This past year I had the opportunity to be one of five students who sat on the Academic Senate for Central Michigan University. Sitting on the Academic Senate, I worked alongside faculty representatives from every academic department at CMU. Through my role as a student representative, I was responsible for representing the interests of all CMU students. n The Academic Senate determines all curricular issues that are relevant to CMU. Being a voice for the students at CMU and having input on the direction of future students academic careers was an extremely meaningful experience. It encouraged me to step back and take a broader look at CMU as a whole and the education it offers its students.
As a part of the LAS protocol, I am responsible for participating in a lead team for the Leadership Institute. This year I was so excited to be on the LAS in the D Lead Team, which is a community service trip for the freshmen cohort to Detroit. While in Detroit, we go to a school and work with students, visit Quicken Loans, and volunteer at CASS Community Services. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the trip this year due to the weather. However, being able to plan and bond with the rest of my Lead Team was so much fun. I hope I will be able to go on the trip next year and give back to the community as well as bond with the LAS cohort.
This past semester I had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for LDR 200. This class was taught by 5 different people: Myself, Jesi, Ellen, GA Hannah Long, and another TA, Josh Geary. Some would argue this was too many cooks for a kitchen, but in reality it was a great opportunity for multiple people with leadership expertise and knowledge to serve as a resource.
Josh and I were responsible for helping the students with their facilitation and group projects. We also had the opportunity to present a workshop on Transformational Leadership. This was a great opportunity to realize how far I have come since my freshman year in LDR 200. I now better understand the concepts I was teaching because I was seeing them and using them in my own life.
Being a TA was a great opportunity to meet new people and become a mentor to the freshman of LAS. I hope they all feel comfortable reaching out to me in the future if they ever need help with anything.
This fall I took a philosophy class with my LAS cohort. This class challenged me and the way I looked at different issues. I don’t tend to think in a philosophical way which made the material a little hard for me to grasp.
I enjoyed that the class was mainly discussion because it allowed for me to learn from my peers and get a different perspective of things. In class, we had a lot of discussion where we could voice our onions and get different views. This was an extremely interesting concept. Going into the class I had some pretty firm beliefs on different issues. However after hearing some of my peers reasoning, I found myself questioning my beliefs.
Social Problems has been by far the most interesting class I have taken here at CMU. In this class, there were no exams or tests, only written outlines and other projects that we would work on. During the class period, discussion was open to any topic about social issues in our world today. My class would share their opinions and discuss ways to prevent these issues or to make them better.
This class provided me with the necessary information to be informed about issues and topics in today’s world. Most topics, I knew very little if not anything about it. Sitting in class and listening to everyone’s opinions on things made me realize how many different opinions there can be on a topic, yet we can still have a civilized conversation with one another. I would highly recommend this class to my peers.
The Disney College Program is a semester long collegiate internship where you work for a Disney Park and Resort while also taking classes through Disney University. There are two seperate programs, one at Walt Disney World in Florida, and one at The Disneyland Resort in California. Each semester, roughly 30,000 people apply. Walt Disney World accepts 4,000 and The Disneyland Resort accepts 300.
I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the program at The Disneyland Resort in California! Here I am working at Disney California Adventure while also taking a leadership class through Disney University. For the class, a different Disney executive comes and presents on a different leadership topic that they have learned throughout their role at The Walt Disney Company.
Along with the education aspect, there are ample opportunities for networking throughout the program. I have had the opportunity to meet with and shadow with a manager from Adventures by Disney, D23, Disney University, and guest relations. Thes opportunities have given me a greater look into my future with The Walt Disney Company.
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!