Academy for Adult Learning
Academy for Adult Learning students encircle retired coordinator Susan Richmond
In addition to a piece on the evening news on WPVI Channel 6, the area's ABC affiliate station, stories ran in the Philadelphia Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Temple Times.
Kathy Miller, Assistant Director of Training at the Institute on Disabilities and the project manager for the Academy says "This year has been very satisfying for us at the Academy for Adult Learning. As is the case with all new programs, we had some 'growing pains' during our first year, but the students are wonderful and have exceeded our expectations!"
The Academy, funded primarily by Mental Retardation Services in Philadelphia, provides an introduction to college for selected Pennsylvanians with intellectual disabilities, helping to familiarize them with college life and assists them in building the skills needed for a successful transition from high school to the adult world. In addition, the program helps students relate the importance of lifelong learning to career success.
In the spring and summer, Academy staff reviews applications from residents across the southeastern region of Pennsylvania and selects 10 people with intellectual disabilities to participate in campus life at Temple University. They take classes, go to sporting and other special events, participate in student organizations and become part of the university community. In addition, they attend the Academy's weekly seminar, which features insightful guest lecturers from throughout Temple University.
Mentors are similarly selected from a large group of Temple University student applicants and are carefully paired with each participant. Titania Boddie, Academy Program Coordinator says, "This year, our mentors quickly acclimated to the program and developed great relationships with the students and with each other!"
"It became a real team environment, as we had imagined when we created the program," Ms. Miller says.
Career development, self assessment and exploration are important parts of the program. Students are engaged in identifying themselves and what they bring to the workplace. Skills, interests, values and work personality are explored. "Students spend time researching careers and this year, we are very excited that all ten students were placed in internship positions throughout the University, based on their career selections."
Recruitment for the next Academy for Adult Learning class has begun. Anyone interested in becoming a participant or a mentor can call the Institute at 215-204-1356.