need to improve when working with others.

After reflecting on my I behavioral traits, I was able to analyze my DISC results a bit further and learn more about my personal Classical Profile Pattern. This is a combination 0f all four of my DISC scores; Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.  Here are some characteristics for my Inspirational leadership style.

Goal: Control of the environment or audience

Value toward the organization: acts as a people mover; initiates, demands, compliments, disciplines

Would increase effectiveness through: Willingness to help others succeed in their own personal development

After reading all of my results, I was shocked to see how well all of these descriptions described me in my role as a CVFC member.  I will use these results to incorporate my strengths, but also improve on my weaknesses, in my education and extracurricular involvements.



Oh what a year…

Where has the time gone?  I don’t know why this blog is so hard for me to write.  Every time I sit down to write this, I find myself scrolling through old pictures and reminiscing on memories. As the last few days of the year approach, I have caught myself reflecting on one of the most memorable years of my life.  Coming to college,  was one of the most life changing experiences.  Who knew that the guy I drove to the hospital after getting stabbed in the butt would end up being my best friend?  Or the girl whose succulent I broke on the first day would be one of my best friends?

I vividly remember move in day like it was yesterday.  After I was all moved in, and my parents left, I was now stuck with these three guys I had never met before.  After a few awkward conversations, I knew these guys were going to be my best friends.  I honestly can’t imagine my first year without these three. From our late night pizza talks to killing every plant we owned (even a cactus) I won’t change a thing.

Now for Barnes.  Going into the year I was excited to live with everyone in LAS but I was not excited about living in the oldest dorm.  However, Barnes is the place to be!  There was never a day where I didn’t love living here.  No matter what time of day, I know I can always walk into a room and memories will instantly begin to happen.  IMG_4910

Its Time to Break Gender Roles

This semester in LDR 200, we learned about a variety of  leadership theories and philosophies.  One of the topics that stood out in my life was the topic of gender roles.  In 2016, you would thgender-symbols-entwined-300x300ink that gender roles are not as prominent as they used to be.  However, really think about your everyday life and the expectations you have for people.  Do you have these expectations based on that persons gender without even knowing it?  We all have certain expectations for everyone and a lot of us have them based on gender and d0nt even realize it.

One example of this would be in an RSO I am involved in here at CMU.  As apart of Colleges Against Cancer, it is our responsibility to plan and set up Relay for Life.  During the day of set up, we had to lay tarps and make decorations.  While setting up the tarps 0ver the entire gym floor, I noticed that it was mainly guys setting up the tarps and girls doing decorations.  Now this segregation was due based on our own doing. No one told us where to go or what activity to do.  I stop and realized that subconsciously, we have been trained to think that males d0 the physical work and females do the crafting.

After experiencing this I have been extremely conscious of trying not to have these stereotypes.

Hello Detroit here we are!

Over the weekend, my LDR 200 class and I traveled to Detroit for a weekend full of service! It started on Friday afternoon with our first stop at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.  Here, we worked with Jalen Rose students for a day of service.  We wrote letters to soldiers, made signs for Special Olympics, and got to socialize with the students.

On Saturday, we volunteered at Cass Community Services.  This was my favorite part of the  trip.  There were three different volunteer opportunities; working the soup kitchen, shredding paper, or making mats out of old tires.  My group was assigned making mats.  Cass hires people who are homeless to make the mats.  It was very inspirational and rewarding to talk with the workers and hear about their lives and how Cass has helped them.  This service trip was extremely beneficial for myself along with my cohort and I am very happy we had the opportunity to go on this trip.IMG_6733

LDR 200

It is always interesting when you put 50 leaders (who are all friends) in a room together for three hours and LDR 200 sure will support this.  I love having classes with my entire cohort but this one was especially interesting.  We were all together to learn different leadership theories however we were going to be teaching each other rather than having a professor teach us.  It was a very interesting dynamic learning from one another and teaching each other.  My cohort and I were challenged every week to stay engaged and respectful while our peers presented to us. It was a very unique learning atmosphere that our cohort was not ready for but benefited us greatly. Even though three hours on Wednesday nights can be rough, I can’t imagine being stuck in a room with anyone else but my LAS Cohort.IMG_5009

Lead Team

One of the protocol requirements for LAS is to be on a Lead Team.  A Lead Team is compiled of LAS students for all four grades that work together on topics such as Relay for Life, Competition Day, or Special Olympics.  I got put on Lead LetterScreen Shot 2016-04-12 at 3.48.44 PM.png, the Leadership Institutes magazine.  Since Lead Letter was my last ranked option, I decided “join” another Lead Team that I was more passionate about on my own.  I joined the Relay for Life Lead Team because I am extremely passionate about the work they do and I am already very invested in the organization.  As a team, we came up with fundraiser for prior to the event along with day of fundraisers.  I am happy to announce that I raised over $1,400 for our Relay for Life Team!