Higher Ed Highlights: Episode 101 – A First-of-Its-Kind Graduation

Higher Ed Highlights: Episode 101 – A First-of-Its-Kind Graduation

November 26, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


In this week’s Higher Ed Highlights a
graduation ceremony was held for students in an adult basic literacy
program for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The five graduates spent
the last six months improving their fluency in both American Sign Language
and English. They spent eight to twelve hours a week in group classes, online
modules, and one-on-one sessions with an instructor. This first-of-its-kind
program is a partnership between Opportunities for Ohioans with
Disabilities, the Delaware Area Career Center, and ODHE’s Aspire program.
The curriculum is focused on improving overall communication abilities,
workplace communication skills, reading levels, and independent living. The day’s
program included a presentation from Erika Shadbourne of the National Deaf
Center on the current state of employment and education for deaf or
hard of hearing individuals. The data highlighted the powerful role that
parents play in post-secondary education for deaf students. “When parents expected their students to go to college they were six times more likely to attend.” “That is a powerful statement. It says a lot about the impact of parental expectations.” Senior Vice Chancellor
Garry Cates and Donna Albanese, state director of ODHE’s Aspire program,
thanked the students for their inspiring accomplishment. Cates noted that
partnerships like this reflect Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s challenge to all
state agencies. “Governor DeWine has made very clear that he wants all the agencies to work together to make sure Ohioans, regardless of their circumstances, are being served and have an opportunity
to participate in our state’s economy and everything else that is so wonderful about our state. So thank you very much.” Other speakers included the
superintendent’s of the Ohio School for the Deaf and the Delaware Career Center;
Greg Dormer, deputy director of the Bureau of Services for the Visually
Impaired at Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities; and Katie Sheetz,
program coordinator at Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. Laura Smith,
the program instructor, presented each graduate with a certificate of
recognition. The graduates expressed appreciation for the program and the way
it boosted their communication skills and confidence. Columbus was also the host last week for the Executive Committee of the
Midwestern Higher Education Compact. Vice Chancellor Stephanie Davidson welcomed the committee to Columbus and Senior Vice Chancellors Gary Cates and Mike
Duffey participated in the meetings. Look for Higher Ed Highlights on the Ohio
Department of Higher Education YouTube page and through our Facebook page and
Twitter feed. And check out our website at Ohio Higher Ed dot org. Thank you for
watching and come back next week for another round of Higher Ed Highlights.