Students get taste of college life

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Students get taste of college life

Story and captions by Dom Civella, Reporter

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img_6935psd The freshman class of Miriam Academy visited the University of Missouri – St. Louis on Friday, October 24, to learn about college life and the SUCCEED program.

According to Andrew Kliethhermes, who runs the program, it can change students’ lives.

“My favorite part of the SUCCEED program is that it’s 100 percent inclusive,” said Andrew, who is also a professor at the university. “Every part of SUCCEED involves non-SUCCEED students, living, learning, working and playing. I also love our parent support model. We are creating best practices in our field with the development of our model that includes a workshoimg_7034psdp series specifically designed to support parents through the hard transition of their children img_6891psdbecoming more independent.

The program is just one of many at the university, and some students had visited before.

“I have been to UMSL three times,” said Henry Lohmann. “I got to see a lot more this time than I did the first two times. This was cool because I got to see a lot of the campus. It was quite cool to see.”

One of the things they did was learn about the SUCCEED program, which helps students with learning disabilities to become independent. Some of the requirements for this program include having a documented intellectual or developmental disability and demonstrate a strong interest or desire to pursue post-secondary education to expand career and life opportunities.

One of the SUCCEED students, AJ, talked with students about his experiences in the program.

“You should never miss class unless you’re bleeding, puking your guts out or img_7086psdyou’re dead,” AJ said. He talked about taking school seriously.

Some other things students did were meeting a college professor, visiting a dormitory, eating at a cafe and seeing the library.

“I like that the field trip gave students an opportunity to imagine themselves as college students,” said Mr. Holmes. “Plus, the SUCCEED program could be perfect for some of our kids.”

Andrew said that to qualify for SUCCEED, students need to be between the ages of 18 and 25, diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability, and want to further their education.

“The most successful students in our program are the ones that are pushing themselves to improve — try hard — and don’t give up,” added Andrew.

Miriam Academy is planning additional college visits for the future.

According to U.S. News and World Report, freshman year is when students should start thinking about college. The magazine lists the following steps:

  1. Start planning early
  2. Visit campuses while on vacation
  3. Take virtual tours
  4. Talk to students on campus
  5. Explore academic departments
  6. Visit a dining hall or student center
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