Thursday, August 21
Various Dandini locations
Thursday, August 21
Posted: Feb 11, 2014
One of TMCC's student ambassadors leads a tour during College for a Day on Friday, Feb. 7.
Nearly 200 area high school students are experiencing the accessibility of higher education at four “College for a Day” events at Truckee Meadows Community College.
“The event emphasizes the importance of college and how we’re here to help the students succeed,” said Olga Mesina, Specialist, Disability Resource Center (DRC) at TMCC.
Seniors or fifth year high school students with identified disabilities will take a two-hour tour of TMCC, attend mini-classes, participate in hands-on activities and self-reflective exercises.
Galena, Damonte and Incline High School groups attended the event on Friday, Feb. 7. Future “College for a Day” events will welcome North Valleys, Hug, Wooster, AACT and Sparks students on Friday, Feb. 21, and Spanish Springs, Reed, Reno and McQueen on Friday, Feb. 28. A tour group from Washoe High School will take in the activities on Friday, March 14.
Students participating have been referred to the program by a Washoe County School District case manager. A WCSD program consultant assists the case managers and sets up transportation to the college. The participant may have a learning, cognitive, physical or emotional disability.
Tours of campus are led by TMCC student ambassadors who have graduated from the high school of the group they’re leading.
“A young woman who was in a tour led by a TMCC ambassador from her own high school found the experience particularly impactful for her; she had a lot in common with the ambassador and it solidified that it was indeed possible to attend and succeed in college,” Mesina said.
Students will also participate in one to two mini-classes, where they will receive an actual syllabus and witness an abbreviated college lecture. In the Spanish class, bread from a local Mexican bakery will be used in multi-dimensional learning as they taste, learn the Spanish words for, and find out about the history of the traditional bread.
There will be an introduction to a unique note-taking accommodation available, where another student in their college class takes notes with a carbon copy to provide to the student with a disability. At the end of the class, they will be able to compare their own notes with the provided notes and decide how a second set of ears might benefit them.
The tour will also include the quiet area of TMCC’s DRC which is available for test-taking.
“This event can encourage a student who is tentative about college by better understanding the accommodations process, and the different academic structure between K-12 and higher education,” Mesina said. “The importance of connecting with the DRC as soon as the students arrive at TMCC will help to head off problems later in the semester.”
Students will also get assistance with the steps to college enrollment, financial aid procedures, as well as an explanation of the various degrees and certificates offered, a list of resources at TMCC and the way to make an appointment with a tutor in the Tutoring and Learning Center (TLC).
DRC leaders will discuss the enhanced levels of privacy concerning disabilities at the higher ed level.
“Students are sometimes hesitant about coming in to the Disability Resource Center because they don’t realize there is more privacy at college than in the K-12 environment,” Mesina said. “They don’t have to divulge their particular disability to their instructors. Coming through the DRC doesn’t mean they lose their privacy.”
TMCC will host a parent night in the spring, where families can find out more about the broad range of college opportunities that may now be a real and achievable possibility.
“College for a Day” is possible through TMCC Foundation Faculty and Staff Grants.
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