Kean Receives Grant To Help Students With Learning Disabilities

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UNION– Kean University recently received the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Community Seed Grant in support of Project Excel, an ongoing initiative that assists students with learning disabilities. The program is a perfect fit for the Foundation and its mission, which develops, supports and advocates programs that enrich the lives of those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

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The grant totals $2,000, and will go toward further enhancing Project Excel in the area of providing special attention to Kean students with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. It is the goal of the program to progressively remove these students from a structured support environment, and allow them to achieve an independent acceptance of responsibility, in terms of their education and ultimately their lives as a whole.

Participating students are eligible for a minimum of one session per week of individual contact time with Project Excel support staff. These sessions include preferential registration for each semester; referral to campus services for tutoring; training for learning strategies; assistance with student advocacy with faculty; and peer mentoring.  Mentors develop a plan that includes all reasonable accommodations required to have success at the college level. Academic, career, and personal advisement/counseling are also part of the package. No additional fees are charged for this program.

The Daniel Jordan Foundation, a 501(c)(3), is an entirely volunteer-run organization. It is the guiding principle of the organization to honor the individuality of each person with ASD, so that each may participate throughout their lifetime in vocational, recreational, educational and residential opportunities that are suitable, stimulating and sustainable and allow for maximum integration in the community.


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  • jazarva

    As someone who has worked with students with learning differences for 35 years and was a college learning specialist for 13 years, part of me wants to say this is a wonderful move in the right direction. Certainly, the awareness that action has to be taken is there, and I commend you for that.

    However, having worked privately with a high functioning college freshman with Asperger’s, I am really afraid that once session a week of individual contact isn’t going to make a dent. wanted my student to be seen three times a week, but he only agreed to one. By the time I saw him, he was so overwhelmed and disorganized, it was like trying to untangle a mangled hank of yarn. He was on scholarship too – he had been in AP classes in high school and was very bright. He ended up failing out of community college.

    It’s hard to stretch $2,000, but I almost feel it would be better to choose one student and give him/her a LOT of attention and see the result. Of course, how do you select that one person? By lottery perhaps? I think quality AND quantity is the answer for these kids.

    I raised a son with LD/ADD who finished college successfully. I now run a list serve for parents of high school students with disabilities, offering them postsecondary transition advice. Parents may subscribe at http://www.conquercollegewithld.com.