Lincoln students to benefit from TLC grant

A grant recently awarded to Union College’s Teaching Learning Center (TLC) will benefit the local Lincoln community by empowering students faced with learning and development disabilities such as ADD. TLC, Union’s academic support and disability service provider, received $84,510 in funding from Woods Charitable Foundation, with disbursement set over the next three years.

With this grant, the center plans to implement a program designed to aid high school juniors with learning disabilities transition into college life, and likewise, help eighth graders transition into high school life. The two nine-week pilot classes scheduled to run during the 2009-2010 school year will focus on self-advocating and financial aid.

“This new program was created in order to open educational doors for students with disabilities who otherwise wouldn’t recognize education as an option,” said Debbie Forshee-Sweeney, TLC director. “Many students with learning disabilities and ADD go through high school with the false belief that higher education is not in their reach.”

Union College students who have struggled with similar disabilities will be involved in the new program by servings as mentors. Each student will receive training and a stipend to assist in co-teaching the classes located in Lincoln’s 10 middle schools and six high schools.

“The grant will enable Union College’s Teaching Learning Center to provide more support to students with disabilities and ADHD while at the same time allowing them to serve the community,” said Kyle Martsching, grant coordinator.

Martsching, in conjunction with a Lincoln Public School system teacher, will present the curriculum during the Transition Summit hosted by Nebraska Department of Education in November.

“It is our hope that this curriculum can be flexible enough for any other college and high school to implement.” Forshee-Sweeney said. “Union College truly defines service learning, and this program is a prime example of that.”